This weekend’s events – or reflection, really, on past events got me thinking. As I would hope, it did many people. I cannot imagine (thank God) what it would have been like to be in Selma, or Montgomery or anywhere in between. OR for that matter, to be anywhere at all knowing what was happening. And I can’t help but wonder, what would I have done? Would I have had the courage to march? The audacity to speak out? Or would I have sat quietly, done my best to ignore the atrocity and the rotting sense of all that’s fair and right in my gut. Sadly, I’m just not sure …
So what is it that gives someone enough gumption to stand up for what they believe in even in the face of monsters? Are people born that way?
May 5, 1981 Bobby Sands passed away after a month long hunger strike in Northern Ireland. Today was his birthday. He was only 27 years old when he died. I don’t know a whole lot about the IRA nor the conflict that exists between the Catholics and the Protestants and the underlying reasons behind their war, but I do know a thing about passion and I can honestly say that be it a 1965 Civil Rights activist in Alabama or a young man Irish man imprisoned for thinking differently than the majority, to hate someone because they the conviction to stand up for what they believe in … well, that just isn’t OK. In any country. In any time.
What makes a human being hate another human being? The shade of their skin? Their choice in religion? Their political views? OR is it simpler than that – could it possibly be because humans, while we have a deep propensity to love, we also harbor an enormous predisposition to hate. And the means in which some people choose to hate is nothing more than vileness.
Yes, I know … this trip down the serious road is a bit off kilter for me – no sarcasm, no lightheartedness. But there’re some things in life where the insertion of sarcasm just isn’t acceptable. And when it comes to the pursuit of justice or standing true to one’s convictions, well, there is no room for flippancy.