Thursday, May 7, 2020

When is it Safe to Run?

When I was younger, my dad used to go out jogging every morning at 5 or 6 am before work. I never really understood it until I got older, but my mom always pleaded that he jog at a different time - “When there’s light out,” she’d say, or “When it safer to.” ⁣

I’m not an early bird and never was, so at that age, I assumed 5 am was a dangerous time for anyone who was out there running. As I got older, my dad kept jogging and I started to understand the real reason behind my mom’s pleas. ⁣

I can’t pretend to tell any of you how many times my father has gotten stopped while out for a run in our neighborhood. But, I can tell you it’s enough times for me to vividly remember the fear in my mom’s eyes. The anger in my dad’s. The collective sadness in both. ⁣

I’m much older now and not much has changed. My dad can’t go out for jogs anymore, but if he could, would I now be the one begging him to reconsider? I can’t imagine a life in which my father is not there. Truly. And my heart breaks for those who have to live with the reality a loved one gone... simply because he wanted to go on a jog, or walk home with skittles, or ask for help, or just live. ⁣

I recognize my immense privileges and implore those of you who read this to take a minute to do the same. It is my responsibility to remind those of you with the privilege of being able to simply live to stand up and use your voice for those whose voices cannot be heard. ⁣

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