There is sometimes an immobilizing grip that fear can have on a soul, rendering it near impossible to move past it.
It is powerful, even the treat of harm can cause the heart to start beating so much that it can feel like someone is simultaneously squeezing that muscle beyond endurance. Fight or flight feels very real - if one can only move.
Will my family eat?
Will I eat?
Will I be whole again?
That is the threat that a lot of those who felt their position of power was so great they could operate, rule, through intimidation and coercion, thinking that their name was so transcending that they were beyond reproach.
And for a while it can seem just like that.
There are debris of human possibilities left in the road after encountering them, shattered hopes and dreams, even questions of their worth. Left to pick up the pieces of what they thought they would be able to do and envisioned that only met the reality of ego and dominance.
So they walked away.
First one, and it was brushed off as something was deeply flawed with that person that they were not lining up with the vision of the revered leader. Surely the rest would fall in line and most just keep quiet so they can live to eat another day.
Then another after sensing the anxiety of so many and knowing the way of operating was so wrong, it was causing harm within and without, someone had to do something.
So they spoke up.
And were met with flames and arrows aimed straight at the heart. That is the thing about those who believe they are the only true one to do anything and hold all the future in their hands, they launch out at the ones with vision through their facade and the courage to speak up.
Then, another and this time, it could not be brushed off as just a problem with the ones who did not fall in line with the supreme leader.
The question then became would the ones who remained let fear and innuendo grip them and color their glasses even more or would they take them off, put on the prescription of courage, and see what was really happening around them? Would they see the enablers for who and what they are and would they finally, finally, gain a bit of truth within themselves to let it go?
Or will they continue to try to breathe through squeezed heart muscles and palpitations, knowing the danger around them, but ignoring it for the threat of violence that would never come to them for underneath it all is insecurity, anxiety, and a failing.
One by one, the perceived giants of society will fall.
And one by one, the ones who were brave to stand, speak, and shout even, will be the ones who walk away with their soul intact. No matter how long it takes.
Justice still has her day.
Tayé Foster Bradshaw is my pseudonym honoring my late father and late mother. Daddy first gave me a pen. Mommy gave me the spirit to sing my own song.
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