This year, instead of just putting on a costume, try putting on an emotion.
Halloween is coming up pretty soon, and while I’m not crazy about all that the holiday stands for, I do get all the interest in dressing up and throwing down some candy. In fact, the masquerade party, as a social event, has been around forever. It seems people have always loved the idea behind costumes—the dawning of attire that allows them to play the role of another person.
This Halloween, while you’re stepping into the shoes of someone else—putting on their exterior—I have a challenge for you. Try putting on their interior. In fact, step into the interior of someone you know of, someone who is not in your in-group—a person that doesn’t quite fit into your tight circle of friends. Try to project how they feel as they watch from a distance as they are not being included in your circle of friends.
What do they feel? Excluded? Isolated? Unwelcomed? Less than? Rejected? Not cool enough? Not good-looking enough? Lonely? Desperate?
If we are ever going to heal our racial divide, I believe it will take all Americans doing seemingly insignificant things like taking other people—those not in our in-groups—into consideration. And then when they come face to face with some realizations and feelings they weren’t expecting, they learn from it and then do something about it.
That is what I’m asking of you, that you do something about it.
Let’s make this the best Halloween ever, one where we had some fun, but where we learned and grew a little too. And in the process, made the world just a little bit better.