Pierce My Irish Heart

Editor’s Corner: Pierce My Irish Heart
by John O’Brien, Jr.

The going is tough. But we know, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, Who’s with me … right? It’s an American trademark. I wasn’t around for the race riots in the mid-60s, but I have seen the video.  Today reminds me of that. 

The Songs, Stories & Shenanigans Podcast5: Antiracist
got such a response; I can’t help but being thrilled by the discussions and the real change I think, I hope, I pray, has started.

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There are only two things people really hate – staying the same, and change. Change is hard, but he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother – at least Christians and many faiths believe that.  So, has the belief translated to action?  History in America would say no, but so many of us are not willing to give up on what God aspires us to do; we want to write our own history that lives on the example of love thy neighbor. 

Podcast5: Antiracist compared the Black American welcome, Dream, experience with the ones the Irish experienced when they came here to America. Mostly the Irish came by choice. I am quite sure none of the Black did. There is no way you walk out of church and then kneel on someone’s neck. Even if you have never knelt, you still know this is wrong, and cannot be accepted.

We can change the narrative. We can Love Thy Neighbor. It will be tough to change practices, protocols and taking the easy way out. Systemic routines doesn’t mean they are right, just followed; “we’ve always done it that way,” right or not.

It might be tough to not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods, or caring only that, I got mine. But if not us, who?  If not now, when? That leaving the world a better place than how we found it is what we are called to do.

I’m not holding the sins of the father against the son, demanding retribution to those inflicting the most damage or euthanasia, as they did to my Irish ancestors. Perhaps I bear no blame for the situation, the dire straits big and small, my Black neighbor is faced with every day, all of their life. But I can still choose to recognize very, very obvious, prevalent and systemic injustice.

I can still choose to change the path less travelled, for equal treatment to all humans – not just to white, male, heterosexual, Christian, American, living above poverty level, with no disability or preexisting condition ones.  I choose to not leave THAT legacy to my children, the children of God all over the world.

We live precariously, in a world beset by violence, by anger and hurt. Walking our path on a planet dying for healing too. I choose to not only see, but to act. I hope you see that too, and will join me in living for others.

The world is reopening, for good or for bad, we don’t yet know. I hope the only resurgence we see is the one I have been writing about for a very long time. One of Love Thy Neighbor.  It is what we are commanded to do. 

All the ills and strife can be overcome with a pandemic of love and respect for a fellow human being, nothing more, nothing less, designed by God, and therefore loved beyond measure. He doesn’t make mistakes, y’know.

It will be tough, a long battle of ebb and flow – stamina and insight and dedication and collaboration, but what we have been doing so far, has no reason for recommendation or recall. It has failed, failed utterly.
We cannot bury our head in the hope the pain of injustice will just go away. It hasn’t, it won’t. Only different actions will get different results.  Words can inspire, Actions lead to the change any child of God can see is right.

Our children deserve that too.

Nuair a stadann an ceol, stadann an rince
(When the music stops, so does the dance)

John

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