I was inspired to write a Sunday piece after witnessing my friend begin his courageous battle with cancer in 2011. As I write this morning, he is very close to death…which is what brings me back to this well. Having shown us how to live a life that was all about “Community”, he has come to terms with the end of his physical being. But in his final moments, we can feel his struggle around letting go…
Free at Last!
I thought it would be a fitting tribute to John, who is a life-long Republican, to introduce you to a very eloquent man who recently switched his own political affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and why he chose to do so.
What struck me in a very powerful way in listening to Elbert Guillory was the idea of our attachments. Listening to his moving words I could not help but think of John and his very plain, simple and powerful attachment to his life at this very moment in time. The difference between us and John is that our attachments are relatively dormant in comparison. We are less aware of them because we are not about to lose them. And our attachments aren’t just to people, places and things…they are also about ideas and beliefs, which can have a much tighter hold on us. Yes, Elbert Guillory’s proclamation of “Free at Last” would suggest that our ideas can have a much greater hold on us, rather than the other way around. But at the same time he became his own liberator by finding the courage to test the ideas that held him, and the faith to let them go…
In his particular case, he learned that the ideas were a collection of false narratives constructed as a “plantation” to use his words…the “institutionalizing of dependency” to use mine. Dependency is really just the strongest form of attachment is it not? This is why individual courage and faith are the two traits tyrants fear the most. And those of us in the Liberty Movement realize that these chains are not for the Black Community alone. In fact, the sad state of affairs is that the vast majority of our entire society has, for all intents and purposes, allowed itself to become entombed in its own chains of attachment and dependency…dangerously and pathetically unaware.
Here is the moment where the physical and spiritual must unite in solidarity. This is the place where you and I exist on the head of the same pin with John. In order for us to be free, we must let go. As Jesus himself taught us, it is easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven.
There comes a point, as it did with our friend Senator Guillory, where we realize that the Mother ship has been corrupted and its time to transition ourselves to the escape pod…just as Ripley did in Alien. Kristofferson wrote “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” He lied…Freedom is choosing to let go of everything you have to lose! Godspeed John…your new Home has been prepared.