It is not even a competition. The hardest of the 4 agreements is Experience Discomfort. I mean, I’m willing to experience. Sometimes, I even seek it out. But it doesn’t sit well in my body. I squirm. I get tense. I get this strange nervous energy. My voice gets louder and takes on a tone. I want to talk, to persuade.

So maybe there is a competition. I have a hard time accepting non-closure (#4). I know sometimes the point of a conversation is to have the conversation, but those always drift for me. I’m better in class with books we can debate than just discuss. If we all share our stories and our points of view, and we all listen well, well, then, so what? Getting the time for these conversations is so rare. So is having everyone around the table. I know racism is never going to be solved. That’s not what I want. I just worry that we spend too much of our time congratulating ourselves for talking.

Consider what’s going on in North Dakota now with the Standing River reservation. I see all of these people lamenting that it’s not covered in the media more. And that’s legitimate, but maybe not urgent. What’s urgent is what’s happening on the ground right now. What can we do?