Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who Knew?

"You cannot live a political life, you can't live a moral life, if you're not willing to open your eyes and see the world more clearly, see some of the injustices going on. Try to make yourself aware of what's happening in the world, and if you are aware, you have a responsibility to act, and when you act, you have a responsibility to doubt. And when you doubt, you can't get paralyzed; you have to use that doubt to act again. And that then becomes the cycle: you open your eyes, you act, you doubt. And without doubt, you become dogmatic and shrill and stupid. And without action, you become cynical and passive and a victim of history. And that should never happen."

– William Ayers, from Fresh Air, National Public Radio, November 18, 2008

Who knew that I could be inspired by an America-hating, commie pinko lefty radical bullshitting terrorist?


  1. This reminds me of my "awakening" when I took my first US Foreign Policy class. I took the class because I was not at all patriotic and I thought, "Wow, here's my chance to see all of the great things the US has done for the rest of the world!" Haha. That class really opened my eyes.

    But action is the hard part. It's easy to open your eyes, to see more clearly, and to doubt; it's harder to take action, particularly when you're not sure that any action you can take will actually be beneficial.

  2. oh quimby, did you find out that the US isn't as 'noble' as you were taught to believe? kind of a let down but that doesn't mean we aren't a great nation.

    so i can't help but see how this relates to my religion.

    but what is my action going to be now?

    my eyes are open. i doubt. now what?

  3. Thanks for putting this out here. And I agree with both of you. Now what? What would be effective? What could I possibly do?

    Quimby, oddly enough, your "awakening" reminded me of my very much un-awake father who seems convinced the the U.S. is still the top of the crop as far as nations go. To me, it's much more complex. I love the U.S., but I'm more concerned with (and loyal to) the world as a whole than I am with this particular country.

  4. mfranti: when you figure out your action, be sure to pass it on. I have always considered myself "awake" when it came to my country and my religion but I struggle to find ways to act to help bring about change.

  5. all I can say is that i am definatly writting that one in my book.

    oh, and ditto what eris said.

  6. You spurred a thought in me. I have been contemplating what living a Zion life means. (I know, kind off the subject, but it happens) So far I have decided that it requires you to open your eyes and see what is happening around you. Second it requires action and sometimes that action is the hardest part. Third, sometimes it includes doubt, which I figure when there is doubt faith has to step in.

    The thing is once your eyes are open you can't ever shut them again. There is no gray in the gospel. You are either living a Zion life or you aren't. So either you act or you don't, but if you don't... well... we all know what happens we you choose not to act. . .

    So.. anyway, that's all I got. Religion, it's what I know.

  7. As one with her eyes opening to the Church - much like you say - and finding out that we are not without our own issues or skeletons in our closets...

    I don't know. I've doubt too, and I have no idea what to do with it. I've fought hard for the "faith" for some years now, and it doesn't become easier. It becomes worse.

    I happen to believe there's plenty of gray. There has to be. I couldn't live in a world of black and white and I don't believe that's what we're meant to live in.

    Thanks for this post. It's the first I've read here, and I like how symbolic/representative it is of so much more.

  8. Mfranti, it would be fun to post that comment on a conservative site and attribute it John McCain or somebody, just to see the response it would get then. :)

  9. That's a really amazing quote, definitely one to remember.

    I think our culture discourages action, though. We call activists crazy (through the lens of history, "activists" are heroes--what else were the founders of the nation?), we discourage people from discussing politics at work or at school, for fear they'll be too controversial. Only the rich and very well-funded are even considered for high public office. We're called to action in speeches by our leaders again and again, but the culture tells us very clearly that we must not act or else we will look bad.

  10. clarification:
    founders=activists, not necessarily heroes.


  11. "There is no gray in the gospel."

    i think there are lot's of examples in the scriptures where "gray area" is exemplefied.

    it was clearly a commandmandment not to eat of the fruit, but eve did so and gave it to adam, she sinned for the greater good-kinda grey

    killing is a sin and yet Abraham was commanded to kill his son to prove his faith and nephi was commanded to kill Laban for the good of his family-d very gray

    i could go on but the gospel is not black and white.

    if it was, all of the "rules" on how to live would be spelled out for us thus negating our agency.

    we wouldn't ever need to pray or search the scriptures for answers because there would be a neat little black and white list of what we can and cannot do.

    do you see where i am going with this?

  12. FD, i played around with how i was going to present this quote knowing that when folks find out it was bill ayers, it would sour their opinion.

    you are correct, if i had said it was mitt romney, people would fall all over themselves to praise it.

  13. lisa, thanks for stopping by and dropping a few lines.

    i am still at a loss for what the action needs to be. at this point in my life, the standard recipe of read/pray/ponder isn't working for me. some will say i lack faith, and maybe i do but i feel that i need to balance my faith with good old fashioned common sense. when it's all faith, without any logic or commons sense, i get a little sketchy.

    sure, i like letting the spirit carry me away and doing god's will because it's good to be obedient.
    but i can usually see how it just makes sense or could make sense. I'm not one to just do things because 'god/the prophet said so" that's dangerous ground and a good way to push people away. it's like: "see how righteous i am, i do what my god tells me to"
    that has a tendency to come across as smug and arrogant, not at all like the saviour.

    who knows where i am going with this babble. i am really hoping to figure out my next step.(i was hoping for ideas from the comm enters) do i want to continue on unsure and do what needs to be done, often in drudgery or is it better to leave-make the hard decision to break?


  14. I think I just became a Poo head. I didn't mean my comment the way I am reading it now. *Smack* Sheesh!!! Open my mouth... :)

    And, you do have a point, about gray, maybe the gray I am thinking is not the gray that you are thinking. I could see the whole murder thing being in more a gray area, but my point was more coming from, once you understand a principle it becomes less gray than before. Like once you understand compassion, you are required to act upon it. If you don't, you will be held accountable for your lack of action.

    Yes there is the atonement, but if you knowingly rebel you are held accountable, and actually what I think I know is maybe not so much the gospel, but more my relationship with Heavenly Father. Sorry about that... can I say I was up to late? or I have a water drinking problem? To much water makes my brain fuzzy? Or... now I think I might be making it worse... oh well


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