I don’t think it makes sense to boycott a company to make it change its policy instead it makes sense to decide for yourself if you want to be a sponsor of that company and encourage what it does. Maybe other actions need to be taken against a company but you cannot separate your action of buying from a company from what they do. –Keane
At the recommendation of a friend I picked up Maya Angelou’s Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now and I promptly read it in a day. Each short essay brought a new thought and insight which I was quite grateful for. I think I might expound on some of these at a later date but for now I wanted to give you a couple of short glimpses into some of the essays, maybe to wet your appetite and encourage you to pick it up from your local library.
“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation. This is particularly difficult for me when my mind falls upon the cruel person, the batterer, and the bigot. I would like to think that the mean-spirited were created by another force and under the aegis and direction of something other than my God. But since I believe that God created all things, I am not only constrained to know that the oppressor is a child of God, but also obliged to try to treat him or her as a child of God.”
“There are a few misguided wits who think they are being complimentary when they declare a woman is “too much”. While it is admirable and desirable to be enough, only masochists want to be “too much.”…A certain amount of paranoia is essential in the oppressed or in any likely targets of oppressors.”
“The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough. She must have convinced herself, or be in the unending process of convincing herself, that she, her values, and her choices are important. In a time and world where males hold sway and control, the pressure upon women to yield their rights-of-way is tremendous. And it is under those very circumstances that the woman’s toughness must be in evidence.
She must resist considering herself a lesser version of her male counterpart. She is not a sculptress, poetess, Jewess, Negress, or even (now rare) in university parlance a rectoress. If she is the thing, than for her own sense of self and for the education of the ill-informed she must insist with rectitude in being the thing and in being called the thing. ”
“We need to have the courage to say obesity is not funny, vulgarity is not amusing, insolent children and submissive parents are not the characters we want to admire and emulate. Flippancy and sarcasm are not the only ways in which conversation can be conducted.
If the emperor is standing in my living room stripped to the buff, nothing should prevent me from saying that since he has no clothes on, he is not ready for public congress.
At any rate, not lounging on my sofa and munching on my trail mix.”
Dorothy Day, declared a Servant of God by the Catholic Church, is well known for her Social Justice work and helping start the Catholic Worker Movement. She is truely a great leader both of her day and for us now. I couldn’t find a good collection of her powerful words so I thought I’d leave you with some here. I’ll write more of my thoughts later.
Quotes from Dorothy Day:
We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
The work is more important than the talking and the writing about the work.
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions
Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
Young people say, What is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at at time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action in the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?
Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.
(The following are from a compilation by Robert Ellsberg as published in Geez Magazine)
Love of Brother means…non-participation in those comforts and luxuries which have been manufactured by the exploitation of others.
Poverty means having a bare minimum in the way of clothes and seeing to it that these are made under decent working conditions, proper wages and hours, etc. The union label tries to guarantee this.
Poverty means not riding on rubber while horrible working conditions prevail in the rubber industry. Poverty means not riding on rails while bad conditions exist in the coal mines and steel mills. Poverty means not accepting that courteous bribe from railroads, the clergy rate.
Of course, we are not all given the grace to do such things. But it is good to call to mind the vision. It is true, indeed, that until we begin to develop a few apostles along these lines, we will have no mass conversions, no social justice, no peace. We need saints. God, give us saints!
How far we all are from it! We do not even see our infirmities. Common sense tells us, “Why live in a slum? It is actually cheaper to live in a model housing project, have heat and hot water, a mauve or pink bath and toilet, etc. We can manage better; we have more time to pray to meditate, study….Yes, we will have more time with modern conveniences, but we will not have more love.