Becoming a Better Human.

I wrote last week about all the listening I’d been doing, conversations I’d been having, and other work about truly being anti-racist. I made plans to read books. I made plans to host discussions at church. I donated money. I followed along when Bookstagram revolted against Book of the Month. and when Bon Appetit’s Editor in Chief stepped down and a crew of the folks I love from their Test Kitchen shared about the terribly toxic and racially biased environment. I read more. I listened to Lisa Sharon Harper on Pantsuit Politics’ podcast. I sat with things. and finally, on Thursday, I listened to Austin Channing Brown and Brené Brown in conversation on Brene’s Unlocking Us podcast. I also watched their Instagram Live. Austin talked about how All of This was just about becoming a better human for other humans. I needed help to even figure out where to get started and those conversations were what I needed.

This graphic, another from Holistically Grace (I shared a piece from her in my April OLW update – here.), was inspired by Austin’s words.

And this morning, I saw this, from Oh Happy Dani

GOALS, y’all! with Actions I can take in MY sphere of influence today.

I’m beginning with books (ongoing learning and growth), Instagram (diversifying my media, especially around books and even adding some culture – after last year, my feed was pretty much centered on making/knitting/sewing), our July and August series at church (addresses all of those actions), and my shopping (especially books, yarn, and fabric).

I made a summer reading list on Goodreads.

On Goodreads here


This year I started following a few Bookstagram accounts and many of the new accounts I added to my feed are Bookstagrammers. Three of the books on this list are from those accounts:

Traci from The Stacks (also a podcast) has chosen Savage Appetites for June.

Shelbey from Shelbeyandthebooklub has chosen Deacon King Kong for July.

Sara from Fiction Matters (co-host of Novel Pairings podcast) has been raving about Passing.

The other books on the list should be obvious choices. Where I can, I’m going to try to read BIPOC authors to fill the remaining squares on my two bingo cards (did I tell y’all a started a second card?) I still have 30 squares to go. good thing I’m not going anywhere this summer. I have a lot of time to read!

I wish I were better about Instagram (as in sharing things) … I have seen so much good stuff there. I am going to try to be more present there. This blog is still my comfortable place. Thank you for being here with me!


13 thoughts on “Becoming a Better Human.

  1. We all need to find the place where we can step in and step up. Looks like you are making a good start and I am grateful for hearing your story.

  2. Thank you for sharing all of this. I think so many of us are feeling a bit paralyzed by wanting to do something but not knowing what to do, so it’s helpful to have tangible action items.

  3. You’re an inspiration, Mary! I like the idea of your sharing your actions and outcomes here on your blog. There is a lot of good stuff on Instagram, but . . . everyone is sharing the same things right now. I think sharing your personal spin creates a bigger impact. Thank you.

  4. I had a very uncomfortable conversation with a family member this weekend when they said “I’m not a racist, but …” I wasn’t sure what to say because in my mind their views were quite racist, but I spoke up, chose my words carefully, asked about their feelings, shared mine, recommended a few books, and said that we’re all learning. It went better than expected, so it’s a start.

  5. Thank you for the book links! I have added a few to my reading list.

    I just can’t IG these days. (and mainly for Kym’s statement… so much repetition) But I love the reminder that making a difference where you are is perfect.

  6. Mary, you inspire me in so many ways. I believe in equality for everyone! Your blog reminds me to not take things for granted.

  7. Thank you for sharing your actions and the book recommendations. I recently read How To Be An Antiracist and it really opened my eyes to things I’d hadn’t given much thought to before, like systemic racism and intersectionality. Although I’m still learning, I was able to have a talk with a friend about a racist statement she made and it actually went well.

  8. Thank you for this. I especially like the first graphic. How to Be An Antiracist is the most important book I’ve read so far. It was a library copy, and now I’m hoping to get a copy to own. Our church has begun some discussions, and our Session (I’ve just signed on for my third term since 1998) adopted a resolution in support of several Black groups in Rochester. My next read is White Fragility which is already on my shelf. Our former head of staff read that as a board member of McCormick Seminary, and said that he and fellow white board members were “convicted.” He couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

  9. Mary – the graphics are so powerful and “fridge” worthy! Thank-you for bringing so much to our attention and helping with this journey. I’m traveling this week and White Fragility is my traveling companion.

  10. Thank you. The graphics are very powerful – a place to start a new journey. And I like the idea it is all about becoming a better human being and taking a risk to do so.

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