Less than two weeks ago, one of our country's great voices fell silent. Yesterday, Maya Angelou's life and works were honored at a national memorial service. Her words and her voice spoke for social justice. Those of us who work toward a sustainable world know that an unjust society is not sustainable. That is why we worry and fret when we read headlines like these taken from today's Star Tribune:
(income inequality; social justice?)
(global warming; environmental justice?)
a Rock, a River, a Tree: a Future? © harrington
It seems that not enough of us heard, or heeded, Angelou's poem, On the Pulse of Morning, when it was read at President Clinton's 1993 inauguration. Perhaps our hearing was not what we would like it to be. Perhaps it wasn't clear why our Minnesota need be concerned with social and environmental justice. Perhaps today and tomorrow we need to try harder to listen for voices like Angelou's as, by our actions, we create our children's future.
from On the Pulse of Morning
A Rock, A River, A TreeHosts to species long since departed,Marked the mastodon,The dinosaur, who left dried tokensOf their sojourn hereOn our planet floor,Any broad alarm of their hastening doomIs lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,Come, you may stand upon myBack and face your distant destiny,But seek no haven in my shadow,I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower thanThe angels, have crouched too long inThe bruising darknessHave lain too longFacedown in ignorance,Your mouths spilling wordsArmed for slaughter.
The Rock cries out to us today,You may stand upon me,But do not hide your face.
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