Cydney Baron

If we don't like the story being told, we have the power to change it.

Right now, many Americans don't like the story being told. It's a narrative that, for many reasons, makes them uncomfortable or even angry.

They don't like the way our country looks, the way a group is being treated. They're infuriated by what they're reading and how things are playing out.

The idea that our country has deep and unattended wounds caused by generations of racism and racial tension is not something they want to hear.

It's not a flattering story to tell.

Right now many are heartbroken by the way cops are being portrayed, by the way minorities are being treated, by the path the country seems to be on. Everyone wants a new story.

Ultimately, we have the power to change our narrative.

But to do so, we first have to own that it's ours—in all of it's complicated messiness.

We cannot fix what we do not accept as ours.

Brene Brown said it this way, "We either own our own stories or they own us. Only when we have the courage to own our history are we able to write a brave new ending to our story. This is true in our lives, our families, our communities, and our country."

She added that when we pretend that struggle doesn't exist, the struggle owns us.

We've all lived this in some way. The first step is acknowledging that a problem exists.

Sometimes, when a story isn't flattering, we don't want to take ownership of it. And sometimes, we don't want to recognize the role we play in someone else's.

"Our collective stories of race in the US are not easy to own. They are stories of slavery, violence, and systemic dehumanization," Brown wrote. "We will have to choose courage over comfort. We have to feel our way through the shame and sorrow. We will have to listen. We will have to challenge our resistance and our defensiveness."

It's sentiment I hear almost daily: "I don't like what's going on in our country."

"I'm sick over the hatred and division I'm seeing."

Right now, we don't all agree on the cause or the solution to the problems. But ignoring that it exists won't get us there any faster.

Right now, we have the opportunity to work together on a new story, one we can all share pride in. Simply put, if we don’t like the story being told, we need to do the work to change the narrative.

We are all in this together and the story of our country can, and should, reflect that.

Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.

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