This is the time to be forward

This is the time to be forward


Being “forward” in the sense of speaking up first, taking a risk, not sitting back to hear other opinions before expressing mine, does not come naturally to me.

Maybe it shouldn’t.

There’s something to be said in this world for the tendency many of us introverts have to process lots of information, take time to formulate our stance, and craft whatever we are going to say or write.

But I feel awash in a world of “forward” people.

I think it’s the “instant” nature of social media that makes this feeling of being awash so potent right now. Maybe the closed-in situation created by the pandemic too.

We sit at our keyboards, watching issues like the Amy Cooper/Christian Cooper confrontation and the killing of George Floyd, seeing social media explode with outrage, premature conclusions (sometimes) and lives being changed rapidly (or in Floyd’s case, lives being ended) and we don’t know what to do.

I think the people in our history who ended up making a difference — bigger names such as Malcolm X and Andrew Goodman and less well-known changemakers didn’t do so by not being forward, brash, courageous, brave.

So much of the discourse I’ve read over the last couple of days (and a little bit of the opining I have shared) had to do with what we teach at home. I do believe that creating a less racist world depends (in part) on what we teach at home and how we raise our kids.

I also know hate-filled people have emerged from homes where acceptance and love for one’s fellow humans were taught and demonstrated.

Somehow, we have to teach our children (and ourselves) to be forward in the moments when it matters, to call out racism when it is tempting to stay silent — when the relative makes the racist joke, when they post the meme that stereotypes and degrades.

There are times to be forward, and we’re going to have plenty of them in the near future.

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.) 

This is the time to be forward

10 thoughts on “This is the time to be forward

  1. They say that I am so laid-back,
    horizontal I do take,
    as if reclining in my rack,
    “Yo, is he awake?”
    I let the wide world pass me by,
    and wave as it recedes,
    for I will no longer try
    to impress it with my deeds.
    Instead I’ll just kick off my shoes
    and have another beer;
    watch The Simpsons, not the news,
    and live life with good cheer,
    for while the world is gettin’ brutal,
    my feet are up, and mind’s in neutral.

  2. Social media makes me shudder nowadays, thinking of some of the things I have seen. Perhaps it’s the anonymous nature of things, and being able to post instantaneously, without bothering to think anything through. It’s so easy to hide and express your true nature. Some of these people may be introverted in real life, but once they hit the internet, all the brakes come off. Why does social media tend to bring out the worst in us except for dancing birds and cat videos?

  3. I am glad that you wrote about this, even within the five minute window. I have been asking, “where is the outcry?” from my Caucasian sisters and brothers in Christ. Neutral can be deadly and isolating, especially when those with privilege and power do not speak up and call out the racist sin that results in oppression and injustice. It is a bold God-move forward, and I appreciate that you consider that it begins with teaching children, but it also includes opening yourself up for dialogue and prayer-filled action that flows into the areas where the Lord has given you influence. Thank you for beginning with this move forward…

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