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Monday, May 17, 2010
Arcing towards Justice
Buddhism tells us that life is inherently painful. Not all of life is suffering, but life is inherently full of attachments and conditions that cause us to suffer. Really, I try to be optimistic about life and the world, and the change and progress I believe we're capable of, but it seems as if the news cycle is against me.

My home will probably not recover in my lifetime.

Nashville's gonna take a while to clean up.

Arizona's f***ed (see both Papers, Please legislation as well as the banning of ethnic studies).

Liebermann's introduced legislation that would strip people of their citizenship based on who they associate with.

And while we're fighting for LGBT rights, it doesn't seem as if we're gaining any ground does it?

Add that to the fact that I had three students tell me that certain people in Africa were primitive (no wonder we ignore any and all problems in Africa....we've othered them to the point of no return) in papers for class and the fact that I'm inputting cases for the ACLU where police are incredibly trigger happy with their tasers (including against 18yr old kids).

The sense of utter hopelessness is a bit overwhelming.

More than anything, I want my life to mean something (after all, we're all looking for our purpose in life, aren't we?). I also feel like I've been given things (an education, the ability to think and argue, an artistic voice that allows me to cross boundaries, mentors in a tradition of artists who use that power to create positive change in the world) that make my voice powerful, if I can just figure out how to use it. If I can just make sure it doesn't get squashed by hopelessness, hatred, or doubt.

I've recently been reminded of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery....or should I say marches. It took those marches three tries to get to Montgomery, and Bloody Sunday had to happen first. And when they finally got to Montgomery, Martin Luther King Jr. gave the "Arc of the Moral Universe" speech.

I must confess, my friends, the road ahead will not always be smooth. ... Our dreams will sometimes be shattered, and our ethereal hopes blasted...When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.

We're gonna build a better world. And when I doubt that, when my resolve fails, let me remember Selma. Because it took them three tries, but they made it.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:47 PM ¤ Permalink ¤