How a dangerous mix of fear, ignorance, arrogance and prejudice fuel oppression, and how that oppression progresses over time.
A few reasons why life should be celebrated, even amidst all the darkness, sadness and sorrow that surrounds us.
A Brief for the Defence, a poem by Jack Gilbert that is read during this video:
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving
someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine. The
Bengal tiger would not be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women at
the fountain are laughing together between the suffering they have known and
the awfulness in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody in the
village is very sick. There is laughter every day in the terrible streets of
Calcutta, and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction, we lessen the importance
of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not
enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the
ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our
attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, we should give thanks that the
end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship anchored late at night in the
tiny port looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront is three
shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat comes slowly out
and then goes back is truly worth all the years of sorrow that are to come.
— Jack Gilbert
In the bible, we are tasked to be holy. Yet, what is it to be holy? We explore this question, and the counter intuitive things it demands of us, from how we distribute the profits of our labour, and how we relate to other people.
People who lack a specific sense compensate by developing their other senses to fill the void. As such the blind hear things differently from the rest of us, while the deaf see things in way we do not. Inasmuch as those of us think this lack of sense is tragic, the perspective it affords folks is immeasurable.
This reality extends to those of us who are not as privileged to be wealthy, or of good health, or a part of a loving caring family. Yet the perspective it affords, as I learnt in a recent discussion, cannot be fully understood until we make contact with it.