Fierce Grace in 2018: Bryan Stevenson

More than 4,300 men, women and children were lynched by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. As America’s first memorial and museum dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people opens in Montgomery, Alabama, Guardian US chief reporter Ed Pilkington meets founder and racial justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

America Remembers its Past

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Listen

…how vital it is for all of us to listen to all the sounds of this unhappy nation. What suffering has led to the anger and hatred that has arisen?  And, why are so many of us surprised at this outpouring?  Perhaps we have not been listening to the cries of the world with ears of wisdom and determination. – by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo

 

I caught this quote from Lions Roar. It was a piece by Rod Mead Sperry that gathered responses from Buddhist teachers about Trump’s win in the 2016 Presidential election.

Listen, Connect to Others, Do Something, and Listen : repeat.

I feel called to embody compassion and empathy. I will do this whilst I grieve the loss of momentum.  The progress I thought we were making was to limit the over-sized influence of the financial services industry and the military industrial complex.

Now the oligarchs are in charge and that should concern all of us who are not in the top 1%.

Chorus, from the Cure of Troy

Human beings suffer.

They torture one another.

They get hurt and get hard.

No poem or play or song

Can fully right a wrong

Inflicted and endured.

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that the farther shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing,

The utter self-revealing

Double-take of feeling,

If there’s fire on the mountain

And lightening and storm

And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing

The outcry and the birth-cry

Of new life at its term.

It means once in a lifetime

That justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.

  • Seamus Heaney

 

Zerlina Maxwell, thank you for your fierce grace

“You were drinking. You were drinking. What did you expect?”

…you need to make your move now. You need to stand alongside survivors and you need to be allies in public. I know it is easy to be cynical. I know. But I’m optimistic because campaigns, like the one from UCLA, are shifting the conversation away from what women can do to prevent their rapes and onto the behaviors of the potential rapists.

Zerlina Maxwell

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

Maya Angelou’s wonderful poem about courage.  It was written for children and I still love it today!

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

– Maya Angelou