Taking a knee can send many messages

It seems to me that in the late history of this country there is a lot of power in taking a knee. From Tim Tebow in the end zone after scoring a touchdown; to countless men proposing to their soulmates with a wedding band in hand; to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem joined by many other NFL players soon after; and to today’s unfortunate death of George Floyd caused by an officer of the law kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck.

I wonder to myself what this simple action means and why does it keep coming up in front page news? This “taking a knee” has taken on a life of its own, as far as I can tell. As a young man myself, recently graduated from high school, this is very confusing. In my few years living on this earth, I have been taught many things about “taking a knee.” In the Boy Scouts I was taught in the event that you find yourself lost or in an ill-fitting situation, the very first thing you must do is take a knee or sit down. While this may seem like an odd action to do in the midst of emotion — maybe even counter-intuitive — it has its benefits. When you take a knee or sit down in place, it puts your body and mind at rest for a moment. This allows you to rationally think, plan and calm yourself in the heat of emotions and misgivings.

When acting on emotion, only you can find yourself in even more trouble than when you started. In addition to the teachings in the Boy Scouts, I learned this in the sports that I have participated in. When a player — regardless of which team he or she represents — becomes injured, all players take a knee. Not only is this done out of respect for the fallen player, but this allows all players, regardless of whether they were involved in the injury or not, to take a moment and find their humanity in the heat of a tense game.

Kneeling has its own character and life in today’s society. So what is this action becoming? How will it change our society for better or for worse? Are we, members of the human race, taking a knee to make a statement or to calm ourselves to find the rational thought behind all of this year’s misgivings?

I understand sending a message is an effective method of communication, but is that message clear? Or is it convoluted with emotions, fear and irrational thought?




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