Quarter Moon

On the journey…

While writing a report for a project, I needed a break, I tuned in to Oprah. The show happened to feature the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary, May4, 1961. What brave souls … white and black together who were so committed to equality that they were willing to give their lives to achieve integration. I sobbed as I pondered how human beings can harm each other and justify it because of race.

As I listened to a woman (white) who at 12 years old cared for riders who were attacked on a bus in Addison, Alabama and was reunited with one of the men (black) that she ministered to, I could not help but reflect on how children are our most powerful teachers. This young girl saw a need and responded to it. She had some sense of danger and yet primary was that people were hurt and had needs (she brought comfort and water to those on the bus).

Just after this viewing , when leading a group using images, the half moon image jumped out at me as a reminder of “two sides to each story” (a phrase my Mom used frequently). In this case the black & the white side … and yet there were folks of both colors who could only see one side of the story. Noticing that there are “two sides” (and often more) brings awareness that is expanding. Holding that our side is the only or right or absolute side limits possibilities. What power is the lessons of this 12 year old girl … don’t worry about the story, take action that serves others when needed! We would be so different if we paid closer attention to the behavior of children.

The rest of the story of the 12 year old white girl was that the Ku Klux Klan met that evening to discuss punishment for her … retribution was inherent in the Klan’s activities … for most members there was only one side to the story. Had an adult been “guilty” of tending to the Freedom Riders, death would have resulted; there were members who championed death for the 12 year old, too. Fortunately, those more rational prevailed and as I recall the outcome, her family was penalized to some degree, however she lived to tell the story … testimony to the fact that there are two sides to every story.


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