I was riding a Lyft in Denver. We were on the highway making our way toward a brewery that specializes in chicha and pulque. The Lyft driver was playing the radio and it featured music from Cameroon. I was just playing around with my phone when I noticed a post from American singer Rhiannon Giddens. She posted a stanza of verse by Irish poet Seamus Heaney:
History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme
It really felt great reading those lines. Being half Irish, I do sometimes get emotional when reading Irish poetry or listening to traditional Irish music. I didn’t cry or even need to fight back tears. I did feel a deep sense of relief and restored hope. But I also felt a sense of urgency. There is a lot of work to be done. The damage done in recent years is not permanent but it will require great effort and work to repair. Like it or not, this includes being gracious in victory and reaching out to adversaries to find common ground.
We do need to let justice rise up. We need to reclaim humanity for everyone. We do need to be kind and compassionate towards one another. Saying or thinking that you are better than the other person accomplishes nothing. You must elevate your own consciousness and become a better person. And if humility doesn’t come with enlightenment, you aren’t there yet. We do have a chance to make this a better world but it won’t be easy. Posting clever memes on Facebook isn’t going to make the world a better place. It might even make it worse. The real work is in our interactives with people in our day to day lives. It is within our reach. Let’s find a way to make hope and history rhyme.