Sometimes we need to be reminded that there are unbearable situations out there that need to vanquished. We can do our part. We can stop judging others and pointing to the people who need assistance and stop calling them cheats. We can exercise compassion and listen more and stop casting such aspersions.
Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow stated in his hierarchy of needs that it is harder for someone to be fully realized when their basic needs are not met. It’s true.
Take for example arming yourself for the day. I wake up in the morning and there’s a moment where I ask what looks presentable, and what matches. Some people wake up solving problems of how they arm themselves for the day.
Literally, what will I need to survive? Soldiers carry guns and ammunition. In the morning a rebel in Syria or a government soldier are equipping themselves with weaponry donning grenades and extra ammo hooked to their chest in the event they will be using it that day. Some may even wake up with it on their person.
In inner city schools, my students affectionately call “the hood,” some people are wearing phone books and magazines around their waist to protect them against bullets and to fend off a knife attack. A thrifty solution to a problem of survival against a rival gang or potential gunfight.
My friend who was a former public school teacher told me she heard girls used to oil their skin so it was hard for women to grab them when they fought, harder for scratches. She said she always knew when there was going to be a fight when the girls in her class oiled themselves as if they were going into battle.
Man, these kids prepare for the world by fighting through it. These are chichi tricks of survival. I didn’t wake up thinking how I could arm myself to protect against the worst possible violence of death. My biggest thought in the morning was arming myself against my own vices and questioned whether or not my reflexes would be quick enough to fend off and betray the love of an enchanting chocolate.
The point is when you grow up thinking of how you are going to fend off violence, you are not living in the most ideal headspace. It is a fearful approach to the day.
St. Paul told us to put on the armor of Christ:
St. Patrick’s breastplate was messaged with the following:
“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me…”
What we don’t often hear are the first lines:
I arise today,
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
The call invokes the holy spirit to summon the power to overcome any adversity that we may encounter.
There is a dereliction in the duty of humanity to make a world of peace and to call out injustice. We’re often too busy fending off “the slings and arrows of our own individual outrageous fortunes.”
Let’s discuss the root causes of war and the insane calculations of survival. These begin with us and our dedication to being honest about our role and the individual relationships we honor in a day and our role in the dishonor of them.