One of the most charged subjects across the U.S. is deciding what children and young adults should be taught about Black history. Educators, historians, activists, politicians, and parents cannot agree on what’s appropriate to share with students on this topic.
Many on all sides of the issue are outraged. Some attack others for fear-mongering and selfish ambition. Others claim it unjust to saddle a child with the actions of their forefathers.
But politics aside, the strength of any structure relies on its overall integrity.
Whether it’s our American family, political family, or individual family, we must be able to tell ourselves the whole truth. Because when we don’t, lies become dark secrets that can cause mental, physical, and social disorders.
The truth distorted, creates confusion, and leaves the family walking on eggshells, or worse, navigating land mines that can discharge and destroy without warning.
Further, curating the truth sows the belief that we are too weak to handle the truth. This frailty makes us feel incapable and afraid of ourselves and run from the truth that lives inside. It feeds the surviving self’s fear of being unacceptable, unlovable, and unworthy. This is the kind of lie that The Little Book of Big Lies quashes.
We must learn to acknowledge and define our past hurtful choices as misguided ignorance. Understanding, accountability, reconciliation, and forgiveness can flow from our more informed and honest perspective. Hence, the saying, when we know better, we do better.
We must teach ourselves this inner truth: We are strong enough to face the truth and use it to rise to our greater-yet-to-be. This is how we thrive.
The truth constantly stimulates healing and connection. One lie always makes room for another, creating greater dis-ease and distance. Our job is to meet the moment authentically and honestly in ways that make us all better and stronger.
Spoken and acknowledged or not, the need to lie internalizes unworthiness. People who advocate lying to shield innocent children burden those children with a cloud of shame and unworthiness they can’t put their finger on.
Right now, our American family is being asked to hide the truth from our kids. It’s an ignorant, broken idea that doesn’t serve the strength of who we are and what we are capable of.
We are so much more than any lie that enters our lives. Let’s courageously embrace the truth. Let’s heal. Let’s do better and thrive.
Tina Lifford plays Aunt Vi on the critically acclaimed television show, Queen Sugar. The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness is her first book; released by Harper Collins, November 2019, and is full of the kind of internal “actions” that will transform your thinking and your life. You can also join her at a workout in her Inner Fitness Studio to practice strengthening your wellbeing and making it actionable in your day to day life. Don't miss the latest news from Tina Lifford and The Inner Fitness Project. Sign up our monthly newsletter here.