One. Family. Together.

Why focusing on positivity and empathy for others will bring healing.

This month's issue of Tidewater Women is the first time we've chosen to feature a man on our cover. Putting George Floyd on the cover of a women's magazine may seem like a strange idea, but it's our way of being supportive of the people among us who feel disenfranchised—from Blacks to Latinos to anyone who has come up against obstacles in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, including women of all backgrounds. We at Tidewater Women honor their long struggle to reach equality and harmony in oftentimes difficult circumstances.

George Floyd was not a perfect person, nor is any one of us. But he has become a symbol of oppression against Blacks and, more broadly, all those who have been oppressed. His name and the movement he caused will forever be imprinted on our psyches. When I saw local artist Meryl Ann Butler's brilliant portrait of Mr. Floyd, I was moved by its intensity and emotion. It's as if he's speaking to us through his eyes, his expression, his aura.

What is he saying? I'm thinking if he were alive today, he would gently remind us to love one another, without regard to any differences separating us. We are human beings, and we share a planet with many races and cultures and religions. But with effort and intention, we can overcome the hate and ugliness that surround us by focusing on positivity and empathy for others.

These humble words can't solve all the problems in the world today, but my wish is that we remember to treat each other as we would like to be treated, to be kind and offer help to others when they need it, to never look away when someone is in need because there but for the grace of God, go we.

As our world begins to get back on its feet after this strange interlude we've been experiencing this spring, my hope is that we have learned many lessons from both the pandemic and George Floyd's tragic death. My hope is that we have learned what really matters. Family. Friends. Home. Faith. Love. Peace. Brotherhood. Sisterhood. Tolerance. Let these be our guiding words as we continue on our paths to a better world, one without hate and malice, violence and injustice.

I hope this month's cover of Tidewater Women causes you to pause and think. Not just about Mr. Floyd and the many others who have died as a result of violence, but about how we can be the seeds of change and strive to find ways to make opportunities equal for all. More than that, I hope we can recognize, respect, and love every single human on the planet, no matter the color of his or her skin, as our brothers and sisters. One. Family. Together.

Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com
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