Monday, June 30, 2008
I never thought that in a million years I would still be writing for my general or "ascension to candidacy" exams in late June 2008. I just knew by this time I would be sitting back enjoying the company of family, friends, and loved ones. However, here I am still caught in the perpetual "nothing" that is better explained as some kind of academic purgatory. As I have been reading, writing, and revising, I have periodically watched the socio-political developments that have been shaping the world around us. I have not had the time, nor the spirit, or inclination to write anything before now.
My current blog offering, is likely more a musing of several things that may or may not have the logical flow I would like, but right now that is not that high a priority for me. Since I last posted much has happened: Barack Obama has officially become the Democratic Party's candidate for the general election and my man Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open (broken leg and all)....Hell, even Michelle Obama hosted "The View". However, aside from current events and an increasingly bleak economic outlook for this nation, my state of clarity has come from two places: my grandfather, Pastor Rev. John Mitchell, Sr. ( who I call "Papa") and Sun Tzu. Crazy duo right? A baptist minister and a ancient Chinese military theorist (who some scholars think may not have actually lived).
I'll explain. As a kid growing up in my grandfather's church, he was always testifying about his life threatening illness and any number of other trials life had thrown his way and by the end of his pontificating from the pulpit, right before he would get into his characteristic and predictable (almost to the hour and minute...12:15pm) 'hooping and hollering' he would shout at the top of his lungs, "Though ya' slay me, yet will a trust ya'!" This was his interpretation of Job 13:15 that reads, "Though he slay me , yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him,"(KJV). Of course there are myriad interpretations of this text, but I never truly understood what it meant until now.
Simply this passage is a intense expression of faith, and what we should all work towards--a trust in God, though he "slay us", that is, with challenges and trials during our worldly existence, that we must also be confident with God just as we should trust in a friend even when their efforts are meant for our destruction.
Similarly, Sun Tzu proclaims in his time honored treatise, The Art of War, "The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities...It is best to win without fighting." I apply this to those people and institutions that have tried to prevent my advancement in this gauntlet through the academy and life in general. I never thought that I would encounter what I have, but it has happened, and while unfortunate I press forward clinging to my grandmother's memory and one of the last things she ever said to me,
"Don't let them take your spirit...you get your education because that can never be taken away. You will be fine...jus' know that Gran'mama is prayin' for you."
The question could be posed at this point, "So What?" "Why post what could be an entry in your journal?" Well, to the reader, I would admonish you to think about your own faith in adverse situations. Not that one has to adhere to a religious dogma or even claim a religion at all, for truly I believe one could be agnostic, a deist, or atheist and believe in a indomitable will to persevere through the most difficult times. It's those difficult times that makes us who we are. I believe that we look for answers to our pains in the wrong places and largely at the wrong times. We mistakenly try to find solace in material objects, people, and institutions (i.e., "I know that when I get married things will work out"; "Once I get this new job life will be better"; or "If I could just get this house my life would be set.").
I write this for those who suffer and have yet to find peace. I write for the afflicted in whatever manifestation they experience, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. I write for those like myself that find the answers and still need that revival of spirit, mind, and body when you find yourself questioning your path. As I look forward to the days that lay ahead for me, I am no longer worried about what could or should happen. I am confident that whatever awaits me will continue to mold me into a vessel of liberation if not for someone else, for myself.
My belief is that like my academic sojourn, my race, my country, and the world have some trying days ahead. While we can seek economic, social, and political answers they must be steeped a a deep spiritual analysis. That analysis again does not call for any one dogma, faith, or creed...it calls for an understanding and tolerance of our views that moves us toward peace and understanding in search for, and preservation of, the beloved community.
Who knew that beyond my grandfather's problematic doctrines of theology that a lesson would be taught twenty-five years after the fact. God bless you "Papa".
Posted by negrointellectual at 7:04 AM