When George Floyd was killed and the world took notice and emotions where high, I like everyone else watched and participated in one way or another with the events around us. One of those events was for a large group of people at East Shore coming together and reading / discussing the project 1619 magazine. Through all of this I started to notice how people’s passions came forth. How some individuals seemed to be more dynamic than others. I began to wonder why. Why, when Kimberly Jones said, “They are lucky we want equality and not revenge!” was it so much more powerful then when others spoke out? Why, where the “Wall of Moms” so much more moving. Is it because I am a mom, or was it just them?
In all my observations, readings, and conversations someone said something along the lines of “you are not only what you eat but what you do.” I started thinking about what I do, do I see things through, could I be part of the “Wall of Moms”? What is it that they have that makes someone like Kimberly so powerful?
Also, during all of this there was of course all these commentaries and statements about what is good and what is bad, what is wrong and what is right. And a lot of people were saying the protesters were wrong and what they did was bad. Here are these powerful people making amazing, eye-opening statements and they were bad? Being me, I began to wonder about “BAD.”
Now anyone who has had a deep, extensive conversation with me knows that I do not believe in good and bad, or right and wrong. I believe in decisions and actions and their consequences. I believe that these decisions and actions should be done with everyone involved in consideration, even myself and those that I do not like. Then make an action that can benefit everyone the best I can. And yes, I do know, believe me I know, that you cannot ever benefit everyone every time, it is just not possible. But you do the best you can with your own morals and values.
With this in mind, are the Moms bad? The Protestors? The Cops?
Back to those morals and values, back to “you are not only what you eat but what you do,” …action… consequences. These very often are very black and white things and the world in not black and white or even gray. The world is an explosion of color. Based on pigment or light, black and white are the biggest color explosion of all. This would mean that action and consequences are huge explosions of color. Morals and Values expand beyond the rainbow our eyes can see.
In all this stuff dancing in my brain and being an artist “You are not only what you eat but what you do” twirled around into an idea for a book titled “What is in Your Cup” What are those moms, or Kimberly, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, what are they putting in their cup? What tea are they drinking? Kimberly cup was full of Honesty. MLK was full of Justice. Malcom X…being outspoken, moms…Confident. Yet what makes these people stand out among so many that are drinking the same tea.
What if it were the darker side of things? Honesty – being blunt. Justice – Righteous. Out-spoken – Belligerent. Confident – Cocky.
That is it! That is what makes these individuals different, more impactful than others. When Kimberly said, “You are lucky we want equality and not revenge.” She was being Blunt. And she had to know it and own it. Her statement was so eye-opening and spot on because she was willing to be blunt in her honesty. MLK was so impactful in his Justice movement because he was willing to be righteous in what he believed. We would not be able to quote his speeches today if he had not been. These people were willing to own the full color spectrum of what they were doing. The light and the dark. They were willing to let go of good and bad. And they did so within their own morals and values. And therefore, be impactful and move the world a little closer to the equality we all seek.
We as Unitarian Universalist strive to better the world, and to speak honestly – bluntly we have not always been successful. Maybe if we were to acknowledge the darker side of things. To admit that we have these sides in us. To let go of the good and bad perspective of the world and embrace the color. To say, “Yes I am confident and a little cocky to.” we could move the world a little closer to equality.
Let it dance in your brain for a while and let me know what you think.
MLK Service 2022 “What’s in Your Cup” homily by Halcyon Domanski