There’s a Chinese proverb, says Father Greg Boyle, that says, The beginning of wisdom is to call things by the right name.
I’m thinking about Fr. Boyle’s explanation this morning, as I’m reading and hearing accounts of kids responding to the school massacre in Florida. In his book, BARKING TO THE CHOIR, Fr. Boyle says, “We want to find the right name for what was done to us, for what turned us around, for what is happening to us now. We all want to find our maximum capacity. And when that desire is strong enough, we find the legs to walk us through the hallway, down the path, on the Good Journey.”
He was referring, or course, to former gang members. But the words also seem to apply to the thousands and thousands of demonstrators who are grabbing headlines today.
God bless these kids, who---unlike many state and federal legislators---have found the right name for what was done to them. They’re now “finding the legs” to keep walking on what is certainly a good journey!
I love to see people marching for good.
I love to see old film clips of the civil rights marches! I loved it when women marched on Washington! I love to see teenagers holding public office holders accountable for their shameful inaction…marching to their state houses, marching to the nation’s capitol, marching to the white house.
My hope, my prayer, is that someday we’ll see this kind of support right here in Michigan, when it comes to issues involving prisoners. Like the topic of guns, prisons and prisoners are not popular, either.
I’m hearing about wrongly convicted persons who served years of prison time for a crime they did not commit, yet cannot collect the money the state promised them.
I’m hearing about prisoners deserving clemency for a variety of very justifiable reasons, yet so far, no hint of a heart by this Governor.
I’m hearing rumbles about parole reform that would include “presumptive parole,” meaning that deserving inmates would get out at their earliest release date. Yet, no action.
May the determination and optimism of these courageous teenagers be contagious!
May God give us the wisdom and the insight to “call things by the right name.” And then to find our legs to walk the good journey!
Unlike the kids, I’m 81, and in, what we politely call, the “sunset years.” But in my mind I’m marching!
Critical issues affecting prisoners, like those touching teenagers, deserve our attention. Now.