There is a fundamental flaw in our thinking that is in need of repair. I realized this while listening to the various points made during the 2006 State of the Black Union by a panel of Black leaders discussing the relevance and implications of the book entitled The Covenant , written by Tavis Smiley.
The panel included Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornel West, Harry Belafonte, Prof. Nikki Giovanni, Dr. Na’im Akbar, Angela Glover Blackwell, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, among many others – all notable contributors in their respective fields.
They spoke of the need to vote, of ways and means economically to uplift the Black community, and generally how to effectively participate in the political process in order to heal what ails Black America.
But if you vote as an expression of your right and your freedom and that right or freedom to vote is taken away from you what else do you lose? If voting is your responsible expression of your freedom then are you not free when and if it is taken away from you? Therefore, is voting the answer? Not solely, if at all, but it is a tool within an imperfect system which you can make work for you, albeit to a limited degree, by participating intelligently and wisely.
So what is your freedom then? How do you measure your freedom? Is it absolute in its establishment so that not only can it not be abrogated as proof of its veracity, but neither can it be adapted to any condition apart from its own unique existence.
Freedom. To be free. What does that mean to me – to be free? What is being free mean to me? I ask myself, “On how many levels am I willing to go within myself to define and claim my freedom?”
Each one of us must ask and answer that question for ourselves as individuals first before we ask it of ourselves as a community.
Why? Because we have been programmed in a way that is foreign to us and to our Ancestors, making it necessary to think first as individuals and determine within that scope what fits best for the individual Self before considering the broader impact to the collective Self.
The programming, that insidious, shadowy oppression that lurks stealthily within our consciousness, is such that each one of us feels isolated from the broader community, a kind of solitary exile from which first must spring the Exodus we seek – it must first be my Exodus.
Each one of us, for so long feeling lost, confused, and sensing the whole time the torment of the unresolved question – “Am I the only one feeling like this/going through this?” or “Why me?” – must answer from our own point of seeming solitude the calling to journey across the desert wilderness of our wounded, damaged conciousness, face our fiercest demons, and be bold in faith and trust that redemption and victory are assured to those that endure.
Once resolute as individuals we are then prepared to contribute meaningfully to the collective and prevail as a collective.
A fundamental point that I need to fully understand (by experience) and embrace is that the Truth I seek I am. In other words, I and the Creator are One without qualification. It is so. All of Creation and I are One. It is so. And therefore, I as an individual expression of the Creator have the same creative power and energy. I therefore bear the responsibility of creating as an individual the change that I wish to see in the world of which I am a vital part.
(And in understanding that we are the image and expression of the Creator, the Creator, then, is both Father and Mother and yet neither. The Creator then is He and She yet neither, and thus, ALL. The Creator is ME because I AM a part of the ALL.)
But if we see ourselves not as the microcosmic embodiment of ALL that we seek but as apart from ALL, then, given that this fundamentally flawed thinking reproduces itself virally into every area of our lives and relationships, can we ever reasonably expect to to be able to stop the cycles of social ills that plague us? My answer to that is no.
I see no element of mainstream society, whether its institutions or social contracts, prescribing and reinforcing this elemental Truth as the needed piece, the foundational cornerstone, of a well-formed, optimally functioning society – not the political, religious, economic, legal, educational, or medical institutions nor their social projections, all of which are vested heavily in the dis-empowered individual and a consequently dysfunctional society.
Yet this Truth – the Truth I seek I am – and all of its implications are central to the highest good for any and every community.
I, Sariyd Nasir, must enter my own personal Covenant and restore the power of this Truth within my personal Being and consciousness, reflect it in my relationship with myself first then with ALL others, then see its manifestation in our world because what I do I allow and empower others to do.
In the eloquent simplicity of Ghandi,
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The Truth I Seek I AM…….