On April 27th I had my sixty-fifth birthday. Seems like I should say something meaningful because logic says I should have accumulated some knowledge, if not wisdom, after all that experience. Hmmmm. Ok.
Meanwhile, out in the real world, Jim Crow was in full force under the aegis of government and culture but being challenged from the top (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954) and from the bottom (Rosa Parks et alii). Life in the South was getting complicated for a naive young fellow who was being groomed to be an Elite White Man. Unfortunately for the established power structure, this particular young fellow had been raised by thoughtful parents who truly believed in the core tenets of their religion and society: Love your neighbor as yourself. All men are created equal. I decided I disagreed with the concept of becoming an Elite White Man. Similarly, I decided that I was no longer convinced that an invisible supernatural entity in the sky was really there, watching sparrows fall and interfering with my day-to-day life. Thus began my journey toward being an individual, wading against the tide of society and culture.That period in my life was more than a half century ago. In the decades since then, sometimes that tide has flooded strongly and the wading was difficult. Sometimes the tide was ebbing swiftly and the wading was easy. But it was, and still is, always an effort to make your own way against the tide. And sometimes I have lots of energy and am strongly motivated to wade. Other times, I am enervated and even facing an ebbing tide is (almost) too much burden to bear.
We do what we can. That’s all anybody can do.What have I distilled from 65 years of life and more than half a century of wading against the tide? Ya do what you can and, in the end, only kindness matters.
Yes, I linked to, and like, a Jewel song. Surprised? Is it surprising that I can still surprise you? (Just ignore that “god” stuff. Or not. Your choice.)Well, good!
My hands are small. Yeah, I know. I’m a little guy. Been a little guy my whole life. So what? Maybe mine can’t do as much as yours can. Maybe they can do more than yours can. Doesn’t matter. Mine can do what they can do, what I choose to do with them, and yours can do what you choose to do with them. Like the knight says in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “Choose wisely.”And remember - We’re all ok; and in the end, only kindness matters.