I was remembering a suggestion someone made, tongue-in-cheek, about how politicians should wear suits or jackets like professional auto racers wear. You know the ones that have patches and graphics all over them showing who their sponsors are? I wish we would do that. It will never happen though. They don’t really want us to easily identify, or in some cases ever identify who donates to their campaigns because then we would really see what is behind their masks and who they really serve. But then that had me thinking a little further — about all of us. What if there were specific characteristics that showed the world who we are, what we are like as soon as anyone laid eyes on us — characteristics that couldn’t be changed? We already have issues with making assumptions based on skin, national origin, sex, etc. But what if naturally blue hair meant you hit your wife? What if checkered grey and green skin meant you were a cheater? What if lavender lips meant you were chronically mean? What if hair that grew straight up front, but tight and curly in the back showed that someone was a narcissist? Or what if whatever clothes we put on for the day and our bodies just instantly became tagged with these clues? What would that be like? Would that cause us to be kinder, to be quicker to care about how our actions affected others? The possibilities are endless… but I’ll bet a lot of us are glad this is just a daydream from a walk.
You can enslave a body.
You can even trick a mind into believing it’s so.
But you’ll never enslave a heart that knows its right to be free.
You can cage a body.
You can manipulate the mind to believe it’s locked.
But you’ll never smother a heart from being free.
You can cast a body into darkness.
You can convince the mind that it’s in an abyss.
But you’ll never consume the light from the heart.
You can refuse to see the effects of bondage.
You can let your mind choose deafness.
But you’ll never silence a heart that longs for justice.
You can turn away from the past.
You can silence your mind to the facts.
But the heart that has been chained will not let you rest.
You can busy the body endlessly.
You can overwhelm the mind with details.
But you can’t silence a heart that grows toward the sunlight.
You can use a body as a barrier.
You can chain a mind to the fools.
But another’s heart you cannot own.
You can kill the body.
You can kill the mind.
But the heart’s beat will be heard beyond its life.
You can take a body.
You can take over a mind.
But the heart chooses why it beats.
You can jail a body.
You can incarcerate a mind.
The heart roams where it wants.
You can beat a body.
You can gaslight a mind.
But the heart is made of freedom.
You can chain a body.
You can warp the mind.
You can’t fool the heart.
You can blind the body.
You can persuade the mind it’s captive.
But the heart will always know it beats for the whole.
You can keep a body in poverty.
You can train a mind to believe it’s stuck.
The heart will always know it belongs to the universe.
You can separate a body from its birthright.
You can teach a mind to hate.
But the heart yearns to be free from that bondage.
You can engulf the body in hegemony.
You can train the mind to ignore bias.
The heart absorbs the toxins.
You can dress a body like it’s free.
You can teach a mind to live in the masses.
But the heart will continue to cry out: No justice, no peace.
Debora Lynn Garcia
As an introvert, putting myself on any display that isn’t as simple as my written words is a huge
S-T-R-E-T-C-H. I periodically recognize when I’m stunted (or stuck), and purposely and purposefully stick my toes (and sometimes neck) in situations or around people that are at first naturally uncomfortable for me. I know if I don’t that I won’t grow, expand, and learn new ways and conversations without doing so. It’s sort of like my interpersonal travel itinerary!
I’ve been going through and growing through some things lately, and I’ve been fortunate enough (and I’d like to think “smart enough”) to have some people around me that have heard me, love me, and are willing to have me do more than just read the “dance steps” — they are inviting me to dance and learn at the same time.
Self-Question and Answer
Q1: How do you know when it’s time to start stretching yourself — to start doing the new things you think about doing and pushing the boundaries of what you think you’re ready to do?
A1: When you crave to do more and you feel restricted in your own skin and your steps feel small.
Q2: How do you know when your change of mind (or self-talk) is working?
A2: When it starts showing up on the outside of you by way of people giving you cause, opportunity, and the space to show up as the new thinking.
Q3: What do you do when you’re scared to pieces of it all?
A3: Say, “Yes!” Do it anyway, repeat, and celebrate.
Q4: How do you get there?
A4: Tell the people that can hear your words and love you enough to drag you to the life-stretching class.
Q5: What if you do the thing (“thang”) and you don’t feel like it was your best?
A5: Refer back to A3.
Q6: What if I’m just so nervous about it all and I feel like I can’t follow through?
A6: Put your feet on the ground and stand in gratitude for the opportunity, the people, and circumstances that got you here.
There’s nothing better than to be seen and heard.
I AM GRATEFUL.
Today, we had our third mass shooting in the USA in one week. We lost over 30 brothers and sisters; many were children, and over 40 were injured and/or hospitalized. Some are in critical condition.
You’re a good, law-abiding citizen. You play by all the rules. Perhaps you regularly attend worship. You don’t cuss. You care about others, and you pray for them — even for your enemies like you are told. You don’t allow wrong-doers time. You donate and tithe to good causes. You avoid gossip. You prepare meals for the ill and elderly.
You are the model of do-right.
Your only sin (error)? You did nothing in the face of the adversity and oppression of others. But wait… you sent out your thoughts and prayers — and you really did! You didn’t just say that you did! But then you sat silent. You did not move. You did not lift a finger. You did not make one attempt to change a thing, not even with yourself, not even inside your own mind.
What will you do one day if the _______________ comes for you or one of yours? Will you remember that you sat down while others were being harmed — that you watched in silence, or turned your back to it completely? Will you remember that you looked away when they showed the bodies because it was too awful to think about, to talk about? Will you remember that after you prayed for them you went back in your home, away from the hard things, and carried on like usual? Will you remember that you thought it didn’t affect you, so there was nothing for you to do? Will you remember that you thought you were only one person?
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
save them as they stagger to their death.
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Also, read James 2:14-26 Faith Without Works Is Dead
1 Corinthians 12:26
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.