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blinders1[image from www.perceptivetravel.com]

Blinders are such a hassle.  Unless you’re a race horse, I guess. 

K2 read to me the story Martin’s Big Words:  The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tonight as I tucked her into bed.  Tomorrow we leave for Washington, D.C. for the inauguration.  She reads with great inflection for an eight year old and when she read the words about the Montgomery bus boycott taking 381 days she was apppalled.  When I told her what murder meant, she was dumbfounded.  She will not have the same blinders that I grew up with but she will have blinders.  Darn it.

I had a conversation with a rabbi today.  We spoke briefly about the situation in Israel/Palestine.  We see it quite differently.  I don’t share her history.  I am not shaped by the history of the Holocaust.  I don’t think it is as simple as Israel being right and Palestine being wrong (or vice versa).  People, people are being killed.  Violence begets violence.  Or to use some of Martin’s Big Words: 

Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.

Yes, of course, we must be aware of the anti-semitism that continues to reign in too many places.  But that cannot keep us from speaking up for those who are without voice.  Yes, Hamas is out of control but to continue bombing will not solve the problem.  But then I think of the images and stories and artifacts I saw as I pushed myself through the Holocaust museum in both Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem.  How can they not fear what might happen again? 

So I wonder about my own blinders.  I’ve been reading another blogger and her take on the situation in Gaza.  She is concerned about the increase in anti-semitism throughout the world and seems to assume that those who voice concern for the people of Gaza are latent anti-semites.  I don’t think I am.  I’m trying to find a balance.  I pray that I might be gracious in my speech.  I hope that I listen well.  But then, blinders are an insidious part of our wardrobe.

By the time K2 neared the end of reading me the book, I was in tears.  What a different world we live in.  What hope the voice of my daughter brings to me.  Hold onto your hope, K2, hold on.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.

And thanks for your Big Words, Martin…

Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together.