There are so many things in our government and society that are broken. Bill Moyer's Journal (an always beautifully produced show) this week put our failings on display in such telling ways. The profile with Countdown's Keith Obermann was moving. Then there was the "Massing of the Media" which is going on despite the outcry of the people of the United States --- soon all we will hear are far-right political talking points for news (we are not far off now on many days). It also focused in on how the Obama and Oprah factors were playing in a discussion with Dr. Ronald Walters on Race in the Race. Here we discover that African Americans seem timid and unknowing, just like the rest of us, about the power we hold in our hands if we stood up and took it.
What is deeply sad is most of us don't even care. Many us don't even know. This is what those in power count count on. We're so lost in our own miseries and the hype of celebrities and Dancing with the Stars to numb ourselves that we don't even see what's happening, what's eroding in front of our eyes. The greed for "power and money" seems to be winning on many fronts, but perhaps the "courageous and good" will triumph as it has before. This is my holiday wish.
My wish is that we could find our way out of darkness. I read a story in an very old book about President Henry M. Wriston of Brown University: "... He might as well have been describing the convention which was called to frame the Constitution of the United States when he characterized the United Nations as 'a squalling, brawling brat of an infant with only about fifty-fifty change of survival. The only thing strong about it is its lungs.' For weeks the United States constitutional convention accomplished exactly nothing. Day after day the air was filled with bitter criticisms and accusations. Finally Benjamin Franklin stood up and addressed the chair which was occupied by George Washington and said:
We have been here, Mr. Speaker, for many weeks trying to act upon this important subject and have accomplished nothing. Only dark clouds of difficulty and embarrassment seem to be gathering before us. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, it is high time to call in the direction of a wisdom above our own. Because we have not, may be the reason why we have been so long in the dark. I therefore move, Mr. Speaker, that it be made a rule to open the business of this house every morning with prayer.
History records that moment as the beginning of the framing of the Constitution of the United States.
I think it is clear that we need courageous leaders to step up to with a new vision and the foresight to help us stop the madness of the seven years of war, greed, corruption, injustice and the ravaging of "we the people". We need an awakening of historic proportions that happens in each of us. Collectively --- in numbers, we have the power of our vote and our presence. It begins within each of us being willing to look at ourselves --- a solemn, serious, necessary, and sometimes frightening responsibility --- to recognize how our inattention and sense of helplessness is why we are in darkness; our awareness and action is how we get out.
What do you think?
Founder, Global Dialogue Center