Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Love what is plentiful as much as what's scarce"


We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain is gold
so much the worse for you.

Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what's scarce. ~ Written by Alice Walker

I love this petite, powerful poem pregnant with meaning. In his SOTU speech last night, President Obama stated that our destiny is our choice. These words resonate with me. We have more power over our lives than we give ourselves credit for. We can give worth to those things that will enhance life–our lives and the lives of our fellow human beings at home and around the globe. As Walker’s poem states “our revolution” should be to “love what is plentiful as much as what’s scarce.” Love nature–the waters, the soil, the air, plant and animal life. Love children–abandoned, motherless, under-educated, mis-guided, gifted, color-full…Love children–children in crises and well-adjusted children (if ever there was such a thing. Many adults look back and realize they were not so well adjusted). Love potential–the possibility of “success” in the people around us, far and near.  Love laughter waiting to be released in you and others; release it and do it often.  Love fallible, imperfect human beings–at least one resides in every home.  Love life wherever it is found­–on the streets of Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit; in the prison and foster care system; under the make-shift tents of Haiti; in the White House and the House on the Hill.  Love people who disagree with our opinions; they emerge on the job, in our families, on Facebook, in faculty and academic settings, in the church board and business meetings… – “love what is plentiful as much as what’s scarce…

Of course, some things are plentiful that we should not love, things like poverty, bigotry in all its forms, jealousy, hatred, gossip, etc.  And unfortunately, people have a way of taking what is (or should be) plentiful and making it scarce (literally, virtually, statistically, rhetorically), things like dandelion and poke salad greens; good black men and women; good men and women period; women capable of holding powerful positions traditionally held by men; decent, respectful, respect-loving minority communities with strong work ethics and moral values; fit black women who exercise and eat properly; women who support and respect other women; neighbors who care about and “discipline” the children next door and parents who will allow them to do so; a “good morning, how are you?”; innocent children free from threat of sexual or physical abuse; compassion for the poor, those who defaulted on their mortgages, those who seem to have misplaced their “bootstraps”; hallelujah prophetic sermons that transform hearts, minds, and communities; parents who want their children to have a good education and are willing to send them into a wealthy white school district to do so–these things and more we have a way of making scarce.  Love again what we have made scarce and celebrate our love!


Anonymous said...

I love this blog! Keep up the good love, the Ahava- Womanist Biblical Scholar!

WomanistNTProf said...

Thank you Naomi. I loved your entry and am going to refer to it when I teach Prophets next quarter. I also released it into the blogsophere. Please do become a frequent guest blogger. My folks need to hear your voice.