Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Free The Slaves

If one of us is chained, none of us are free.

Solomon Burke
I was in the check out line at a supermarket in New York. The cashier was starting to check my groceries when the woman behind me put her's down right next to mine. So when the cashier finished with my stuff she started to reach for the next item on the table and the woman yelled at her, "No, no. That's mine!" which is exactly what she wanted to do. I turned to the woman and I said "Why do you do that?"


"Put your stuff down right next to someone else's? The girl can't tell the difference."

"That's not my problem, Sir" she snapped back.

"Well" I sighed. "Yes it is."

There was silence. The woman was speechless. I think it was maybe the first time she had ever faced the idea that maybe she had problems she didn't know about.

I think the most important action a president of this country has ever done was when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and unilaterally freed all the slaves. The results of that were huge and far reaching for the nation and its citizens, and one of the things that contributed to his death.

What many people didn't realize at the time and many still don't is that slavery was legal in America, until the law was passed making it illegal. But abolitionists knew something the slave owners didn't know, and that was that the slave owners were also slaves. Slaves to a belief, a false principle, a practice that was doomed to failure.

So is slavery gone from the world today? Absolutely not. Human ownership of other human beings still persists in some areas of the world. Unsuspecting girls are bought and lured away from their homes under false promises and forced to work as prostitutes, In some countries daughters are sold to rich men as child brides. There are places where people are enslaved under forced labor from which they cannot escape. These are conditions that exist to one degree or another everywhere in the world.

Legal slavery may be abolished in this country but there are laws in every land which allow for the most horrifying treatment of people and animals. There are firm beliefs, often based an religious grounds, of negation, exclusion, separation. segregation and physical and verbal abuse. There are people convinced of and preparing for the end of the world, apocalyptic warfare, great disasters and human extinction. Those beliefs, like the wrong ethic of the slave owner enchain people to a life view of the worst conditions and behavior. And those who hold those beliefs are vigorous about trying to enslave others to their own way of thinking. There is a relentless effort world wide to imprison the human mind and to deny it the freedom to think clearly. And it's working. The most insidious form of slavery has yet to be recognized.

All of us can go through our lives sometimes under the control of a master of which we have no knowledge. This slave master gets to live in our minds by devious ways. It begins by telling us something that is true. There is no argument. Then it proceeds to something that isn't but might become true.
And when it occurs we begin to trust what we are thinking. Finally it tells us something that can only be true if we respond in a certain way, and that way is a negative one. It assumes rights over other people, rights we don't have. It grants us entitlements that exclude ethical choices. It is malignancy that masquerades as instinct, intuition, competition and gratification. It joins the constellation of memories, systems, reasons, experiences, beliefs and faiths which would make us happy people, moves in and makes itself at home. The final result is that it destroys us as it destroys itself.

There is only one destiny for the evil of every form of slavery and that is for it to be recognized, exposed and deleted.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?

Only 6 responses so far

I await your answer.


Lori said...

Very good post. We can be enslaved to "things" as well -- money, power, career, etc. I like that you called that lady on that. I'd like to have seen her face.

Liz said...

Ground Floor.
I am particularly annoyed by anyone ahead of me at checkout that does not put the 'next customer' slide after their goods so I can load mine onto the line. Often I cannot reach the slides and have a choice of waiting until I can reach them and thereby giving myself less time to unload my trolley or unloading my trolley and hoping the person ahead realises his/her error.
I would never call out 'that is mine' but leave the person ahead that didn't give a damn for the person behind to gasp at the bill!

Sometimes being first in the queue has responsibilities for those that follow!

I realise your checkouts may be different from ours but I write it as I see it from the person in a UK check out.

Sometimes the problem is everyones!