Lighting a candle

July 9, 2016 Musings 6

 

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I usually avoid politics and controversy here. The Bookwyrm’s Hoard is about books; many of us enjoy reading as an escape from reality. But reality keeps crashing in on us, a seemingly endless tide of violence and hatred. Paris. Miami. Istanbul. Baghdad. Dhaka. Dallas. And the scores of places in my own country where lives have been taken by those whose job is to protect.

The news this week has been heartbreaking. When will the violence stop? The use of deadly force both by and against police is deplorable, as is the racism that has fueled it. I came of age in the late ’70s and early ’80s; this is so very far from where I believed we would be by now. And there seems little that I or any of us can do to make a difference. And yet we must find ways to reach out in love, in support, in solidarity, in peace.

 

 

I don’t yet know what or how I, personally, can do that—can stand up for and speak out for justice, acceptance, equality, peace, and above all love, in ways that matter and aren’t just pretty words. But I can start by never letting a racist or religiously-intolerant joke or comment pass without challenging it… by working on my own unconscious assumptions… by supporting institutions and organizations which promote peace, justice, and understanding both in my country and abroad. And by striving to keep the light of love alive.

 

 

6 Responses to “Lighting a candle”

  1. Berls

    I couldn’t agree more! What a rough week, coming in the heels of quite a couple years huh? I think the only positive is that people are starting to be forced to take a good hard look at our situation and our own mentality and start thinking on a personal level what we can do to repair things. Because it’s going to take everyone doing just that to really, truly, heal our situation. So sobering 🙁
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | Terrible isn’t strong enoughMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Yes, I think you’re right. There’s a lot of work to do on an institutional and social level. But there’s also work for all of us to do on a personal level, and especially for those who, like me, come from a position of white privilege. Because it’s not just open racism and religious intolerance that are a problem, though of course they are. It’s also our unconscious assumptions and beliefs, the things we don’t even realize we carry. I’m trying to become more aware of mine, and to dismantle and/or counter anything I may find that doesn’t live up to my conscious belief in the equality and worth of all people. And I’ll be trying, too, to see what I can do outwardly in my own little corner of the world.

  2. Rita @ View From My Books

    Just found this comment, which took the words right out of my mouth. Sorry, but I’m going to be long here….

    I also try to avoid controversy on my blog, but wow, sometimes we need to stand up and say something! What the heck is going on? When did we start sliding backwards? I was a small child in the ’60s so I didn’t go on protest marches, peaceful or otherwise, but there was plenty of tv news stories of riots, marches that became violent, unthinkable acts against anyone different: shade of skin, religious preference, sexual orientation, country of birth… I could go on. When I was a child, do you know that marriage between two loving people of different skin color was illegal, you could go to jail– say what?! Okay, enough of being a bummer, but I hope and pray that my children & grandchildren and their peers, will end all this somehow. Or at least reduce it greatly, to be realistic. Why do we need classifications, reducing people to cubbyholes, emphasizing how we seem different and not alike? Why do politicians have to be so divisive, nasty, bickering, demeaning?

    I have a child that was special needs in school. I also worked in Sp.Ed. in schools when I was younger. Those kids were “different”. And I loved them almost as much as my own. It opened my eyes to the subtle prejudices that we all have, even against people who are overweight, or can’t move or speak in a “natural” way, or are considered unattractive in a society that puts beauty on a pedestal.

    Thanks Lark, for pointing this out. Ever since Christina Grimmie was gunned down when she opened her arms to a mentally ill person who had access to many guns, I feel I need to spread little bits of kindness where I can. Hold a door, compliment a stranger on line for Starbucks, let a car merge into traffic, give a dollar to the homeless person in a parking lot, smile at people who pass me by, donate to causes with whatever amount I can spare, etc. That is how I try to hold a virtual candle and spread some light. Thank you for the opportunity to speak here.
    Rita @ View From My Books recently posted…Faithful ReviewMy Profile

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