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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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"Signs of the Times"

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni-University

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". [1]

There is a memorable line, delivered masterfully by Jack Nicholson in the movie, "A Few Good Men": "You can't handle the truth!""No truer words have ever been spoken" may be a cliche but, it has never seemed more relevant than it does today. In fact, it applies to far too many people who appear to have had their minds made up, for them, about the course(s) they will take while waiting for things to "get back to normal" . This, of course, raises question(s) regarding the "normal" to which each person who is relying on this abstraction refers.

For some, "getting back to "normal" means turning back the clock to an earlier time when there was a "chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage".[2] With businesses collapsing, unemployment rates at an "all-time high", and mass evictions and foreclosures on the horizon, it is beginning to look like it will take more than a "shot in the arm" to get the American economy back on track. Given this current set of economic circumstances, it seems reasonable to some to lament, as did Archie

and Edith Bunker that,"those were the days"[3].

For others who share this way of thinking, returning to " the good old days" apparently means resetting the time even further back so that the advantages of the "Quality"[4], i.e. "the white privileged", can continue to be underwritten by the minimum and/or un-waged labor of the "Tasked"[5], (hereinafter referred to as "the help"). While the "normal" to which this latter group, "the help", dreams of returning is one in which they can resume their efforts to raise themselves up by their bootstraps while working hard and "playing by the "rules". However, since "the rules" are the province of the rule-ers, it is rarely- if ever- possible for the rule-ees to anticipate them, let alone to determine what they are or will be in this rapidly changing climate. Thus, it is next to impossible for the "rule-ees" to get a handle on the rules for the next "normal".

The truth of the matter is that "normal" is ultimately defined by, and almost exclusively subject to, the whims and aspirations of the "rule-ers". Nonetheless, history has shown that there are always options which can be exercised when the rule-ees decide to examine and engender their own aspirations and set their own goals. What, for example, do they,"the help" foresee as the "normal" they expect to inhabit going forward? And who is the basis for this expectation?"

We have been previously admonished that "Where there is no vision, the people perish."[6] It has also been posited that "Where there is no struggle, there is no progress".

[7] Without question both of these assertions embody the truth. The only question is: "Can You and I handle the truth? "

Truth be told, most of us have little, if any, idea of where we're headed,ie.,whether we're

going or coming. Each time we think we're coming out of the Pandemic, we find ourselves

going back in- to a surge that is accompanied by a more widespread need to submit to increasingly "desperate measures". In lieu of more extensive research, only time will tell

whether or not these "measures" will signal the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The"information" that has been/ is being made available to us by the present "Decider-in-chief" and his allies, is nebulous while that provided by the Decider-in-waiting, must be regarded as tentative,at best. Meanwhile, "whistle-blowers" are losing their livelihoods and fear losing their lives as they try to tell us what time it is. Without a known plan for "getting back to normal" -preferably a plan of our own making-there is no telling where we're likely to end- up or when.

Just as one's direction can be inferred by the signs and mile markers along the road, so, also,

can one's destination be discerned when one glimpses a "Dead End" sign ahead. It is an axiom that "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail."[8] We shall overcome only when we abandon the habit of leaving our destiny in the hands of earthly deciders other than ourselves. We shall overcome as we follow the Way of The One who assured our Ancestors with the Word: "For I know the thoughts I think toward you,saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."Jeremiah 29:11

Because this is the season when we celebrate the birth of Christ, there may never be a better

time than this to set our sights on higher goals and aspirations. We must remain mindful not only of who we are but also whose we are.

Psalm 82:16 I have said , Ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most high.

John 16:33 In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; i have overcome the world.

We too, shall overcome.

Finally, from the "We Shall Overcome" speech by Ancestor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.[9]:

"Truth forever on the scaffold,

Wrong forever on the throne,--

Yet that scaffold sways the future

and behind the dim unknown

Standeth God within the shadow

Keeping watch above his own." by James Russel[10]


[1] John 8:32

[2] Campaign slogan attributed to Herbert Hoover

[3]"All in the Family"Featuring Archie and Edith Bunker

[4] "The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nahesi Coates

[5] Op Cit , Coates

[6] Proverbs 29:18

[7] "West India Emancipation Speech" by Frederick Douglass

[8] Attributed to Benjamin Franklin

[9] Link "We Shall Overcome" Speech by Ancestor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

[10] "The Present Crisis" by James Russell

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