Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 06/08/2020
I was in Newark, New Jersey at Rutgers in the 60s, a decade when the inner cities burned, Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a recent memory, the Beatles began, Woodstock happened, and the Viet Nam War raged, with huge protests in the streets. I was editor of the school newspaper and we won eight awards, including first place for editorial writing. It wasn’t that difficult.
My son has a habit of telling me that “I live in a different world,” referring to my current success and affluence. Yet I grew up in a world poorer and more alienated than he’s ever experienced in his life. Today I deal with coaching clients globally in a variety of different conditions, and I help them deal with struggles and pain as well as success. I have never forgotten my roots, and I live very much in this world.
I believe that mere talk isn’t enough (I never thought much of those “ice bucket” kind of challenges). I believe you give time and you give resources. My son has also complimented me, by pointing out that my wife and I “show up” to support even small theaters and struggling actors, for example. We’ve invested thousands of hours in non-profits serving on boards and volunteering at events.
When I watched those people in the streets of Newark decades ago, not the rioters, but the people screaming for justice, there was no higher moral plain than theirs. I realized at the time that I could never be them, but I could certainly support them. That’s why it wasn’t difficult to simply honestly report what was in front of us.
RIP George Floyd. May your death bring justice for all. That’s what’s in front of all of us. Otherwise, we just may become an Ozymandian empire, barely noticed by some future peoples.
Revolution is about the need to re-evolve political, economic and social justice and power back into the hands of the people, preferably through legislation and policies that make human sense. That’s what revolution is about. Revolution is not about shootouts.—Bobby Seale
Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.—Helen Keller