The situation with police and a majority of black Americans has reached a boiling point. No matter how insurmountable this may seem, it's time to look at the significant perception and behavioral shifts that are necessary to create real positive change.
To change the energy or state of the actions and mindset of a community, culture or society, one must understand the fundamental issue that creates the chaos. All chaos has the same inherent purpose within it: to unleash a buildup of excess energy in order to get the system back to a state of greater balance and clarity. Sometimes the chaos builds slowly and sometimes it comes on quickly and explodes. Either way the purpose to attain balance is the same.
Life is always moving towards balance for survival. The thunderstorm is a perfect analogy. Energy builds up and then discharges itself in the chaos in the sky. Lightening flashes, thunder booms and then the downpour starts. After a thunderstorm and good hard rain there is serenity and a certain "calm after the storm." This is the same on an individual basis with a buildup of emotions that result in a good cry. There is greater clarity in this state and there seems to be hope where before there was only confusion and pain.
What is happening in society today with the state of police officers and black Americans is no different. A storm has brewed in the consciousness of both groups. Each are seeking a solution to this tension and the chaos is a way (albeit a very unfortunate one) of bringing it all into the light so there can be a greater understanding.
So what is the answer?
Every problem has a solution. The solution in this case comes from a change in behavior, stemming from a change in emotion, stemming from a change of perception of mind. Therefore, the answer is in a shift in the "awareness" or "consciousness" of both groups of people. All change starts with a change of MIND.
So how does awareness or perception change?
Police officers and black Americans need to truly commit to making their ultimate goal a state of peace and understanding.
More specifically --
Police officers need to work to refrain from any negative thoughts, biases, and assumptions regarding black citizens and start with an open unbiased view in all situations they encounter. They must collectively commit to this new mindset whatever it takes.
Black Americans need to refrain from any negative thoughts and assumptions regarding any police officers as "against them" in any way and start with an open unbiased view in all encounters with them. They must collectively commit to this new mindset whatever it takes.
If this seems ridiculous, or impractical, or impossible, it means it is very likely the answer. We have to step outside the box to see the problem and be able to solve it. This is usually unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. However, if we are serious about ending this tension and disharmony, this new open attitude has to become a huge priority.
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." - Albert Einstein
There are over 1.2 million police officers in the United States. There are also over 39 million black Americans in the United States. It is important to remember that like in any other groups of people there is a very small fraction of a percentage of each population that has been the cause of the reprehensible behavior. Most are well meaning, well serving, excellent police officers, or are model citizens and wonderful human beings. It is crucial to remember this when going forward with a new way of thinking and being.
Our brains are wired to find patterns and then use these patterns as a protection method. The flaw in this when it comes to human beings is that everyone is different. Generalizing an entire race or organization of people by the behavior of a fractional few is a recipe for major resistance and pushback.
For REAL change both sides must agree to clean the slate and end the bias in their minds.
Both sides need to participate in continuing community outreach and consistent meetings of mutual understanding that promote a greater awareness of each other.
Police officers should work to become more aware of what it has been like to grow up as a black American. They need to understand how it feels to be judged by a great majority of society by the color of their skin before they have a chance to express who they are. They should work to understand what it's like to have to live from a constant place of fear and bias in the mind's of others just to move forward with any job opportunity, friendship, community, etc. They need to understand the cold shiver that goes through their minds and bodies when a police car pulls up behind them. Most white Americans have absolutely no idea what this feels like.
On the other hand, many black Americans should become more aware of what it's like to be a police officer and deal with high stress very high-risk situations every day. They need to understand what it's like to have to work from a place of fear and bias in another's mind about who they are when they are trying to do their job. They need to understand that they are trained to be ready for violence and to be suspicious in order to protect escalation, disarm, and control many of life's worst situations in a fraction of an instant.
"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better." - Abraham Lincoln
Both sides need to work on coming to a greater understanding of the power they have within themselves to create the relationship they desire to have with one another.
Here is where it gets a bit deeper and very interesting. Life is always looking to help serve each individual's innermost truth. If a majority of a culture or community is dominated by the belief that the police are "out to get them," and a majority of police officers are dominated by the belief that black Americans represent more of a physical threat to them than anybody else, it is a recipe for the creation of that truth.
This is how all of life works.
Life matches our thoughts with the people, places, and circumstances that give birth to the experiences that validate these truths. It's the same process for each one of us. This is why it's CRITICAL that this limited and fear based awareness between the two parties change NOW. A change in awareness and understanding is a change in TRUTH. The birth of a new truth and new possibilities brings with it the thoughts feelings actions and circumstances that create and validate this new desired and believed way of life.
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness," - Martin Luther King Jr.
There is and never will be any justification for the deaths of so many black Americans due to the massively excessive use of deadly force by misguided police officers.
There is and never will be any justification for the deaths of the five officers on July 7th, 2016 or the many that have died in the line of duty over the years by confused and deranged individuals.
However, we do have this moment right now to make a change. We do own the way we decide to think about our fellow human beings that we share this space with. Life will follow our thoughts. It will take significant faith and courage to become this new version. To have the courage to trust before there is evidence of why one should trust. This is true power. This IS the way to a new awareness and a new relationship with life.
The alternative is to continue to contribute to the fear, hostility, and anger that only breed more of this energy in our country and our world. This is a state of being that serves only to create more chaos. Fear only creates more things to be fearful of experiencing. Divisive thinking and energy exacerbates the problem.
Each individual's mindset matters in regards to what happens next. Consider using yours starting right now to see the good in all and express that good to your world every day. Your thoughts are the nexus for the energy that contributes significantly to the experiences of the world we live in. Choose hope, love, compassion, and new possibility when you look into the eyes of someone different from you and it will serve your life and your desires for the world endlessly.
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eye for an instant? -Henry David Thoreau
Howard Falco ( HowardFalco.com ) is a spiritual teacher and sports performance coach to college and professional athletes. He is an expert on mindfulness and embracing the creative power within. He is the author of 2 books on human understanding and potential; I AM: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are, and Time in a Bottle: Mastering the Experience of Life (Tarcher Penguin Random House). Known for his powerfully clear and relatable style, Howard presents the wisdom regarding how to harness more of the creative power of the mind to accomplish any result or overcome any challenge you face in life, allowing you to achieve a greater sense of peace, understanding and fulfillment in the process. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram @howardfalco or Twitter @Howard Falco