From “Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future” by Patty Krawec
Becoming kin often begins with having difficult conversations, and being willing to listen to the things marginalized people, the ones we are so used to helping, have to say can be difficult. It is one thing to help those who need help, but having conversations with the people around me about injustice in our community? Listening to them talk about their experience of injustice? That was hard. Maybe that’s sy we like charity and short-term missions trips, voluntourism that takes us far from home to where people who aren’t like us need our help, need our generosity. And then we go home, thankful for our blessings, thankful that we aren’t them. But you have to begin where you are, you have to organize the people around you, and that means listening to the people you want to help.
Some things are difficult to hear not only because they are upsetting, in and of themselves, but because they challenge things about the way that we interact with people and point out harms that we do. Helping feels good, but it is paternal; without relationship, it embeds hierarchy. The conversations to lead to kinship feel personal because they are personal. Relationships are personal, even professional ones, and I had to begin with the people around me.
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