Birthday in the Valley of Elah

Individuals have rights plain and simple. To forget this is to suspend the rights of everyone – even dash them in some failing search for a greater good. I have three recent examples of individual rights that have not been protected yet I can’t say anything publically about them as they might involve the privacy of others, or even community groups or government to be protected. I can’t say that these examples have resulted in loss of income, reduction in access and stature of the individuals and even to a large extent public humility. I can’t be critical of the process that has lead to this point – an intentionally vague process that protects the imbalanced claims of those guardians of appropriateness themselves.

I look for the other foot and size up the shoe – yes it’s quite large and morally obligatory in all cases. Yes, there is reason not to set precedence, but precedence is never a protection for ineffectiveness and the opportune lesson’s of accountability. A hero’s Journey begins with the prospect of reclamation, of undoing wrongs. To not have access to this opportunity is a crime unto itself. We are told this – we covet these myths and teach them to our young.

The myths give way to examples in history. In the Valley of Elah, David hurls his stone from the sling and catches goliath in the forehead, killing him instantly! While we know that the underlying message in this story is about the legitimacy of David as the King of Israel, we never separate the victory over the oppressor – in this case David rejects armor and chooses only the tools of a mere shepherd boy – and the story flows out from the centre of our awareness of humanity.

For me I would like to use these three paragraphs in letters to those involved in each of the situations I can’t mention. To do so would hopefully spur them to consider some kind of arbitrative measure, some kind of hope that in the end, dignity will prevail, for without it we all loose when we stop telling the stories of history again, or at least believing in humanity’s lessons.  


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