On exhaustion and door number 3

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Are you exhausted, mentally and emotionally? I am.

Last week was a tough week: the death of RBG, the Breonna Taylor decision, the protests, the ongoing pandemic, the ongoing Trump chaos. Add to that the prospect of another uber-conservative Supreme Court justice, the tension of the election, and the collapsing economy, and you’ve got more than enough to fill your plate.

But as I reflect on all this, I keep going back in my mind to those who came before – especially, those who fought for civil rights and human rights. I think of MLK, and the Bradens, and many others, all of whom faced not only the challenges of their times, but even threats of imprisonment and death.

It seems to me that when faced with times and circumstances like these, we have three choices:

  • Decide to just ignore it – stop reading, stop watching, and disengage.
  • Decide to give up – assume it’s hopeless and accept defeat.
  • Decide to keep fighting – take the long, long view, and realize that hundreds of individual acts can eventually cause change to happen.

I choose door number 3. As tired of all this as I am, I also know that I have faced nothing like those forerunners did. And I know that in the face of seemingly impossible odds, they kept their eyes on the goal and kept going.

Let me be clear: “Keeping going” doesn’t mean that you don’t take time to recover. I’m taking a road trip this afternoon to look for pumpkins to put on the porch. For some hours, I will be focused on nature and human relationships, breathing deep into both.

But tomorrow, I’ll be back to work on Forward Kentucky, trying to make a difference, trying to use the voice I’ve been given. That’s what we’ve all been called to do – leave it better than you found it.

So breathe when you need to. Take a break when you need to. Do what it takes to rejuvenate your body and your soul.

Then come back out fighting to make a difference. That’s how we will change things, together.

–30–

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