“I was raised to understand and know the difference between right and wrong.” – Curt Schilling
“Right is right and wrong and is wrong, and when people start getting it confused, that means, they need to sit down with some real people.” – Chuck D
cover image Person by Jean Gerber, South Africa
music Tasveer by Mooroo, Pakistan
THE MARCH OF ONE
written & edited by
Kendall F. Person, United States
There is a difference between right and wrong.
The concept is not simply taught, but instilled in us at a very early age. Tests of sanity versus criminal intent are based on rather we know the difference between the two. Right from wrong is not a zero sum game, however. There are certainly degrees, but none of them are free, when we choose wrong consciously. No one may ever know, the small degrees of wrong, so minimal they are to the universe, and we are not perfect people, by choice as free will gives us even money on every right or wrong decision we make, but our conscious assures, that the piper is paid.
On August 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page and Sadwant Singh Kaleka, would meet at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin. I imagine what was going through each of their minds at the exact moment their eyes met, that only one of them would survive. But on that day, at that moment, the difference between right and wrong could not have been more profound.
A 65 year old President of his temple was preparing to deliver Sunday Service within one of the world’s truly peaceful faiths, when he was ambushed and forced into combat. But in the split second before he was gunned down by the 40 year old man carrying the 9mm semi-automatic pistol – who had already amassed a body count of one – Sadwant Singh Kaleka would try to stab the attacker, and although he was unable to save his own his life, nor the five more that followed. Wade Michael Page – seeing the righteous stand of an elderly man armed only with a knife – had to know that he was wrong. Wrong in ideology, wrong in his target, wrong in his ill-conceived hate, wrong in his inability to gain control of his life and wrong about how right he thought he would feel
As children, we are shaped into thinking individuals by the right and wrong decisions and choices made by our families, our elders, our communities, our schools, our churches and our government. The teenage years offer what we believed to be the first real resistance to authority, but in actuality, they are testing parameters, truths, limits and internalizing for themselves, the hypocrisies in religion and war and politics and love and peace and self But if the guidance that has been instilled since birth – God from our Grandfathers, education from our Mothers, self worth from our communities, humility from our peers, and an unbending belief in liberty and justice for all, entrenched in us every day of elementary school. – regardless of our faith or party or color or orientation or challenges or successes, then right and wrong when clearly defined and contrasted with all that we know and with all that we are, discrepancies would be reduced to banter at best.
Wade Michael Page was not born a mass murderer, or a hate mongerer or white supremacist He was not born predestined to give up on himself, or to give up on right. Did he become a victim of his own profession, did he seek out and receive mental health support as a veteran? Important questions that deserve answers, but more importantly, on August 5, when he walked across the parking lot and into the Oak Ridge Sikh Temple and killed all those innocent people, why are we still pretending that our terrorist problem is not home grown? And rather it is Syria or Mexico or Iraq or Sudan, turning our back on the world we have been governing is wrong.
From immigration bans to wrecked relations among friends, from healthcare to the very existence of our constitution, from a do nothing congress to one that has disappeared, from Planned Parenthood to twitter to fake news to alt facts, from states rising, to countries fighting back, to the strength of democracy and love of nation to belief in the word of God, from climate change to Russians (RUSSIANS) influencing American chaos, to still breaking down Americans by skin color there is a seemingly endless sea of issues that actually defy left or right, and rather an intellect or a student or a working mother or unemployed father, we cannot pretend that we have seen anything like any of this before. And we cannot ignore history as a possible guide.
It is the collective voice of millions who literally have the right to keep a democratic government in check. It is the responsibility of a free press to assure truth shines above all else. It is a part of corporate citizenship and Hollywood and Sports fame and politicians and teachers and farmers and clergy to reinforce that as one of the great nations, who are we to turn our back on refugees, while shouting America first as if our lives are bad.
But the march of one is an individual reckoning, and either a sense of purpose or fear of God or enthusiast of democracy, should send us on a tailspin toward truth, which will either force us to see and search for and understand what is right, because there are times when wrong cannot be stopped.
Same message, but a choice on how you wish to receive it
Above the Clouds/UNHINGED begins March 2017
The Neighborhood (?)