Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Anthropology Of Peace

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." Those are the words of Margaret Mead. They have been applied to any number of events or coincidences in the fifty-some years since she uttered them. Come to think of it, I don't expect that Doctor Mead uttered those words. It was more likely a proclamation. 
I would like to assert that this moment in time is a prime example of such committed citizenry. I am not uttering this. I am asserting. The first example I would like to cite the peaceful march through Oakland organized by two nineteen year olds, Xavier Brown and Akil Riley. What started on Instagram ended up bringing fifteen thousand people together to remind us all that Black Lives Matter. 
Speaking of social media and teenagers, the bad rap that these two things often receive from farts of a certain age will be excused while we lavish praise on all those Tik Tokkers who ordered free tickets to the Trump rally in Tulsa over the weekend, causing all kinds of heightened anticipation among the MAGAts. There was wild talk about needing to make a second address outside to speak to the multitudes that were most certainly descending on the Oil Capital of Oklahoma. That was cancelled when it became apparent that the hundreds of thousands were more like a little over ten thousand, leaving a bunch of empty seats. The nineteen thousand seats in the Bank of Oklahoma Center were mostly unfilled. Fire department estimates of the crowd was around 6,200. It's difficult to say for certain whether teenagers with cell phones disrupted the "president's" plans for a comeback, but you have to appreciate the commitment.
Which is precisely what we need right now. You don't have to pull down a statue of some racist figurehead to make a difference. You need to be thoughtful and committed to change the world. Another great woman once wrote that "hope is the thing with feathers." For the first time in months I feel like I could finally stuff a couple of pillows.
Don't stop now. 

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