I also discovered how taking a step or two out of my comfort zone can generate courage, and I witnessed an amazing step toward peace and reconciliation. It was quite a week after last week's violence combined with my historical photo research.
Often when there was a protest, there were protesters protesting the protest.
Never once did I see the two sides come together as I did last week at Spokane, Washington's #BlackLivesMatter rally. But that's what's happening in this photo.
Before the end of the rally, those who came to say #BlackLivesMatter, walked to police headquarters and gathered at the memorial for fallen police officers. With a moment of silence and a prayer they demonstrated #BlueLivesMatter, too.
I came away empowered, empowered not to be silent in the face of trouble, but also, not to be strident and not to be judgmental.
Opportunity immediately presented itself!
Empowered not to be silent in the face of trouble, but also, not to be strident and not to be judgmental.
But at the rally, I had joined the chant silence is consent to the status quo. And I found myself braver than I ever knew I could be.
When the German torpedo slammed against the passenger ferry, the SS Caribou, in the early morning darkness of October 14, 1942, Margaret and Nurse Agnes Wilke were asleep in their bunks.
Margaret and Agnes made it to the deck, but their life boat was gone.
The ship, crossing Cabot Strait off the coast of Newfoundland, sank in just five minutes, taking the women into the water.
It would be nearly two hours before rescuers arrived, and before then Agnes' strength collapsed. With one arm Margaret clung tight for her survival, and with the other she held onto her friend.
"I held her as long as I could," Margaret says. "I failed. I couldn't hold her any longer." Agnes slipped into the cold depths, one of 137 passengers and crew to die that night.
For her selfless act, Margaret Brooke was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, and the Royal Canadian Navy has named an offshore patrol boat after her.
Okay, I'm not saying I'm a hero like Margaret Brooke, far from it. What I'm saying is that whether it's a large step or a small one, when we venture from our comfort zone, we risk failure.
And often there's a lot of failure before big change is achieved. But no matter how small, every successful step toward dialogue moves us closer to peace. Small steps also give us hope and strengthen us to take big ones.