Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recovering from Ostrich Syndrome


Ostrich Syndrome is defined as: when people prefer to 'stick their heads in the sand', much as an ostrich does, rather than accept some uncomfortable facts.

Let me be the very first to admit I've long suffered from Ostrich Syndrome. I'd much rather go about my day-to-day life and pretend that there's nothing wrong. Dealing with unsettling news or uncomfortable facts isn't something I would ever choose to do. Some people call it avoidance and others refer to it as isolationism. Regardless of what you call it, it isn't healthy.

I'd much rather stick my head in the sand than talk about what is going on in our country right now. As I awoke this morning to news of violence in my very own city, (Charlotte) I struggled with so many emotions but mainly anger, frustration and sadness.

I'm angry because I don't understand why we continue to allow violence towards people of color by government-appointed officials to keep happening. I'm angry because I don't understand HOW this is still happening. I'm angry because every time I think we are taking a step forward it appears we take two steps back as more and more cities become media targets because of gun violence towards people of color. I'm also angry because the actions of some police officers have bred a rampant distrust of authority and government institution.

I'm frustrated because as a white female I feel powerless to do anything. What can I do? How can I help? How can I affect any real change? I'm generally a very non-confrontational person so how can I use my ethnicity to bring about real change and healing or is that even possible? I definitely agree that there is a disproportionate amount of violence and brutality aimed at people of color and that our justice system has failed so many people so often but I'm frustrated because I do not know how to help.

I'm sad because lives are being ended unnecessarily. Lives are ending. Human beings are ceasing to exist. Families are left without fathers or brothers or sons and there doesn't seem to be an end. I'm sad because people believe that violence is the answer to having your problems heard. I'm sad that people think it's okay to murder police offers in retaliation. As someone who is deeply affected by the emotions of others, I can understand the utter hopelessness and sadness that people are feeling.

This morning a new feeling washed over me as I began to "remove my head from the sand" about racial violence in America and actually think about it and process it. As the emotions of anger, frustration and sadness washed over me I was overwhelmed with a command and an immediate answer.


Pray for the victims' families. Pray for justice. Pray for healing. Pray for peace. Pray for reconciliation and harmony. Pray that the police will have mercy and grace and use supernatural wisdom in dealing with calls. Pray that the unity that comes only from the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ will wash over our country. Pray that the love of God bathes our country from coast to coast. When I can do nothing else, I will pray.

It's time we remove our heads from the sand and acknowledge that there is a real problem with racial violence in our country. We should listen, share and most importantly, pray.

Signed - someone recovering from Ostrich Syndrome.


  1. It's hard to feel helpless.

    I think what we can do - what you have done here - is add our voices to the cause. We are not okay with it and we don't have to remain quiet about it.

  2. Like Steph says, just raising your voice is a step in the right direction. Letting those that are subject to racism know that you acknowledge them and support them is a step in the right direction. This post is a step in the right direction.


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