• Laura Madden

Waking Up Truth



I am sure this is all part of the process...but it is still really hard not to get furious over the despicable message sent when the "moral" leader of our country defends immorality.

The headline of an op-ed in The Nation today by Joan Walsh is titled, "A President Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 16 Women Endorses a Senate Candidate Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 9." She goes on to declare that there is a new GOP slogan: “Listen to the predators.”

Now, I do not, by any means, think the Republican party is deserving of that slogan. I do not think they own this systemic dysfunction. There are plenty of Democrats, Independents, Green Party, Socialist, Communist (you get the picture) who share in the blame. It is just that this particular team seems to be holding onto this immorality with a kind of defiant zeal. This bias is not just about sexual misconduct (per-say). It is about wealth and power, and wielding power to get what they want. And no doubt politics is all about holding onto that wealth and power.

One of the reasons why this is so hard for me to stomach right now is that it is happening just as we, as a society, are waking up to our responsibility to community, compassion, faith and love. From the church pulpit to the board room, we are seeing great leadership to speak out against systemic injustice and discrimination. For so many, in fact, for the first time. Too much for too long has been left unsaid. Every one of us knows that. And it is no surprise that it took a mere forty years for some of these women and men to speak up. For many of us it is still hidden, buried, denied. Especially the "old stuff" that we lived in the middle of, and DID NOT SEE, that is forcing us to wake up to our own complicity. That is hard. It hurts.

I honor all of you who are forging these paths -- and reaching out to help others. Freedom and equality is not a place of comfort for many, and creating safe harbor to allow seeds of change to emerge is a vital first step.

As we climb, we all face our own demons that cause us to "self-sabotage" progress. The fear of facing the truth: It hurts too much, don't rock the boat, turn the other cheek, "he who is without sin...", don't judge others, deal with it, be strong, tomorrow is another day, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. All of these platitudes have placated our acceptance of struggle and injustice. I along with so many was shocked to see how many of our citizens in the last election set truth as a lower priority than power. But, even then, it was done seeing and knowing what the truth was. That is progress, even if we did not prevail.

The good news is that there is a lot more mayhem stirred up than we realized. The horse is out of the barn. There is no going backward. And, as the Nietzsche quote above points out, similar to the Buddha quote of climbing a mountain, we may not get to the pinnacle today, but we are one step closer. So I hold onto that. We are training ourselves to see the injustice and to deny it power. We are still forging the path forward.

I want to try to end this on a positive note, and I hope that is enough. No matter what happens in Alabama, what they do is being done with full knowledge of what it means. The door has been thrown open to the Truth. There is no going backward.



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