Sunday, November 21, 2021

Counting Voices' Cost

 I was at the store picking up some things for the upcoming holidays. 

Perusing the aisles, I noticed there was plenty of everything anyone would want for a gathering.

Where were the shortages?

Maybe I was in a different place, but everywhere I went over the weekend from the local orchard for fresh vegetables to the discount home store to the favorite big box, nothing was missing.

But it gave me pause for something else.

The high cost of one's voice.

See, I think while I am alone in the store, especially my daughters' favorite place to get running gear and. makeup, without them to distract me with sudden carts full of sports bras and socks, I had time to really ponder the price we are paying.

A few days ago, a verdict came that many expected, none were surprised, yet, the sting was still felt while others are awaiting a verdict with Black pastors like me being advised that our presence was costly to there other side, the currency of presence was too much to bear. Thankfully, that judge was equally weighing justice's arm and did not buy into the shenanigans.

But that is not the case across the country.

No sooner was the news out and many of us opted out of tuning in on Friday and Saturday, then the Sunday morning pundits were reminding us that this is going to be felt far into my grandson's adulthood.

Do we walk around as vigilantes or do we walk around as victors, avengers, or just stay home like the Pandemic forced us to do last year?

They talked about those attempting to capitalize on the image of the boyavengermurderwhogotoffscottfree so they can regain power and attain the dominance they crave. 

Then they talked about the price of apathy from those who indicate they are standing on the side of justice and equity, for the everyman and everywoman who would benefit from their legislation if they would just stop fighting and see what is really happening everywhere not on the hill.

It is too much.

The thought is too much.

But so many are silent.

Because raising one's voice, advocating has a high price.

No one wants to be ostracized or relegated to the rejection table at the holiday meal. They don't want to lose relationships, friendships, or standing by simply advocating for what is right.

Believe me, I know, I'm still reeling from the cost of lifting voice and "going to bat" for someone else. I'm still calculating what I lost, much more than the income. So I know. It is not for the faint of heart.

Perhaps they have counted the cost and found it too great to bear, so they are silent and hoping the currency of just going along to get along with keep them alive for another day.

But what about the future generations?

The ones that will be ruled by a minority of power hungry control freaks if we continue on the current trajectory. Who will risk anything for them?

It made me shudder, much more than the fast moving cold front heading to my state. 

Yet I refuse to be frozen in space, to not speak up.

Like so many others who braved cold and waved signs of defiance against vigilante actions of those too young to vote at the time or too young to even celebrate with a beer, I refuse to just sit back and hope this all goes away.

Jobs may be lost, friends may be lost, that board seat may be lost, entree to the country club or even a seat at the holiday table may all be lost, but we are in crucial and desperate times in this country. Is anyone paying attention to something more than the cost of a turkey?

Lifting one's voice has a cost but the payoff is worth every payment.

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