I met Christina Baldwin in the late 1990s. It was some leadership work that my boss at the time, Margaret Wheatley, was beginning to form with Christina. Christina had the circle part of it. And a bunch more.
Well became good colleagues and friends over the years. Christina influenced me much then, and has continued to do so over the 20+ years since. Influencing ways of thinking, ways of seeing. Influencing patience. Influencing kindness. Offering wisdom when others couldn’t.
I was moved recently by a blogpost from Christina — What Shall I do With My Old White Skin? As I have known her to do over these years, she inserts her story and context into an invitation to be in very significant learning. She poses a question to help frame an important journey. She offers a direction rather than a solution when that is what is called for. She remains honest, and articulate, about where she is on the path.
Enjoy the read. I did. And the taking stock of how we journey into these evolutions of the times.
3 Replies to “What Shall I Do — Christina Baldwin”
Indeed. And amen. I notice that it feels in my body like I “don’t have the energy” for that level of commitment. It feel all-consuming. And then I breathe again and notice that it doesn’t need to be *that.* I can still stay engaged in the work I am doing and also do the work of empowering (and supporting the empowerment of) the most powerless. That involves choices I make everyday.
My reply to Christina:
Thank you for this Christina. In our upcoming book Amy Howton (A White woman from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River) writes, “One of the hardest things as a White woman to come to terms with is that we have been purveyors of half truths and willful not seeing.
I would start by looking at the question you asked: “How can seven generations of guilt intersect with seven generations of trauma in healing ways?” I would suggest that it isn’t guilt vs trauma, first because White people seven generations back didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. I think the real question is: How can seven generations of trauma intersect with seven generations of trauma in healing ways? One of the biggest lies around slavery is that White people weren’t enslaved too. To enslave another you have to be enslaved yourself. We are all swimming in the water of what is White, real, and true is White and male. But this equation often leaves God and nature out. This is the water we are all swimming in and we us this to decided everything. But if you aren’t using this yardstick it changes everything even what we view as privileged, it’s not privileged to be disconnected from your heart. We need to start by letting go of the hard truths. White men were the most wounded by colonialism and patriarchy because when you create the yardstick you can believe that you aren’t wounded too.
There is much here, in your response, those of others who have commented, and of course, in our friend’s earnest, thoughtful, deep dive into the muddy waters of white privilege, white supremacy, patriarchy.
And from the muddy waters grows the lotus blossom…not wishful thinking, nor distraction, nor “white washing,” but a truth of nature. It’s all true…and I, too, am walking on the path.