Field Negro: Fighting off the dark clouds

I spent some time in Jamaica recently, and even with all of its challenges as a Third World country, I felt an incredible amount of peace. My mind felt rested, and the love I felt from the people around me was genuine and heartfelt. 

Then I came back home to America, and my spirit and my soul instantly felt restless. I can’t put my finger on it, but I am sure that a lot of you reading this feel it as well. There is a dark cloud hanging over this great country of ours, and it has been for some time now. Maybe it’s the extreme anger and Fascism creeping into our politics, maybe it’s a justice system that doesn’t seem so just anymore, and maybe it’s just the madness and depravity that has taken hold of our citizenry that has them committing one senseless and unspeakable crime after another. Whatever it is, that cloud is chasing us, and it seems to be just a matter of time before it engulfs us all. 

Then what? How will we react collectively when the country we thought was the “shiny city on a hill”— meant to be an example for the rest of the world of how a true democracy functions, starts falling apart at the seams? It feels like it already is, but the worse, I suspect, is yet to come. 

Some of you will notice that I have been blogging less these days. There is still a lot to write about, but sadly, my heart just isn’t in. It doesn’t seem like enough. There has to be more we can do than just write. I have been trying, but nothing changes. I am sure that a lot of you have as well. Hopefully you won’t get discouraged, and you will keep fighting the good fight to preserve what’s left of our democracy and this great experiment we call America.

Today, while walking in Center City, Philadelphia, I saw a gentleman who was clearly down on his luck and was asking folks passing by for some change. I stopped and gave him a few bucks and before I moved on, something told me to just ask him how he was doing. “I’m good. You sharp. You a lawyer?” I told him yes, and asked him how he knew. ” You got that lawyer look about you. Like you don’t give a f*** abut nothing but winning. I like that look.”  I know I don’t look it, but I’m winning, too.” He meant it. I looked at him, and he sure as hell didn’t look like he was winning. But winning or losing in the game of life can be such a subjective thing. Winning can mean different things to different people. He was alive an he seemed to have all of his mental faculties together. That might be all the win he needs or wants.

Sadly, in America, we all just don’t feel like we are winning these days. The thing is, though, whether it’s some guy down on his luck in Center City, Philadelphia, or a lawyer going about his daily grind and trying to make ends- meet, we are all in the same boat together. Where we get from here in that boat will depend on all of us doing what we can to make sure the boat doesn’t go down and drown us all. We all have to play our part, because dark clouds are out there, and they aren’t going away any time soon. 

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