The Cost of Getting There from Here

Written by MacArthur H. Flournoy

Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.
James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

I’ll be the first to admit that bumper sticker theology, or, tidy little neat quotes about life and faith, annoy the hell out of me. After having lived awhile, I believe most of us would agree that life – real life, is rarely neat or tidy. Maybe that’s one of life’s greatest gifts.

However, when James Baldwin wrote “Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety,”there is a part of me that says – Mr. Baldwin – You have really said something profound, right there.

Its clear to me, millions of our ancestors, got up every day, not only imaging, but worked towards bringing about sustained change. Even now, I think about ordinary folks life, who are still marginalized because of all the “isms” still get up – ready ourselves and stand in the face of a president, and his administration that denies our humanity, while enriching himself at the expense of marginalized people, seeking to reverse gains in human rights.

By the way, health care is a human right.

Neither, is it lost on me that many religious leaders, not only stood in support of this president – but remained silent in the face of a health care bill that would strip away health care from those who need it the most.

No of us can afford to remain seated and silent in the face of systems that oppress people.

Personally, I know what its like to step up and say “enough  this stops today.” Millions of people have stood up before from Ceasar Chavez and the United Farmworkers to members of the LGBTQ community. Still, there is much work we have to do.

I’m convinced James Baldwin understood that to get to there from here is going to cost us something.

However, staying stuck, costs us far more.

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