Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ruby Dee Prayer

I wake up this morning feeling like I am made of badly-cobbled spare parts. It is the kind of morning that metaphorically misses a step on the staircase and flails gracelessly to regain balance. The kind of morning when unremembered dreams have clung to the edges of consciousness just out of the grasp of recall.

it's as if I had swallowed gravel along with my morning cereal...as if emotions had lodged in my stomach, undigestable, a little gritty and sharp around the edges.

I try to reason it out. The first thing that comes to mind is that I was one of many who disappointed a new Native American friend by remaining silent when she commented on a recent injustice. Even though my subsequent apology is graciously accepted, my mind can't let it go. I keep thinking, "All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing." Or good women. Doing nothing, facing nothing, is the great sin, in my estimation, of the middle class. Figuring all of it is someone else's problem is a universal form of denial. To watch the news, to read the newspaper is to drown in bad news. It's overwhelming.

So what do we do? We good men and women who are disturbed and saddened by injustice, racism, pollution, war? What do we do when we realize that just meditating on all of it, just holding positive thoughts is not enough. What do we do when we see, at the same time, angry measures create stronger polarities that drown the voice of reason and erase all hope of cooperation?

In a time of escalating tumult and chaos, from the economic to the environmental to political - what is the responsibility of "good" men and women? It's our world. And the scary thought occurs to me that if we don't participate in change, we deserve the lack of change we get.

So, when an opportunity arises to speak or act - next time I'll stand and be counted.

And I'll accept the gravelly discomfort of this morning with gratitude. It's an answer to the Ruby Dee prayer: "God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear."

4 comments:

BeadsForever said...

So well written and totally gets the message across. Thanks!

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carol said...

I didn't comment on FB. Somehow, reading your blog is like seeing into
your soul. It feels like being invited to a private place. I don't know
what issue you didn't support your friend on. But, as you know, each
mistake we realize and vow not to make again makes us a stronger
person. Sometimes when you have been beat down, its hard to stand up
for yourself and others. Sometimes you're like me. Outspoken, full of
liberal values, defender of civil rights and animals. Never let happen
to them what happened to me. Do I do enough? No. Who is to say its
enough anyway.

Don't beat yourself up. Our past closes little doors and sometimes its
hard to pry them open.

LJ said...

Thanks Linda..and Carol..
She posted comments on the Iroquois Lacrosse team's passports not being recognized. I know very well how little recognition, respect & dignity has every been accorded to First Peoples and I should have spoken. However, it was a lesson learned.
Strangely...you're right about the blog being private thoughts. I try to stay pretty breezy on FB & there might well be darker or deeper thoughts here. Still I choose to share my thoughts...so comment are always welcome.