I believe we are at the cusp of something big and powerful.
Usually when it gets late, the mystic in me comes out a bit, and I’m okay with that. Or maybe I’m just tired and loopy.
I recently read a quote by Thoreau that said,
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
I have grown to love and learn different things in different seasons. In college, I had a heart for justice. I was heavily convicted as a son to the very conflicted Deep South. Over the years, I have had to defend the place I love and call home. I’ve had to tiptoe around its delicate nature, and also brush off the accusations and the fact that no, I do not sound like a hick. Even if I did, how does that change your opinion?
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. I work on the same streets where freedom riders and walkers, preachers and teachers and mechanics pushed forward, and where they were also met with opposition. I am always carrying around this history. There is so so much to all of this, and I always want to approach it with humility. I guess there are hundreds of books written on the subject, so I will spare you the essay, and will try to not make this about me. But it is a blog, so I guess that’s a little counter-productive.
There is a weight to changing anything, really. Apathy is debilitating. It knocks the wind out of me. Oh, it’s just so much easier to work for someone else and continue living your life in a relative amount of safety. Trust me, I love that life. And I’m not here writing to make you feel guilty about yours.
This city, especially, gave me so much. It gave me room to explore and breathe fire. I feel like I owe something back.
Going back to the quote from earlier, I settle into myself for a bit. I like to close my eyes and remember the places I’ve been and how they’ve changed me.
I think about how marriage and being a husband made me soft and squishy. It made me love another fiercely and gave me something to devote my life to.
Before that, I was putting some time into various organizations that I thought were doing good. I traveled to India and Chicago and they both knocked me flat on my face.
Any effort I have had to change the world has resulted in me falling on my ass, and scratching my chin, and probably my ass, too. Most of the time saying, “What do I really believe anymore?”
It’s really easy to get consumed with facts and failure rates. But lately, I can’t think of any life changing occurrence that didn’t leave me feeling stronger than before. When you’re met with resistance and pain and failure, the only real thing to learn is that you are still alive and able to move on!
Bigger and brighter and wiser and stronger.
So I have that hope, deep deep down.
That it is possible to change — I mean, thank God we change. Right?
And we just need you, okay?
We need you to be brave and hold loosely.
We need you, screw ups and wandering souls who from time to time smoke too many cigarettes.
We need food for the revolution.
I can at least do that much.
But this isn’t something you will see in the paper. It starts small, and to be honest, sort of stays that way. But when a lot of people do small things together, things happen, and are already happening. That is when it becomes part of our daily lives. How we treat our butcher. How we buy our food. What our kids get to learn, and that we shouldn’t have to be afraid of our bosses.
There is a part of me already doubting. I already recognize the voices that tell me, and my generation are a waste. But really, part of it comes from watching you.
And before we get too comfortable with the way things are,
just for a minute, we like to imagine how it could be.
Because the price of anything, is the life you exchange for it.