I didn’t watch the last presidential debate…

Partly because I already voted, partly because I was on vacation, and partly because I didn’t feel like I would learn anything knew based on how the previous debate went.

This coming Tuesday is a big day that holds a lot of weight for Americans and the world. But, I’ve been reminded lately that it’s only one factor in the change that needs to come. My pastor said something along these lines a few weeks ago during online church and it really hit me: “The leaders who will make the biggest difference in your life are the one’s in your home.” It reminded me of my conversation with Cyril from Episode 32 of the show – we recorded it right before the pandemic hit us. We talked about mass incarceration and the epidemic that that is. We talked about the racial discrepancies in prisons, the cyclical problem of fatherlessness that it causes, and problems within our government that lead to this issue.

But Cyril also taught me that we can’t blame everything on our authority or expect them to come up with legislation that solves all our problems. We have to do the same work in our own homes.

I think one really good example of this is racism. Racial injustice isn’t a political issue. Or, it isn’t merely a political issue. It’s a heart and home issue. It’s an issue of humanity. It’s a biblical issue. One of the best ways to fight racism is to teach our kids + our families about it – how to recognize it and how we can stand up to it when we do see it.

And it’s not just talk – it’s action, too. We can buy books and toys for our kids that represent racial diversity. We can watch movies and documentaries that teach us about other cultures. We can read books about racial history and books by authors of different colors. We can subscribe to podcasts with Black hosts. We can listen to Black music and take our families to church where there are Black people on stage. We can intentionally diversify our friendships and invite people of all colors over to dinner at our house. We can intentionally diversify our communities and prioritize putting our kids in schools where they will be exposed to people who are different than them. And, when an unarmed Black man is killed at the hands of police, or an innocent Black boy is shot because he was working out in the wrong neighborhood, or a Black woman is accidentally murdered and her murderers don’t get in trouble for it, we can take to the streets with our families and participate in peaceful protests. Or, perhaps even more importantly, we can get on our knees and pray out loud with our families for God’s mercy and justice to prevail.

So, as we anticipate the outcomes of the upcoming elections, let’s all remember that the buck doesn’t stop there. We have plenty of work to do right where we’re at. We’re leaders with influence, too.