When you don’t know what to do

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the question, “How are you?” is difficult to respond to during a global pandemic.

We are at the forefront of a huge movement in standing with our Black sisters and brothers, whether it’s through protesting in your city, donating to organizations doing good, educating yourself on racism or maybe having those tough conversations with your friends or family.

Many people’s eyes have been opened to new thoughts, feelings or experiences in the past few weeks. They didn’t know, they didn’t realize.

As an Asian-American, I recognize I have a lot of privileges in this life.  When I was in college, I wasn’t considered a “minority” in order to participate in a tutoring program designed for BIPOC.

I know I can always learn more. But, I don’t find myself necessary needing to share every single Black Lives Matter post or tweet I see on social media. To me, that just seems like I am adding to already very loud noise. (I know others feel differently about this).

For me, I find value in sharing actionable items with my friends and network. I recently sent an email to my friends, fellow alumni of the University of Washington, to consider signing a petition for the UW Police to cut ties with the Seattle Police Department, among other reforms.

Before hitting send, I asked Bryce if he thought I was just spamming my friends. But, I felt like if I posted it on social media, the people who I would want to see it, may miss it. (Because you had to be affiliated with the university to sign the petition). More than half of the friends I emailed responded to the email either thanking me for sharing the petition because they hadn’t seen it, and/or to let me know that they signed it.

Now, I’m not telling you I did this so you can give me a virtual pat on the back. I am just sharing an example of how a small gesture can have a ripple effect — and hopefully instill positive change in my community.

I watched an IG Live the other day between Ijeoma Oluo, author who is also from Seattle, and Janaya Khan, international ambassador for Black Lives Matter, on what it really means to defund the police. Towards the end of the discussion, Janaya said something that really resonated with me:

If you don’t know what to do, do what you know.

So, that’s what I am doing. I am writing, and sharing.

I hope you can take the time to do what you know, even when you don’t think you know what to do.


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