Yesterday was a heavy day for me as I was psychologically burdened by the weight of my frustrations about the Troy Davis case and the state of things. I actually felt disconnected from myself, because all the things that are usually on the forefront of my mind vanished into the mist – so I did nothing. Nothing but feel clouded and muffled….it was a stormy day.
Not content to wallow in hopelessness, I took my angst to the Net. I was looking for information on the movement to stop the death penalty and was overcome with a burning compulsion to find out what I could do.
When I talk to people so often what I hear is not that they don’t care about politics or injustice, but that they do not believe that caring means anything. What point is there to caring if there is nothing you can do about it? The polls call them the Undecided but it would be more accurate to call them the Unbelievers. The general feeling is that they are just one person against a mountain of money, corporations, politicians and a system rife with corruption, racism, greed and indifference.
In such a world, isn’t it better to keep your head down? Better to worry about your own life because nothing you do will ultimately matter?
I have never been a person who accepted that way of thinking. It’s comfortable and familiar for many but it’s not the way I choose to live my life. Not just because caring about others comes naturally to me, but because such acceptance is a kind of spiritual death. That’s what arises when you feel powerless and at the mercy of your environment.
I am positive that my resistance is spiritually and historically based. Think of all the people who have gone before who have manged to effect real change in the world and where we would be if they too were Unbelievers. Thoughts of my ancestors, what they sacrificed, and how they struggled, is all that’s required to inject me with a passionate belief that change is possible.
Our world mirrors the imperfections of the human race and I have no doubt that it always will. But one of the key differences between us and animals is our ability, at any given point in time, to reject our teachings, surroundings and harness the power of mental and spiritual evolution which is the impetus for change. Without it, we would be dead already.
I will admit that this train of thought was not uppermost in my mind yesterday but being on the Net changed all that. What began as a simple foray into finding out about the death penalty movement ended with me bleary eyed at 2:45 AM. I found a trail of bread crumbs and it led me from one site to another and another and another.
I read about the history of the death penalty and found organizations like Amnesty International, Color Of Change, Campaign To End The Death Penalty and Democracy Now. I found the website for Troy Davis, read articles from tons of newspapers and Opinion Blogs. I also watched The Egyptian Revolution video (below) which brought me to tears. Many thanks to my Twitter Community for their uplifting and insightful comments and leading the way.
I ended the day on the Occupy Wall Street site and what I saw amazed me. The movement, now in it’s sixth day, is receiving little or no mainstream media coverage which of course reminded me of Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” It is largely made up of college students, so they say, and has engendered international support. The world is watching and cheering us on.
I read through 172 comments last night, which were remarkably free of hate messages, containing advice from every quarter, lawyers, older activists who understand the politics of revolution, and everyday folks. They gave REAL advice, legal and otherwise. It was uplifting and empowering and reminded me of just what can be done when we stand together to right a wrong. Better yet, they reminded me of the beauty, diversity and power of the human race. They gave me hope and a renewed belief which I so sorely needed.
The power of the Internet is not routers, servers, fiber optics or the cloud. It is the power of connection that allows human beings to connect with one another and draw strength from one another and celebrate our humanity.
Note: The title of this post is humbly borrowed from the book entitled “Things Fall Apart” by famed author Chinua Achebe.