Pull in all the air you can through your nose, zup. Hold it one, two, three. Release it through your mouth, cha. Slowly, one, two, three. Repeat it as often as you can. In the morning, at night, in the middle of the day, breathe to remind yourself you’re alive and deserve to be here. 

Many of you have endured lost loved ones near and dear. Restrictions from the people, places, and things you love. Brutal images of injustice, lawlessness, and apathy that range from infuriating to irritating. Yet also, personal gains and victories you’re ashamed to celebrate fully because of the times, but they are noteworthy. 

You are walking in a history you know but wonder how it will be told. At which iteration of these events will the whitewashing begin? Will it be the first, second, or thirtieth edition of the history books your children’s children’s children will read. Will there be anyone left to tell the truth?

Even more than when President Obama was elected, you’re standing in an America that truly has been altered. This is its most vulnerable self. This is the point right before day breaks. It’s the dawning of a new day. America is deciding who it will be. 

Understand you were chosen to be here for such a time as this. Stand knowing you are a part of history. Take in everything. Use all of your senses. Notice who is around and who is not. Who’s voice is booming and who is silent. All of those things matter. In this history that you’re a willing or unwilling participant in, ask yourself, how will I remember it, how will I live it, how will I tell it. 

I have faith in my God, I have faith in my people, and I have faith in changed hearts. Pull in all the air you can through your nose, zup. Hold it one, two, three. Release it through your mouth, cha. Slowly, one, two, three. Repeat. We have work to do.

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