What it means to me in 2020 :
I would submit that to seek independence is to fight for it, not simply for individual-self, but for all who aim in the same goal and cause. To fight for it and then celebrate in victory while others audience in suffrage is to become as those once fought against.
The conscience of the nation must be roused [Frederick Douglass] from a fanciful dream rendered a reality at this moment; for even if one citizen under a banner of freedom who suffers in voicelessness, from inequitable rights and opportunities (economically, educationally, environmentally, etc.), or that the laws set forth to govern all is perceived bias on the scales of justice, how then can independence be celebrated by all denizens. And I choose the word denizen over citizens for there was a time during the fight of American independence where the slave was categorized as less than human [chattel] despite anatomical likeness.
When pressed with the notion of the progress our nation has made, I submit that the speed of progress is relative to the oppressed and suppressed; for that chronometer does not measure in the same way as that of cruelty. Perhaps we should measure the speed at which the founders achieved their goal in achieving their dreams we now celebrate versus the swiftness its descendants has balanced the scales that it measures equal for all despite race, creed, gender, and all that makes us diverse yet the same unified under the same pledge in the pursuit of freedom.
While I proudly think of independence and my service to its continuum, I would be remiss in not recognizing the uncalibrated scale that results in the unfair pricing of freedom.
Disclaimer: I express as a private and legitimate citizen, and not from that of a position afforded me by the institution for which I now serve. The above views are my own and are not in commission by any organization or institution.
When an oppressor dictates
how the oppressed can and should protest
it is apparent equality or freedom does not exist
This is the oppressor’s proverbial knee
pressed firmly upon the throat of the people
And any who supports oppression is an oppressor
born in a ghetto
transplanted into a desert
found the sea and sailed
a seedling grabbing the wind
without fear or choice I grew—wings
watching a river
reminds me how love rushes
to join a body
in a room of walls
surrounded by silence, I’m
centered not center
by beautiful mourning sounds
and a cup of tea
when I was a young boy working on a farm in Israel, I spent a lot of my youth breaking my gristle–that’s what my uncle called my young back whenever I said it was hurting–while harvesting our sowing. On year we over planted the squash and during the harvest we began to wonder what to do with all of this extra squash, it was way to much for our village to consume; well we knew we had to harvest it and get it back despite limited storage space back in the village. Before long houses had more squash they than they knew what to do with, the village began to smell of aging squash for a few days, but then, it began to smell of creativity: the elderly women began to find unconventional usage for the squash. There were squash pies (first time I had that), cakes, squash flour, and so many things right down to soaps. It is easy to throw away what you think may be a problem before you find the creativity of usage, there are no problems, only untapped creativity because we judge before we discern.
when judging others consider how you are being judged; your rightness pales in comparison to your compassion with others: you will always be remembered for how you loved than for how right you are.
When we appraise others we are also appraising ourselves. A home appraisal is only as good as its appraiser, and the appraisers value is assessed by repute and quality discernment; a poor appraiser is assessed by the same standards but holds a reputation far less desired by the lack of discernment. Therefore it is good reputation that discerns between the two, suffice it to say that before one can appraise or condemn one must be of good reputation. Reputation is sacrificed to only that which is worthy of it, thus a person of good reputation judges only when the circumstances are worth the price. Nothing regards a person more than anything than a good reputation.
judgment is a two-way act