If we truly believe in humanity, in the possibility of the evolution of the human spirit, this must be a time of expanding our reach in a way that ensures everyone's most basic needs are met, their birthright to dream and become, supported and nurtured.

This is a time of reckoning for humankind; a chapter of reimagining and redefining what matters most to us, and it must be finding value and purpose in the honoring of another's journey.

We can no longer forge connections with those who agree with us, those who allow us to remain comfortable and unfazed by all that is unfolding beyond our safe surroundings.

If one of us is unsafe, we are all ultimately at risk. If one of us is suffering, we are all impacted by the pain and anger burrowed beneath the surface of his, her or their everyday.

We cannot remain quiet or complacent; we cannot wait for someone else to speak up. We must find our voices now, creating a harmonious chorus that seeks to write a new song inclusive of all vocalists, embracing the diversity of experiences and outlooks to further the opportunities and potential for all.

We must recognize and honor the uniqueness of each contribution, not needed or wanting it to mimic ours but instead valuing the unknown and committed to learning beyond our familiar spaces.

What if we were to stop, to simply pause, and find someone to stand beside by choice? What if we were to believe in that other person's purpose and promise, listening for the words unspoken, the songs unsung?

What if we actually believed that we are part of something much larger, far more significant than ourselves while owning the power of our individual contribution to the greater good?

What if we leaned into the moments, even the hard... especially the difficult ones, and sought to see more than the obvious?

What if we persisted and eventually found the light that exists in others, rather than multiplying their darkness? What if we believed in humanity without ceasing. . . I do.

Roseyn Hood is the Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer at the EVSC school district in Evansville, Indiana. 

Editor's note: This reflection was submitted in response to the Othering & Belonging Institute's call to uplift important stories we want to be remembered about the Covid-19 era as part of our #PandemicTruths campaign. The ideas expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the Othering & Belonging Institute or UC Berkeley, but belong to the author.