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It seems to me that it’s a lot easier to demonstrate for justice than to practice it. It’s a lot easier to morph with the herd mentality than develop critical thinking skills and stand apart. It’s a lot easier to blame others rather than scrutinize our flawed natures and own the harm we inflict upon others. I could go on and on …

I speak from experience. Only prodded by the daily discipline of 12-Step living do I practice justice, hone my thoughts in line with Truth, acknowledge my stuff and deal with it immediately. Note, all 12-Step programs insist upon rigorous honesty in these matters. It’s about conversion of heart and that can be painful, given sloth’s cunning demands for the easier, softer way.

It also took living with a terminal illness to ground these truths more deeply within my psyche. Before the shortening of my life began, I admit to lapsing into ill-suited denial, rationalization, and idealization, not that I still don’t go there. I just don’t stay there as long.

So is it not about waking up to the ultimate meaning of life and the imperative of getting along with each other? Is it not about mindfulness, about cultivating personal responsibility, despite toxic manipulation foisted upon us, from whatever source? Life is short. Who would have guessed that 46-year old George Floyd would have entered eternal life on Memorial Day?

True, he may have had a police record, but I was never caught.

With the Psalmist, I cry, Create, O God, a clean heart within me. Wash me whiter than snow. Left to my own devices, such cleansing is impossible.



“That’ll get ya a lotta bread,” yelled an accomplice to his buddy, just having torched a convenience store in St. Louis, a bystander having reported this comment to a cameraman. Such evidences paid instigators hired to trash cities beset with racial discord, in this instance the aftermath following the death of George Floyd.

For me, this reflection referenced the Gospel of Luke and Jesus’s declaration, I have come to cast fire on the earth and what would I but that it be enkindled. Jesus was also a flame-thrower, but in a different sense than the thug previously mentioned. Experiencing our flawed humanness evoked his compassion and care. There was another way to live and he was passionate that we learn it. His behaviors and subsequent teaching enkindled in his listeners a new discipline that burned away the dross of self-centered living, wedded to the appeasement of instincts.

But with today’s materialism, hedonism, and secularism clogging our spiritual receptors, more laws and monitoring, more barricades and armed guards won’t change things much. Only the heart’s humble sacrifice can lead to harmony among peoples, and that burns, at times. But the joy that ensues refreshes for all eternity.



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