Lily Tomlin Revisited

Personally, for many reasons, I am time and again blown away by the Lily Tomlin quote “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”

So simple, brilliant and true. Not just about forgiveness, but sanity, dharma, spirituality.

But then, as relevant as that was to some low personal places I was visiting very recently, we are all also confronted with the not so unreasonable and more tractable wishes for a better present and future, and an honest appraisal of our shared past.

That serves a purpose, to guide our actions, to craft our responses. To be more compassionate and to act with wisdom and justice.

There was a lot of compassion shown this week, a lot of standing up to insanity and malfeasance. To injustice and fear and hate.

Large peaceful crowds come to mind.

Polls that show large public support for change do as well.

Cops and mayors and governors taking a knee comes to mind. The leaders standing up to the reactionaries. To Trump and his sycophants and base.

Totalitarianism. It can happen here. I grew up being told that after World War ll. It is so clear now that even Pat “gays cause hurricanes” Robertson told Trump to back off! I have NEVER agreed with him before. I was stunned. That’s how bad this administration is. We can all supply many other examples.

Justice is supposed to be what civilization is about. What America is about. Superman says so!

This vision of justice, of the time is now, wont be sustained unless we sustain it.  It will fade into memory and be dwarfed by daily concerns., big and small.

Or we will be destroyed by the powers that will cause a backlash if we are not vigilant.

Or by misjudgments and mistakes by well meaning people.

We need to be change, to support change. We need to vote. Get others to vote. Don’t be too purist. this is not the time for that indulgence. Get the evil ones out. Then we can re-group and debate the fine points.

Be generous. Give to those trying to help. To campaigns, to rights groups, to groups that make things better and help people.

Be active.

Be alert.

Reject hate and fear.

Hold those who are egregious in their words and actions responsible.

It’s the compassionate thing, the right thing.

It is dharma.

It is simply being a good citizen.

You may have limited reach, but no one has no reach.

So yes, we don’t wish for a better past, that is fruitless. Lily is right. We work for a better world.

I know I am preaching to the choir, that’s part of why I haven’t been posting.

But still, I would like to add my voice to this large chorus of friends around the world.

 

addendum: I will let this stand, but please dont confuse my trying to see the positive side of what is going on mask that I do believe the hard work is yet to come. There are entrenched interests that will fight meaningful change tooth and nail. My congresswoman Karen Bass is on it, but are many other democrats beyond the symbolic?

This is deep and abiding and we’ve been here many times before with great ideas and little to no action. Watch John Oliver on HBO if you can from yesterday, 6/7/20. This isnt just a few “bad apples.” It is systemic and the bad apples are protected by other bad or not so bad or even ok  apples.

The police violence against protestors and even “liberal” mayors like de Blasio of NY seem  oblivious to the extent of police violence. Tonight there were scenes of  the police showing support for police officers that were obviously guilty of frank unprovoked assaults. Excessive force against peaceful protests against excessive force is way beyond irony to cynicism and evil.

Still, there are some aspects of this that do seem different. The nature and size of the peaceful protests, the willingness of some police and officials to at least appear open to change, and Trump showing his true colors and being called on it from not just the usual quarters.

We need to rebuild. Police must be held responsible as pilots, doctors, bus drivers and others are. I never saw a clear act of malpractice applauded by other doctors, but I have seen brutal cops today applauded by other cops.

This is about racism. This is about our horrible abdication of responsibility.

This is personal for me; my grandson is mixed race and drives around with his black father. But having said that, kind of so what? It was important to me before my grandson was born, and it should be personal and important and critical for every person with even a touch of heart, or conscience, or even selfish concern for the future of all of us. No justice, no peace isn’t a threat, it’s a fact.

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