Maceo Z. Keeling

Maceo Z. Keeling, Business Strategist and CEO of Asheville Business Accelerator. Photo: Urban News

Choose

Maceo Z. Keeling
Maceo Z. Keeling, Business Strategist and CEO of Asheville Business Accelerator. Photo: Urban News
The Conscious Corner by Maceo Z. Keeling, Sr. –

We are in the trenches now, faced with a threat that has not gone, and will not go away by itself.

We must choose. We must choose whether to accept the decay of morality in our national life or if we will stand up as the moral compass that has built and preserved the country in spite of itself. Will we continue along this wayward path, or right it in truth and power?

The challenge today is not whether to choose violence or nonviolence, Democrat or Republican, White or Black, guilty or not guilty. The real choice is whether to be present or absent. Individuals must decide to participate in our political culture, or accept the consequence of failure to speak truth to power in action.

To be absent means to skip out, cut class, hide your head in the sand because you live in the suburbs and not the inner city. It means you don’t care. It means that the phone is ringing and no one is willing to answer the call. That you can check out because “that stuff doesn’t happen in my neighborhood.”

It means you can watch the unrest on the news because those people are not like you. They don’t have emotional security, they’re not safe from abuse—but you are!

But think about it: think about what we all are putting up with; what the country is going through; what is changing in our world. Think of white supremacists intimidating whole communities of people, threatening to kidnap a governor, bringing AR-15s to the courthouse steps to demand they get their way—and we let it happen. Then think of the wife or great-uncle who quietly endures spousal abuse, or elder abuse, for fear that reporting it will lead to even greater abuse and retaliation by the abuser.

We wonder why don’t they just leave the situation. Why do they “choose” to stay?”

Frankly, the answer is at least twofold. First, they are stuck in it! Secondly, if a person can’t see a way out, they can’t “choose” the way out!

To be absent is to not have the presence of mind to see the simple solution in front of you. If this is the case, how can one possibly choose at all? Silence is complicity, and absence equals apathy.

But to be present, on the other hand, means you are in your seat, that you are accounted for by the authorities, that your vote is cast, and you are at the table. To be present is to be alert to change, aware of the consequences, and be willing to help usher it in—or stop it in its tracks. To be present means that we honor our opportunity to make a difference for the safety, wellness, and peacefulness of our world.

To be present is to act now! To be present is to ask for forgiveness and forgive now. To be present is to rise up and be in the moment, to be the moral compass of our country and humanity. To be present means to be committed to uphold the mantle of peace, and to put on the armor of righteousness that humankind can prevail over our own egotistical and contrived differences.

To be present means using your power now, because this moment is the only time your voice matters. And it does matter. It matters now more than any time in the past 50 or 60 years, maybe in your entire lifetime. Your power matters, because it is yours to use, and you can use it, for good or ill.

Fear of the future is paralyzing and exhausting. Complaining after the fact is too late. Awakening from your nightmare only to realize it is not a dream plunges you into despair. Do not be afraid, and do not complain: wake up and use your power. It is what it is!

Be present. Register and vote; get to the polls, or vote absentee and bring your ballot in. Rideshare to the polls if your neighbor needs a ride to vote.

To take action, and to be present, and to use your power, avail yourself of every opportunity. You can peacefully protest. In your daily interactions show integrity. Most importantly, pray reverently and know that there is only one in charge!

Answer the Call, Be Present!

 

 


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