Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, July 19, 2013

5-15-13 RMB Courageous

5-15-13 RMB Courageous 

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

I started reading High Hearts. Once again I looked forward to the words preceding page one. These words were more somber than in previous books, beginning with sincere gratitude to individuals and institutions alike, moving into the sad news of your beloved cat, Baby Jesus, and your mother’s passing. You have my condolences - - all these years later, although I am of a mind that believes they are still with you and always will be.

The Forward was educational and thought provoking, so much so that I read it to the boys. I have spent many a conversation with them showing them their connection to the universe, to each other and to nature. This was the first in depth conversation that I have had with them about their connection to our government, local, city, state and national. Your voice echoes. Your words travel from generation to generation.

About Civil War monuments you note “Yet nowhere in my hometown is there mention of the sacrifice of women and blacks. Some paid with their lives, all paid with their worldly goods, many paid with their health, and no one, no one was ever the same again. Until such time as we correct this oversight, let this book stand as their monument.” Words worth repeating.

Regarding your research of certain lives lived in the Civil War period you state, “The courage of these individuals is breathtaking. Sometimes, in my darker moments, I wonder if we have it today.”

Reverend Millie once posed a question to our class, “If Jesus were alive today facing the persecution he faced then, how many of us would stand with him? How many would face death with him?”

Extend this notion to any individual, any cause. I venture to say, it is more than a lack of courage, it is a lack of certainty, certainty of what is right, what is worthy, certainty of our own judgment and our own potential. At what point does suspicion or curiosity become absolute involvement?

How many Germans watched their Jewish friends persecuted? How many settlers assaulted the Native American’s land and people? How many women accepted being second class citizens? How many hide their love so as not to offend the masses? There are too many examples to site of times when it took too long for someone to say “Enough.”

I learned that if I watch for opportunities to lend a hand, they appear, gifts from the universe, or God, or simply my own will fulfilled. They appear.

Can we learn to watch for opportunities to be courageous, to find certainty in the greater good of any moment, to be vocal before our voice is lost in the chaos…before the bloodshed?



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