The Problem We Face

Photo by LT Chan on

Here it is the reason our world is in chaos. It is not because America is racist. It is not because the cops are racist. It is not because our President is a moron. It is not because of your sexual orientation or your gender identity. It is not because there are a ton of oppressed people who cannot get out from under their oppressors boot. It is not a global pandemic. It is not victimize-rs against victims.

The real problem we face is a problem of Identity. A problem of trying to control that which is fully and completely out of our control. Not a single one of us chose the color of our skin, our gender, or our sex. We simply were born into it.

When a storm comes I do not yell at the sky and tell it to change, I find shelter and learn to read the skies so as not to get stuck out in the storm.

I was born a white man, well a white baby boy and have thus grown into a white man. However, I was not born on the top of the societal heap. I grew up with an alcoholic father, a single mom and one of five kids. I grew up in mostly black neighborhoods in Atlanta. I was teased, bullied and picked on constantly for my weight, my poorness of which was evident in my old ass clothes and shoes, and yes even my skin color.

I say this because the idea of trauma or victim hood is available in everyone’s life. Unfair and unjust things happen to everyone. To continue to identify with these wrongs is to become imprisoned by them. Learning from them and overcoming them is how we free ourselves. Do you want to be free?

The real Problem we are facing is that we are all tied up in the things that we cannot control or even change. Instead of focusing on that which we can control, such as our attitude or effort. The way in which we interact and speak to another human being. The joy and love we bring to the experiences we find ourselves in is in fact in our control. For true inspiration on this topic see Victor Frankls “Man’s Search For Meaning.” A true story about overcoming being imprisoned in concentration camps and surviving by loving and serving others even when he was being horribly tortured.

This anger and rage I see going on in the world is an obvious response to a crazy world, yet the world has always been crazy, so I believe what has happened is a Crisis of identity.

We look for purpose and meaning everyday in what we encounter and since our lives have become so incredibly convenient we find ourselves struggling to find our purpose. Purpose used to be found in survival, yet our survival is no longer in question. Our purpose used to be found in acquiring goods, yet the mass majority of Americans have more than they could ever need.

When we lose our way as a species we immediately look for it on a surface level, what is here that I can attach to easily because we are terrified of drifting into a meaningless existence.

What if I told you, to drift beyond skin deep is to see the depths of our true purpose.

Would you believe me?

Here is the easy solution, one that I have to keep coming back to in my own mind and in my life every moment.

Stop identifying with that which you have no control over. Instead, Identify with that which you can change. That which you can cultivate and grow and blossom.

We are so much more than our skin color, our sexual orientation, our gender and our political beliefs.

If we want true equality we will let go of our differences and begin to see our similarities.


Published by Matthew Whiteside

I am a writer, a storyteller, a yarn-spinning freakazoid. My life is full of two things today, lessons and blessings. I write fiction mostly but I also love to write about my life and the things I go through on a daily basis. Writing it out inspires and motivates me and that's why I do it. Plus if it does that for me maybe it will for someone else too.

9 thoughts on “The Problem We Face

  1. Matthew, I get what you’re saying but being born white STILL gives you an advantage in this country. You are more likely to get approved for a loan and less likely to have the police harass or kill you or be the victim of a hate crime. I was bullied as a black child in a white neighborhood as a child. That harassment still sometimes continues. It’s more subtle now, but it’s still present. That “get over it” mentality only works when the inequality ceases.


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