Some people like to talk about fearlessness – having no fear – but is that really possible? Courage is feeling fear but doing something anyway.
I read these words Sunday morning, in a Facebook post from Sara Jewell, quoting Morgan Harper Nichols, and passed on by Natalie Moyes.
It really hit home for me. Now. And I should probably warn you that this post is born of my speaking, despite the fear I feel. Despite the tears flowing down my cheeks. You know why… I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world.
It’s been a hard week for this Grammy.
The irony of the news from Atlanta. The motorcade nearly stopping traffic during Thursday’s rush hour. Huge chucks of interstate roads not open to regular folks. The paradoxical arial shot of all those SUV’s rolling past the stadium at Dr. King’s alma mater, Morehouse College.
I can’t help but wonder at the timing. If you’re from around here – and even if you’re not – you probably know that this weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.
I was 5 years old, 60 years ago, back in the days before all our contemporary ways of accessing news, and I have no memory of these events. Possibly because – in addition to our limited tech options – this would have been one of those things WE didn’t talk about.
(In case you’re curious, money, sex, power, and politics were the other things on that list in my family!)
Monday is the actual 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, I Have a Dream. Members of the King family are expected to join “tens of thousands” in the commemorative march on Monday. One of those members is likely to be Dr. King’s only granddaughter.
A 15 year old, Yolanda Renee King appeared on an MSNBC segment, Saturday, with her parents. I think it was her mother who said that, during her daughter’s lifetime, she has lost rights, rather than gaining them.
And she has. In America. On our watch.
This Saturday also marked Women’s Equality Day, and yes, I signed my name to some petitions. (You could, too!) It’s an election year in the USA and we must speak out for ratifying the ERA. Now! (Okay, I must…)
Then there was the shooting in Jacksonville, FL last night. Three black people killed by a white man with swastikas painted on the rifle he used. And a very young black man – Rep. Maxwell Frost (D, FL) – saying that, in this time, the most likely cause of death for children under the age of 18, in America, is a bullet.
The short version of what I’m feeling in this moment is:
This shit’s gotta stop!
The longer version is the hope that if we all summon our courage, even in the midst of our fear, to speak and act in love, we can make a difference. Maybe not huge, global differences in any given moment, but lots and lots of local differences which will add up to hope.
I’m starting by signing my whole name to this post…
The Rev Dr Susan L Boardman, Gnostic Judeo-Christian Mystic Medicine Woman, walking the Way of Love (aka: The Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother, For Rent!)
ps… one of the things I’ve learned lately is that the kinds of limiting beliefs which hold us back and keep us afraid often start with the emphatic WE… (Stay tuned!)
pps… the needs-to-be-finished-soon painting at the top is love and hope and courage, even in the midst of those who do not yet see the way. So be it, for each of us…
ppps… there’s still time to stock up on art-leggings with a special offer. Daphne, who’s in charge of wearable art, says: Just go fill your basket at https://fierceartwithheart.com/collections/wearable-art and enter the magic code, BUY 2 – SAVE $8 (Choose from 5 different size ranges!!!)