Its stopped me like a head-on collision. Then another and another. In my mind I searched for understanding, struggled with justifications and before I could resolve any feelings I may have come to begrudgingly accept, another collision. Black boys and a man killed, murdered, and the deaths reported as legally justifiable.
An innocent kid walking from the store on a rainy night in Florida. A group of friends playing music too loudly as they stopped for gas and snacks, again in Florida. Then another young man walking home from the store on a lazy early afternoon in a small suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. A grown man allegedly selling loose cigarettes in front of a store in Long Island, NY and then a 12-year old boy playing on a mild afternoon in a Cleveland, Ohio park. Each shot dead except for one who was strangled to death by five assisting police officers. There have been so many Black boys and men killed across the country many are claiming it to be open season.
Protests and riots reminiscent of the 60’s, burning homes and businesses, looting, more injury and death. Police departments are in riot-gear and on high alert throughout the country. Young adults angered at the injustice, seasoned civil rights veterans pushed aside by over-flowing frustration, new activists posing as 21st century Black Panthers being pushed to the forefront swelled by the hostility and fear of the scared masses, and news reporters hoping to make their chops broadcasting on location as if in some war-torn middle eastern village.
When in times of struggle I turn inward. I try to find understanding in the quiet space between the notes of a chord. No resolve I was willing to accept could be found. The silence between the chords grew smaller and smaller until the tone remained constant and unnerving.
I cross referenced my Holy Bible, the King James Version, and another Scriptured text of Hindi persuasion with the Q’uran but nothing satiated my thirst for understanding. I turned to my own collection of Spiritual Philosophers: Buddha, Jesus, Gibran, Campbell, Neville and even Dyer. Nothing quenched my need to make sense of the calamity overwhelming my personal sense of peace and my “all is in order” philosophy. I felt my “Thy Will be Done” perspective losing its strength and slipping from my grasp.
This is the hard part. In my heart of hearts I do believe “all is in order”. And more than just a mantra “Thy will be done” sustains me. I may never in the consciousness of my mind find justification for the deaths of these boys and man. But Im reminded of the impermanence of life and the evolution of Spirit to Its highest calling. not the calling of those in the midst of their own spiritual evolution. I dont have to personally meet each and every person positively touched by the lose of these boys and man to know there are countless to be moved to their own higher callings. I hold in reserve the knowing that death moves us to a higher place because we’ve completed our divine mission here. Our mission is often the catalyst of those we may never even know spring-boarding in the completion of their divine mission.
I will admit for a brief moment my high-minded philosophizing left me marooned. Dry docked in my own response. For a much deeper understanding of yourself and moving through the most difficult times look at a copy of Tara Brach’s “Radical Acceptance”. It can change your life.
Soon to follow: Navigating in a Different World.