The events of this week have washed over the world like a tsunami, altering the course of history forever. The veil of cooperation and civility has been cast aside to reveal to us here, in this country, what others around the world have been saying for some time: That we are an aggressive people who are more interested in personal gain than the common good. These are our dirty little secrets, and like all secrets, those closest are often the last to admit to them. To everyone else they are glaringly evident. Once the veil has been pulled aside there is no turning back. Everything is laid bare.
This is true for individuals as well as nations. The realization that I have little control over any of this has pulled me off my center; that peaceful, loving place where I try desperately to live. Try as I might, I could not muster up feelings of congeniality, or openness, or even faith that all will be well. I was agitated, angry….scared. I could have easily fallen into the pit of hopelessness and despair.
It appears, I too, was hiding behind a veil of deception….
What was my center?
What really are my fundamental values, the code, that I strive to live by?
It is, and always has been, to provide the conditions that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, ability, size, or economic status are welcomed and treated equally so that they may live full and productive lives. The piece that was revealed to me this week which I had kept hidden is this:
I am an emissary of peace and justice. Please do not mistake my compassion for a doormat.
If I am to stand in my center and live the truth that lives in my heart, then I must include my willingness to stand firm in what I believe. I do not advocate violence nor will I engage in it in any way, but I will not bow down to another authority that utilizes intimidation and aggression to control others.
As Henry David Thoreau wrote,”If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out….but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
In solidarity for my brothers and sisters who feel unsafe in these uncertain times: I wear a safety pin to let you know that you are safe with me, that I have your back. And with Love as my guide I vow to do what I can to advocate for you with those who try to subjugate you or do you harm.
These are dark times. May we all be a light for those who are afraid…..