Sunday, August 28, 2011
Courage … Courage.
What else would be an appropriate memorial?
Where are our leaders? Who will speak to the angels of our better natures? Who will demand that we do what is right, what is necessary?
Martin Luther King jr. was a human being of great courage. He had to know the danger he faced and yet he held to what was right. He stood for what he believed in. How many sleepless nights did he face? How many times did his heart race with fear? Even now there are those who diminish the accomplishments of his life … who would turn his life into a myth rather than the disciplined commitment of flesh and bones.
We require leaders who will not simply exploit the lowest desires of the people. We require leaders who do not pander for the sake of holding to a position. We require leaders who do lead because they wish for power but because they are committed to some deep sense of what is for the good of the people … what will move us to a better world?
I am continually impressed by the rush to proclaim a religious position by our politicians in order to establish a worthiness to lead and yet to often no deeper sense exudes from this position that relates to kindness and compassion.
Where are our leaders? Who leads? What will we as a people expect and demand of our leaders?
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Yesterday I went to the studio I’m using in Newark, but on my way there and back I got to see a very happy New York. For about two days now gay couples have become very visible and yesterday Penn station was filled with folks coming into town for the Gay Pride Parade. (I am not one for massive crowds so I decided to forego and just admire from a distance.)
It's fascinating to see so many gay couples on the streets -- male and female representing a such range of attractiveness and attire. What was touching were the number of older couples holding hands, particularly women, with gigantic smiles on their faces. You know they have been waiting years for this moment – all their lives for this moment.
One day we won't remember that there was a time before this - not really. It will be like the vote for women or black people. It seems so natural it's hard to remember there was an archaic time when society thought it natural to withhold these rights. This time of forgetting will be a good time.
These are the things that move us incrementally ever forward to a destination we can never reach. It must be an ethic which drives this movement, a conscious sentry on our hearts. We know quite well from the lessons of Hitler’s Germany, Rwanda, and Serbia … how easily thinking can betray us and allow us to believe in some conception of good which makes us blind to the suffering of others.
For the people, one ethic only, of hospitality – true politesse – if this guides and it is the criteria against which we measure our thinking and doing then we will move infinitely closer to that place we want.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Tonight I felt joy and relief at the news of Bin Laden’s death, grateful in fact that Obama, not Bush, is our President at this moment. We have all been made grateful for war and death. We are complicit in violence, in hate. There is no moving past this. Now what are the implications of this rejoicing which cannot be denied?