Deafening Silence

Did you know about Leonard Peltier? I didn't. Here's his website, too.

I stumbled upon this quote of his, and just thought it was brilliant:

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.
Let who you are ring out & resonate
in every word & every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.
What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.
You are the message.

I especially like the line, "You are your own comeuppance." I hold a belief that the idea of karma as something that comes around some day in the far-off future is a false notion. You live your karma every single day whether you lie to yourself or not--you still have to wake up to and fall asleep to your own thoughts and conscience. And we as a nation have to wake up and fall asleep with what we do to people--domestically and worldwide--and the crimes and injustices our government knowingly and forcefully commits. There is just no way that we won't have to deal with our national comeuppance if we continue to let things go on the way they are now.

His quote is important to me because I think I'm seeing my place in the world differently than I had before. I think that I understand more thoroughly what it mean to take action, even if I don't always fulfill the requirements. I used to imagine action as writing my representatives, which I did often and with gusto, but now I'm beginning to see that this is just a farce that we trick ourselves into believing will work. The action we need requires much more effort and entails much less comfort. I think Peltier's message says it perfectly.


Anonymous said...

There's a guy who lives near my mother in the country with a Free Leonard Peltier sign, homemade in his yard. He fixes Harleys and small engines etc. I have always meant to go to the site but by the time I get home there's always something else to do. Will finally have a look, I did remember the case and his being jobbed by the FBI I think it was.

enc said...

There's a saying: "don't just do something, sit there!"

It's the opposite of "don't just sit there, do something!"

Sometimes inaction/silence is the best recourse.

Choosing not to do anything is still choosing "something."

teach people not books said...

r/m--funny coincidence. just another example of oppression to add to the pile.

enc--you make an interesting point! i know there are plenty of times within the day-to-day dynamic relationships that we all weather when silence is absolutely the best option.

teach people not books said...

r/m--btw great quote from your boy studs terkel in my heading now.