The norms, the standards, the beliefs, the expectations, the behavior, the basic goodness I grew up with; the values instilled in me by my parents, my teachers, my role models, my guides are being shaken to the core.
I feel the ground shaking under my feet. I’m losing my moorings. I’m questioning what is happening around me.
Evil things are happening and there’s no check on them.
Seems evil is winning a ferocious battle and I was taught that good would always prevail.
When I have no words, tears come to my eyes and express that pain.
“They came first for the Communists,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I did not speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time, no one was left to speak up for me.” Pastor Martin Niemöller
Myriad versions of Pastor Niemöller’s original quote began circulating in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, yet his exhortative words on the perilous pitfalls of political and social apathy couldn’t be more germane than they are today.
Niemöller originally intended to warn against passive detachment in believing dangerous power persecuting one group wouldn’t eventually seek to target all, as occurred during the Nazis’ rise to power.
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Little girl, trying to sleep in your bed
don’t listen to the sound of the bombs nearby
just close your eyes and try not to cry
and let your brother sing you a lullaby.
And don’t listen to the noise of the guns
as the bullets flash by your door, don’t cry
just think of the peace found in sleep
while your brother sings you a lullaby.
Little girl, as you sleep in your bed
when you dream, try not to dream of the day
when soldiers came with their guns
and took your father away.
And when you wake up to a new day
looking for the sun, through the dust and smoke
try to find some hope in that terrible place
as you and your brother strive to cope.
Little girl, war is the world of grown ups
and there is nothing you can do
even if you tell them of your fear and sorrow
no one will listen to you.
But when the war is over and done
and you no longer hear an exploding shell
maybe your young life will be a better place
more like Heaven and less like Hell.
People movin’ out People movin’ in Why, because of the color of their skin Run, run, run, but you sho’ can’t hide An eye for an eye A tooth for a tooth Vote for me, and I’ll set you free
Air pollution, revolution, gun control, Sound of soul Shootin’ rockets to the moon Kids growin’ up too soon Politicians say more taxes will Solve everything And the band played on ….
Fear in the air, tension everywhere Unemployment rising fast, The Beatles’ new record’s a gas And the only safe place to live is On an Indian reservation ….
And the band played on Eve of destruction, tax deduction City inspectors, bill collectors Mod clothes in demand, Population out of hand Suicide, too many bills, hippies movin’ To the hills People all over the world, are shoutin’ End the war And the band played on.
Copyright 1970 Jobete Music Company, Inc.
This was the general feeling in 1970 …. where did take the fork in the road which brought us here?
At the end of the day, we need a “time out”. As we feel the pressure of our reality, we need to recharge. We need the energy to go at it again tomorrow and many tomorrows to come. In the meantime, we need soothing inner peace.
I don’t mean to say forget, hide and remain inactive. I don’t propose to ignore what lies ahead of all of us. I mean that we can’t give what we don’t have. To be able to tackle what awaits us, we need to gather ourselves, to gain momentum and fuel our spirits for this daunting task. There’s a lot to unravel, a lot to undo, a lot to rebuild.
I do not believe that we can continue along this pathway much longer.
We need to retreat, recharge and act. We need soothing for our weary, confused and tired souls.