It is with a deep respect for the PAST that we fight amongst ourselves about the future. The past shapes this nation just as it does individual citizens, and physical scars are nothing compared to the toll taken by psychological trauma.
In this regard, the PAST is always with us, no matter how much TIME passes. Like a physical scar, the memory of that event can always haunt us, creating a defensive response. Instinctually… to avoid “breaking another LEG”.
That instinctual response never fully goes away. With TIME, it becomes a tool we use to ensure survival, instead of just a knee-jerk reaction. Over time we learn how to avoid being in those situations in the first place, so they can never happen again.
That process begins with knowledge.
How we remember something can impact us, too.
For two years… the enslaved people of Galveston did not know, while their freedom was THEIRS. Two years! Babies were born. Mothers died. None of them were told. They were FREE.
Why did they not know.
WHY did it take two YEARS for this Executive Order to be enforced? Was there some mixup at the Post Office? Were they just misinformed… no.
For two years they held FREE MEN and WOMEN in chains against their will. Intentionally. Whomever controls the KNOWLEDGE sets the stage. By withholding critical information, they manipulated the lives of those slaves for their own financial benefit… even though they knew it was illegal.
Selective censorship of the TRUTH kept those people enslaved.
Lies and deception by others can leave a major impression on us, but we must remember- our own MIND can deceive us as well. A perfect example of this would be “Childhood Amnesia”. Both of my kids, at about 12 years old or so, suddenly forgot important details from just a few years earlier… but that’s about right, if you stop and think about it.
The same thing seems to happen to many people with the passage of TIME. Add about 30 or 40 years and suddenly, details of events seem to change. Maybe not so much as they’re forgotten, but they take on a ‘Nostalgic Tinge’.
The faster an event is moving away from an observer, the more it shifts to the Rose-colored spectrum.
But this is nothing new. The same thing happened to our parents. As I think back far enough, I can remember snippets of conversations between my Grandmother and Grandfather about their parents, and how they were dealing with the SAME THINGS as they struggled to care for an aging parent.
Our imperfections are what make us uniquely special. We can endure harsh treatment and come out STRONGER on the other side. Because of our ability to ADAPT… because of our ability to REMEMBER. Because of our ability to FORGET.
We embrace these qualities in others, acknowledging that we are ALL merely human. Now we must hold ourselves to the same standard that we would anyone else; and understand that every one of us is susceptible to fallacy and vice… even ourselves.
Perfection is Of Divinity alone. The rest of us… we have to seek forgiveness whenever we’re wrong.
IF we are, as the story goes, created in the image Of the Divine, is it not a violation of His Will if we do not use these gifts we have been given. In order to spread the WORDS to all who have the ability to listen…
Knowledge is the message. Science is the language.
This is how we understand… this is how we learn who we are.
As people. As a nation. As a member of the Human Race. To honor those who’ve come before us. To ensure there will be more who will follow.
In order to honor the memory of this day, we must fully embrace WHY it came to BE. Not to glorify it. Not to exact some price of revenge, but to have a clear message. Something REAL and TRUE that we can point to and say ‘THIS is what we once were as a Nation, as a society… and now it is no more.’
It shows us WHY we are who we are. Why we cherish these values and STAND for these ideals… with conviction. Because we’ve been there before, and we choose not to go BACK.
It is with reverence and humility that I celebrate Juneteenth. Let our History and our ERRORS stand as a testament to the Righteousness, of the struggle for EQUALITY…
No matter how long it takes.
(Edited for spelling and punctuation errors- 8/9/2022)