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The Power of a Safety Pin

Posted by Dave Griffith on November 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM

So the presidential election is over. No doubt it will take some time for the dust to settle.


Thanksgiving has come and gone.


Advent begins.


Winter is upon us, I know this because of the movement of geese settling into the cut fields, feeding, and calling loudly as they do this time of year. You can set a seasonal clock by their call. It is a season defined more by the darkness than the light.


There is another movement afoot in this season of darkness,there are individuals who are feeling free to bring fear to women, to gays, to any race or class different than their own. There is also fear clearly expressed in the recent election that for the first time in America a generation will not be better off than their parents. Clearly, access to opportunity is not equal for all Americans. Americans in urban America and Americans in the heartland. Fear consumes, and fear unchecked feeds our worst self and drives us to places no one sane looks to go.


To that fear I respond by wearing a safety pin and I commit with all my resources I will stand with you in your fear and in doing so will offer protection. I will stand with individuals and families just like mine and with individuals, families and communities as different from my experience as can be. I believe that an inclusive America is a strong America. Diversity at it's worst is a checkbox on the form, inclusion at it's best is a seat at the table. For economic mobility to be a fundamental right, access to opportunity needs to be a universal right. As a people of faith we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and to respect the dignity of every human being. To acknowledge that in deed we are all one. Therefore we need to act as one. I call on our elected leadership, our business leaders, our educational and religious leaders, I call on myself, I call on you,to stand and call for change that creates equal access to opportunity and in turn the chance for economic mobility for all.


Our history is messy, very messy. But if we learn nothing else it is that our greatest strength flows from our differences and the beauty of our system is that we tolerate differences and that the rule of law as defined in our Constitution is available to all Americans, not just select Americans and that law protects all our freedoms.


So I call on you to wear your safety pin. To stand with individuals, families and communities who are in fear and with your voice, your actions, and your vote offer safety and work for change that is good for all Americans and if history is any judge a model for the rest of the world. Equal access to opportunity is not a safety net. What an individual does with opportunity is very much a feature of the American Dream. I am not calling for a hand out, but a handup. We are all stronger when we are all strong.


In this season of darkness let us be a source of light to all who the darkness can be a source of fear. Wear you safety pin and live into what it represents. Remember that the season of advent is a season on hope. Remember that the light of Bethlehem has shone through far darker times.


Look up and challenge the darkness. Stand for and be a source of the light. 




Categories: Muddy Boots, Leadership, Griffith Thoughts

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