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Love Your Neighbor
June 2, 2020

I write, not because I have an answer or an expert opinion. Oh! that I did. I write because for me, at this point, silence is wrong. I write from a place of deep sadness and embarrassment for my country. We are all horrified by the images of the murder of George Floyd, but will we use this energy as an agency for change? I hope so, but we’ve been here before and our track record stinks. The sentence I’m hearing that rings truest to me right now is simple: “Enough.”

My dad, Kenny Arnold, was the minister at Mt. Pleasant Christian Church. Like most teenagers, my dad did and said many things that embarrassed me. But there were also many things he did that made me proud. I’d like to share one of the latter, but I cannot find anything to fact check this memory, so please consider it as just that. A memory.

I was in high school, so it was in the first half of the 1970’s and my dad was involved in a campaign titled Love Your Neighbor, an initiative designed to mix black and white communities. The logo was a white hand shaking a black hand and I remember the image well. I don’t know if this was an Indianapolis initiative and the churches were a part of a larger campaign or if this was strictly among churches. My dad invited me to tag along when he attended Saturday morning breakfast at an inner city church pastored by Dr. Ruben Fields, an impressive man in stature, voice, and kindness. We ate together and prayed together, my dad and me the only two white people in the packed Fellowship Hall; we were welcomed like family. I met a classy lady named Geri who invited me to visit her office at L.S. Ayres downtown HR department where she helped me get my first real job.

The two ministers, may they rest in peace, worked together on a prison ministry at Pendleton State Reformatory. My dad took me as a guest to his inmate Bible Study once. There was a least one Sunday when my dad and Dr. Fields swapped pulpits and a Sunday when we had the women’s prison choir sing for us. I loved it all. For once, I thought my dad was cool. If there is one thing I learned from observing my dad, it was that all humans are loved equally by God. I thank him for that.

I didn’t know back then that I was privileged.  I thought people who lived in big, fancy houses and had two cars and traveled to cool places were. It never dawned on me that privileged might be just living in a home with both parents and having a dad who demonstrated love to mankind.

So how can I help? How can I Love My Neighbor?

For now, all I know to do is vote and get the word out that you can easily register to vote online (https://indianavoters.in.gov). I will be diligent in seeking candidates at the local and state level who will work to erase the connection between property taxes and school funding. It’s a start.

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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