“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”- Edmond Burke
For today’s writing, as I consider the question of “Where Do We Start” I was inspired to use this familiar Edmond Burke quote. In reading it I’m sure that we can all agree in recognizing that the operative words that stand out in this inspirational quote are the final 2 words “…do nothing”! As those of us engaged in the process of healing the gaping would of racism that is so deeply embedded in American culture and society, the one thing that we cannot do is to “do nothing”. This healing process will take continuous active engagement as we join forces with the thousands of other people who are also committed to being a part of this positive change. The rank of healers include those people who were committed and have transitioned on, those people who’ve already been actively engaged for years, and also those of us who have just recently chosen to genuinely commit to the cause.
As with any movement and/or demand for change, often the tendency is to start out fired up and full of vigor, enthusiasm and optimism which are necessary and important traits to embody. This usually happens after some event occurs that stirs us to our very core and beckons us to somehow get involved, and we do! However, after a while, when the finite disappointments and frustrations set in, and in this case specifically, when the spotlight on the issue of racism in America starts to wane and go off the radar, it is not unusual for our resolute commitment to the cause to begin to wane as well. (Side note: with our 24 hour news cycle there is not much time before the next big story or breaking news trumps the last big story or breaking news and we are left wondering what happened to the issue that we believed was so important.)
Because of this very reason, being proactive in our engagement is the key to the sustained effort it will take for us to foster long term change and make a positive impact. This is why it is critical for us to find ourselves committed to “doing something” for the cause every day. Understand that the “something” doesn’t necessarily have to be anything big and major, as it is usually the small minor things done on a consistent basis that create lasting change. I believe that if in our times of daily quiet, meditation, prayer, stillness or simply pausing (i.e. taking a break for a while) if we ask ourselves the question of “What can I do today towards helping to heal the wound of racism in America”, we will receive inspiration to do something. And whatever arises within us to do, then let us find ourselves committed to doing it!
I was listening to the news today at one of the relatives of the people who was murdered in South Carolina and she shared how her and her siblings decided to create a Facebook page entitled “Hate Will Not Win” (Side note: YES, that’s something you can DO – visit the page ;-)!). In the about section of the page it states
“This page is devoted to people all over the world displaying acts of love breaking tension between racial, sexual, economical, and religious barriers.” A later post makes the following challenge to everyone who visits the page: Lately acts of racism, discrimination, and hate are the only images we see on social media and television. It makes you begin to believe that my country and fellow Americans are only capable of hate. I know we’re not. I know hate won’t win. To counter these hateful images and in honor of my loving grandfather, we challenge you to post your images of charity with the hashtag #HateWontWin. Find somebody that doesn’t look like you, who may be of a different religion, race, gender, or sexuality, And buy them their morning coffee, hug them, give your lunch- whatever your heart tells you to do- take a picture of it and hashtag hate won’t win.
I don’t know what you will be inspired “to do”; however, I only ask that you remember once again the words of Burke’s quote posted above. And in answering the “Where Do We Start” question for yourself, I humbly encourage you to join in with the “good” men (i.e. men women, boy, girls and everyone in between) and “Do Something”, so that the triumph of evil (i.e. racism, hate, and bigotry in any form) will not win!