The liturgical theme for April is resistance. One way we resist injustice and lack of compassion is what we refer to as “speaking truth to power.” On Monday evening, I participated in a powerful act of resistance when I joined those of our members who attended the I.C.A.R.E. Nehemiah Assembly. At that assembly, clergy and lay people of many different faith traditions presented a series of social and legal problems, well-researched suggestions for tackling those problems, and a demand for action addressed to appropriate elected leaders. It was a powerful evening.
Speaking truth to power is a tricky thing, it turns out. When a person commits to blowing the whistle or telling people true things that they do not want to hear, that person takes the risk that people may get angry with them. Many a truth teller has lost friends, family, privacy, freedom, and employment simply because they dared to point out a problem that needs fixing. With this knowledge, I am reminded that Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr liked reading The Paradoxical Commandments to her children. It was written by Kent M. Keith. On more than one occasion, I have found comfort and courage in these words, perhaps you will as well:
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Rev. Lee Anne
Who Cares? I care!
When we work together, great things happen!