Thursday, July 9, 2015

Daddy on the Edge of Our Better Angels

I watched something today.
"Spirit Guide" by Ironshod on deviantART

Hmmm...y'know Daddy, you've been AWOL for about six months now.  Don'tcha think a bit of an explanation might be in order for your five or six ardent followers?

Yeah, I suppose you're right.  Hey folks; sorry about the disappearing act.  There was...ummmm...laundry.  A whole bunch of...laundry.

But today, I watched something.

I took a break from the Republican Clown Car of Candidates, averted my eyes from a thrice divorced county clerk suddenly freaking over the sanctity of marriage when two fellas show up at her counter to get hitched - even stepped away from all the ludicrous, backward, just plain ignorant defense of a loser's flag the Confederate flag and spent the next twelve minutes watching an incredible video about incredible human beings that made history.

Most of us never heard about it at the time, because there was other, darker history being made on this date.  And yet, through the grimmest, most terrifying hours of a day that no one could ever conceive, this loose cadre of heroes were a largely unsung light in the darkness, and bravely surged into the mouth of that help others.

There are no words for how hopeful I feel about humanity after watching this.  Nowhere in that video were people discriminating against people of different colors or faiths.  Nowhere did you see people being denied a place on a boat because of who they loved or how they voted.  It would have been utter nonsense and the height of wickedness to have made such distinctions in the face of the unimaginable horror that surrounded them on that fateful day.

So why is it ever okay?  Do we need a 9/11 to remind us that every being we share the world with is just as deserving of help, respect and love as we are?  There is so much wrong with the world.  There are catastrophes around every corner - people suffering seemingly insurmountable odds...and they need our help, too.

We should not need one of the country's most horrific disasters to call us to action.  We should not need our world to literally come crashing down around us to remember our goddamned humanity, and the humanity of every other person around us.  There is an absolutely staggering amount of pain and suffering happening on our planet every single second of the day.  We can either contribute to it, or try to alleviate it in some way - in any way.  We can choose to be the darkness, or choose to be the Light.  For the people on those boats, it was an easy choice.  It should be for us all.

The term "better angels" comes from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural speech.  These words were written in a spirit of reconciliation; a hope for a restoration of friendly relations.  He ended his address with this plea;

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

We can be Heroes.  

We can be Angels.  

We can be Better.