Last Monday, also called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, passed by quietly, contemplatively. I read the book, The Grace of Silence, by Michele Norris, who brought to attention the many nameless people who courageously defended progress in equality, significantly spot-lighting World War II African-American veterans.
Expanding my knowledge beyond what catches the public’s attention, allowed for a more spiritual perspective to take shape, especially related to progress.
Too often, it is believed that a person makes progress happen. Not so. progress is alive and well. Similar to earth’s orbiting. A happening we can’t physically feel, but orbiting IS happening. Progress IS a happening force. People either go along with progress, even if it is uncomfortable, or… they resist it.
The key is knowing what progresses. Life, Truth, and Love, plus it’s constituents of equality, self-control, and health. Resisting Life, Truth, and Love is a joke, like running against the earth’s orbiting. Every time someone fights for a status-quo of elitist supremacy, it becomes obvious they are ultimately not getting anywhere.
You don’t have to be famous to be progressive, or a reformer. You don’t have to grab the public’s attention to be reformed. If there is some aspect of life that needs improvement, you can understand your way out of the surrounding mental environment that would try to keep us from being one with the force of progress. Start with the spiritual fact that progress is occurring now and humanity has the right and responsibility to meld with it.
While reading, The Grace of Silence, I felt that in the first 90 pages, Norris set the backdrop to understanding the bigger picture of progress in African-American equality. History generally points to the 1960’s as significant, unwittingly turning a blind eye to the decades before when progress was silently at work. African-American men, who had served in the War, and who had traveled through countries where equality was more widely expected and responded to, came home to include the United States in this progress. The sacrifices were great. Even before Rosa Parks, whom we all know as the woman who refused to give up her bus seat, there came Claudette Colvin, Susie McDonald, Aurelia Browder, and Mary Louise Smith who also refused to give up their seat on the bus.
However, near the end of her book, Norris mentioned a Saturday evening movie night with her extended family, when they watched a movie that portrayed low expectations for black students. Norris concluded in her book that white guidance counselors from High Schools, not only in the late 60’s, but even today, “stymie” the ambition of black students. Citing the family’s immediate claims, Norris was told to apply only to junior college, godfather James was told he was not Stanford material, and cousin Sophia was told not to apply to four year colleges. Well, her family is the exact image of mine. We children were told, word for word, the same thing, down to my brother who, like James, is a graduate of Stanford after being told, don’t bother applying. Sorry, blacks have no monopoly on being offered low expectations. We are white.
Progress is happening. Universally. Join in on the powerhouse of progress, even if sometimes it is uncomfortable.
“By meeting hateful prejudice with fearless love, Martin Luther King, Jr. sent hate to its own defeat.”– 21st Century Science and Health