Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bearing witness is a way to keep from going insane

I have been complaining a lot lately to OASAS officials, the Directors of Community Services in Genesee and Orleans Counties, our elected officials, etc.

Other staff at GCASA have expressed concerns that my complaining not only will do no good, and fall on deaf ears, but may even engender retaliation. I am surprised at the number of people who are afraid to express their opinions and to "call a spade a spade".

I ran across this story which captures my experience the last few months.

Once upon a time an old Buddhist monk went to the town square every day to cry out for peace and justice and for an end to hostility and anger. His cries went unheeded and unheard and had absolutely no effect on his country's war making or his own neighbor's hatred and selfish lives. After a while even his own monks wree embarrassed for him and sent a delegation pleading with him to stop, saying that he was having no effect and that people thought him senile or crazy. They did not want to be associated with him anymore. They begged, pleased, and rationalized with him to stop. They told him, "No one cares what you say. They don't even listen to you anymore. Everyone in the country has gone insane with fear and war, selfishness, greed, and killing. Why go on?" His answer was given directly, looking his own monks right in the eye: "I go out for peace and justice so that I will not go insane."

And that my friends is why I speak up against the injustice, the dysfunction, the arrogance, the condescension, the snark that is nothing but hurtful.

Will anybody listen?

No, I doubt it.

Will there be retaliation?


So why do it?

To keep from going insane.

Sometimes the only thing we can do, but the most important, is bear witness.

No comments: