This week is the start of something new here on our blog: the start of what I call Deep Waters. If you haven’t been keeping up with us the past few weeks, this is a new program where we’re going to build on the foundation of spiritual laws we’ve established over the past few years by delving into all kinds of practical, real-world issues, beginning with probably the biggest societal issue right now in the United States: Black Lives Matter.
First,I highly encourage you to check out the Black Lives Matter video on our YouTube channel. I had a guest with me this week—a long-time African-American friend of mine named Jimmy Hampton—so by watching that you’ll get a perspective beyond what I can give you on my own. That said, I do think I can offer you an idea that I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere.
So here it is: in my opinion, the biggest problem we’re facing is that the ancestors of the oppressors are not willing to go through pain in order to make amends to the ancestors of the oppressed.
On theone hand, I understand why we feel that way. After all, I’ve never enslaved anybody. My father never did, nor did his father. So why should I be expected to pay for mistakes that aren’t mine? In short: because I can. The original oppressors cannot make amends, but someone needs to.
In the past few weeks, I’ve referenced the brilliant psychiatrist, M. Scott Peck, who wrote that most people never reach their best life because they must pass through a time of chaos in order to get to it. Chaos means both pain and disorder, and most people run from that. I think a similar idea applies here. We find ourselves willing to make amends only up to the point where we would encounter chaos.
In 1865, approximately 80 percent of US exports were produced by slaves. In today’s money, that’s about $50 billion per year. People still talk sometimes about whether we don’t owe their ancestors compensation for all that stolen value, and the counterargument is generally that it’s unfeasible. It would bankrupt the country. But maybe that would be a good thing.
Now, I’m not saying we ought to be bankrupting the country. I’m no economist, nor am I particularly good with money. But what I do know is that when you make sacrifices in the name of what is just, what is loving, and what is morally right, even knowing that it will cost you dearly, it always brings a blessing.
This, I think, is what each of us has to do in whatever small way we can. If you’ve been following me for long, you’ll know that memories—especially trauma memories—are passed down from father to child in the sperm. We know this for certain, and I’m pretty sure we’ll eventually find them in the egg, too. These problems are not in our past, and they won’t ever go away on their own. They won’t go away at all until we’re willing to endure some pain in
Have a blessed, wonderful day!