THE JOURNEY: ONE DAY AT A TIME
Yesterday's blog entry got plenty of view on other sites, so I want to say "Thank You" to Steve Gilliard, MyDD, The Political Junkie and DailyKos for publication. Inspired by your responses, while today's blog is not exactly a follow-up, it hopefully serves to maintain motivation.
Whenever I've read, or I'm in the process of reading good political books, I like to recommend them to others in your search for social justice. The book I'm currently reading is titled "The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear" which is a collection of essays illustrating that against insurmountable odds, you need encouragement and inspiration to keep you going in the bleakest of times. You can purchase this book as a BuzzFlash premium and make a donation in the process.
But what I want to point out is the fact that while you might have never been placed in jail for your beliefs for 27 years (Nelson Mandela), there is always, as pointed out by Howard Zinn in his essay, "The Optimism of Uncertainty". How can one be optimistic in a time of fear and uncertainty? Zinn correctly pointed out several factors which I take to heart and hope that they will peak your curiosity, if nothing else, to read, learn them and apply them:
(1) Don't let "those who have power" intimidate you. Sounds easier said than done, but what happens when those who are victimized by bullies get fed up and start to fight back? Usually, the bully gets exposed as the coward that he/she really is.
(2) Remember that those who seem invulnerable, are, in fact, quite vulnerable. Otherwise, why won't President Bush face a press conference unscripted and spontaneously? Because he fears being forced into a corner where he's forced to face up to being vulnerable. Bush's power depends on the obedience of others (like most bullies) and when those others begin withholding that obedience, begin defying authority, that power at the top turns out to be very fragile. You might want to get a copy of "Bush on The Couch" by Dr. Justin Frank; his analysis of Bush is frightening, for lack of a better word.
This explains the lock down on the White House, and the complicity of the "liberal" media when they knowingly turn their backs on a scandal like Guckert/Gannongate.
(3) You need to be patient and persistent. We may not win every battle, but even small victories should be celebrated, because when you accumulate small victories, they add up and set the table for a huge victory.
(4) The struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money, and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. Think about it: when Hitler seemed to have taken over everything, suddenly he had to run and cower in a bunker waiting to die. Russia probably still marvels at how Khruchev was determined to keep up a wall that some 20 years later, Reagan demanded Gorbechev to "tear down". Zinn reminds us that this apparent power has again, and again, proven vulnerable to human qualities that cannot be bought: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience. Something that the Religious Right knows nothing about.
Ugh, I'm sorry, but individuals like James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, et al, have been eerily silent on the Gannon/Guckertgate scandal, while complaining about SpongeBob SquarePants and overall giving Christians a bad name...
(5) Minister Farrakhan said in the Saturday forum I attended "Power concedes nothing without a demand. However, it won't concede to a demand if the constituency does not have the 'testicular fortitude' to make the demand." In other words, you gotta have cajones (balls) to make your demand. You can insert your own potshot joke at the DLC here, cause we know the DLC has been cajones-less since 1994, as evidenced by a complete loss of all three branches of the Government.
Most of all, don't think because your name isn't Jesse, Al, Farrakhan, Boxer, Wellstone, Kucinich, Kennedy, Mike Dyson, Tavis Smiley, etc., that you can't do anything to make a difference, because you can.
Each time you post a response to a blog, you are making a difference.
Each time you bombard your elected representative with faxes, letters, emails, clog their voicemails; you are making a difference.
Each time you take a step to make change happen, you make a difference.
Each time you cry out against social injustice, verbally or by the written word, you make a difference.
We must remember that THE JOURNEY starts with that first step. When we apply the precepts of any 12-step program, or self-help program, we are always reminded that we didn't get where we are overnight, and that we are not going to correct the mess in a single day. It starts with that first step, one step at a time, one person at a time, one day at a time.
Most importantly, THE JOURNEY starts with you. Take that first step.