James Baldwin: “Words like freedom, justice, democracy, are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”
“…there are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.”
“You can only survive so many beatings, so much humiliation, so much despair, so many broken promises, before something gives. Human beings are not by nature non-violent. Those [non-violent protesters & demonstrators] had to pay a terrible price in discipline, in moral discipline — an interior effort of courage which the country cannot imagine…”
“The country is only concerned about non-violence if it seems that I’m going to get violent. It’s not worried about non-violence if it’s some Alabama sheriff.”
Watching James Baldwin speak 50 years ago only brings me closer to today.
I read a quote yesterday. (Not from James Baldwin.)
“Rest does not come from sleeping but from waking.” –ACIM
Until we wake up individually, we will not have peace. Until we wake up as a people, we will not have peace.
The neglect, the fear of the unknown, & the comfort in the familiar has put us in a very compromising place. And what we are compromising is our freedom. I don’t mean our personal rights, I mean our happiness as a birthright. Who we are is love. Who we are is peace. Who we are is awareness. And until we begin to live from that space, we will continue to suffer. Not only that — but we will continue to question ourselves & wonder what life is all about.
I can tell you that life is not about work. It is not about money. It is not about “getting ahead”. It is not about war. It is not about neglect. It is not about lack of accountability. It is not about “well I’ll do something when they do something”. It is not about “when the time comes”. It is not about “one day”. — It is about right here, right now. It is about YOU. It is about your true nature — love! You are love. And the opposite of love is fear. Yet most of us base how we live our lives on fear. We choose from a place of fear instead of love. We do this over & over again, without thinking twice.
James’ comment was so spot on in the video: “The [United States] is for the first time worried about [a movement]. You shouldn’t be worried about [a movement], that’s not the problem. The problem is to eliminate the conditions which breed [a movement].”
Everyone thinks that something will solve a problem — let’s cure the symptoms. — No! Let’s look at the cause! Let’s examine the root! Leave the symptoms be & bear the discomfort. Be accountable & do what it takes to radically correct the root cause. And the fastest way to do this is within each & every one of us individually by taking personal responsibility. And then together as a people, by sharing ourselves & our lives with each other.
If we want to feel well rested, if we want to feel free, if we want to feel secure, if we want to feel peace, if we want to feel love — then it’s time we wake up! It’s time we take off the mask that we have been programmed to wear. It’s time to be ourselves. James said it beautifully in this quote: “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” Love is who we are. Let’s allow love to show us what being human is all about. Let’s let love show us how to live. — With love we can’t lose.