Slippery Slope?

My words must hold weight now
In place of my temporary inaction
Due to the crippling anger
That runs so deep and pulses
Like a fresh wound left unattended
I am trying to bandage myself
To layer the gauze so my
Blood doesn’t run out and I am left
Lifeless, a corpse drained of all
energy and
Goodness
I didn’t know anger could be felt like this
And now I can’t imagine how on earth I won’t feel it
Every attempted word of solace stands out like a
Cheap piece of plastic floating in a pristine chlorine pool
I know I am meant to have empathy
For all humans around me
But I am growing increasingly frustrated with those
Who have power and don’t yield it for true Good
Those who are given the option
But forgo decency and uphold lethargy

And they label lethargy as noble and righteous
They label sickening pride as wisdom and sound judgement
They label laziness with “Well, I’ve been doing this for a long time”
They label cruelty with “Well, I can’t change that”
They label excuses with “Well, I can’t help if I don’t know”
They label racism with “Well, it’s a lot better than before”
They label passivity with “Well, we must focus on unity”
They label white supremacy with “Well, there are places worse off than here”

How can we hide any longer?
How can we continue to look the other way
How can we continue to deny the responsibility,
The reality that every single decision holds weight
Why have we not stepped out of these shells of religious bigotry and hypocrisy and into the
Tender, aching, presence of those who are in need?
Why have we continued to stigmatize and disrespect the very populations that
Jesus ate with? Sat with? Walked with?

This anger runs a web through every one of my interactions
From the coworker who is solely present to collect their paycheck
To the pastor who acknowledges the past as if it were more holy than the future
To the subtle (and not so subtle) infiltration of nationalism
To the mass amount of trash I sort through on a daily basis as I search for a coat that fits a child

Human, I know it is overwhelming,
And it feels like there’s not much we can do
But it is in the smallness of our daily actions
Our purchases, our language and relationships,
It is in the subscriptions and the habits and
The addictions and avoided conversations
And the apologies
It is in the shifts of perspective
That we will begin to take part
In the flourishing of a world
Now
Now is the time,
Not yesterday or tomorrow
Not before or later
Now is the time that we pick apart our
Biases, lifestyles, and convictions and immerse ourselves in an honest search for truth
The truth of ourselves, the truth in our beliefs
The truth of what our actions (and lack of action) reveals about our own character
Now is the time for us to shed these layers of dead and disturbing traditions,
Now is the time to listen

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