Do you feel change in the air?
Something that feels turbulent, yet peaceful too?
It seems we are reeling in the wake of many storms. In late May thunderstorms ravaged through Texas and the central plains, stealing lives and leaving countless others without homes.
Soon after, the east coast was hit with another type of storm, a human storm — Dylann Storm Roof, a hate-filled young man who sat among churchgoers then turned his gun upon them, murdering nine people as they met for Bible study.
In the aftermath of these tragedies we witnessed lessons in Hope, Love and Forgiveness. Most noteworthy, families of those slain in Charleston, S.C., stood in front of Dylann Storm Roof and publicly offered him prayers of mercy (Ellis, Botelho and Payne).
Their unwavering Forgiveness is proof of the true power of the human spirit.
It’s as if we channeled Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, who once advised us that “when you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems as though you [can] not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn” (Stowe, author and abolitionist).
And we did just that…..we hung on. We stayed the course!
From the sidelines we watched as the Supreme Court of the United States recognized that our constitutional rights include ALL people, giving same-sex couples the right to marry the person they Love. Furthermore, SCOTUS found that state health care subsidies were “provided lawfully” so the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obama Care) stands protected; they also voted in favor of a citizen’s right to fight discrimination as they apply for affordable housing. All this within a week!
We have entered that time Stowe refers to, that time when the tides begin to shift and create momentum. Some call it a tipping point. What I know is that we’ve moved a notch or two closer to freedom for all Americans. Harriet Beecher Stowe would be proud. Our forefathers would be proud. I am proud!
In 2015 SCOTUS will have listened to and voted upon several cases based upon our first amendment: Judicial Elections and Free Speech, Religious Signs and Free Speech, Social Media and Free Speech, and the Confederate Flag and Free Speech (Liptak and Parlapiano).
To date, Confederate flags have been removed from a few government buildings and several states have forbidden the Confederate flag to be issued on vehicle license plates. Naturally, this is a controversial topic for many who claim that their “heritage” is being disavowed. Naturally for many others, the removal of what they see as a racist symbol brings them Hope.
Could this be America’s “Hope and Change”? Is it possible that this breakthrough has happened because we never gave up? Did it take the losses we experienced to create the fullness we feel today? If so, why does it have to be that way?
These past few weeks have been tough for a lot of people. Families are dealing with heavy grief, betrayal; they are recovering from a natural disaster; neighbors are arguing over the Supreme Court’s decisions, harsh words spoken, bonds severed, new ones built.
And we have proven one thing — change is never easy. Change always requires a period of turbulence, an undoing of sorts before a new order can be established. This is often uncomfortable.
In a few days we’ll don our 4th of July parade outfits and celebrate Independence Day. As we prepare for the holiday weekend, let us remember the declaration signed by our forefathers: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It bears repeating, all men — women and children included — are created equal.
All, as in A – L – L.
In 2014, I commissioned my daughter, Chelsea, to create the above graphic with a simplified version of our first amendment. One of my primary goals with Wise Tide is to promote civil and human rights for all individuals. If this is successful even for one person, I’ve done my job.
Please join me in this campaign…….share this post, share the graphic, buy a T-Shirt, and help spread the word. We are all in this together.
May we all know true Love, Hope and Forgiveness.
May we all trust and have faith in our unalienable Rights; may we safely live in liberty — both peacefully and joyfully.
Blessings to you and yours for a happy 4th of July!
Ellis, Ralph, Botelho, Greg, and Payne, Ed. “Charleston Church Shooter hears victim’s kin say, ‘I forgive you.'” CNN. Updated 10:58 PM ET, Fri June 19, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/19/us/charleston-church-shooting-main/ June 28, 2015.
Liptak, Adam, and Parlapiano, Alicia. “Major Supreme Court Cases in 2015.” New York Times. June 26, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/us/major-supreme-court-cases-in-2015.html?_r=0 . June 28, 2015.
Bill of Rights, First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”