Saturday, January 14, 2012

Acting On Principle

Acting on principle is, we're told, good in itself. But it is still a political act, in the sense that you're not doing it for yourself. You don't do it just to be in the right, or to appease your own conscience; much less because you are confident your action will achieve its aim. You resist as an act of solidarity with communities of the principled and the disobedient: here, elsewhere. In the present. In the future.
--Susan Sontag

As we approach the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday,  let's all ponder how one determined person, propelled by his passion and sense of justice, changed the course of our nation. If you're anything like me, it's easy to fall into despair over the present state of our country. In the present presidential field we are asked to choose from among racists, homophobes, misogynists, criminals and buffoons. Some are all of the above. All, as far as any of us can tell, are morally lapsed. It would take an historian to ferret out a time when either party presented more dismally. Nevertheless, MLK challenges us to find within ourselves those qualities that lead to transformation, in ourselves, our families, our locale, our country, our world. We can have a dream, too, but only if we are willing to awaken from numbed slumber.

No comments: