Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Light and Dark: Some thoughts on Chick-Fil-A

I have been wanting to write a blog post on this subject for a long while and have even started several. Not specifically about the Chick-Fil-A controversy, because this is bigger than one company and one series of incidents. What I have really wanted to explore is what happens when light is cast into the darkest corners of the world...and of ourselves. Today, finally, I found the words...

The good thing about all the anti-gay, racist and misogynist hate that has been surfacing in recent months in the U.S. is that it's now out in the open for all to see and experience. After all, the hate and bigotry now being exhibited is nothing new. It has always been present, simmering angrily, invisibly -- and fearfully -- in the shadows. But as long as it was hiding, unseen and unexpressed, most people remained unaware of it...or could pretend to themselves that it didn't truly exist.

The thing is, unless we shine light into the darkness, we will never see what lurks there. But once something like this becomes visible and is expressed, in however an ugly manner, two things can happen:

1) We who are directly impacted can act...although action rooted in equivalent anger and fear will never have a lasting effect. We can act both out in the world and by facing whatever levels of internalized fear and hatred we all carry and that will always reflect back at us from the outside world.

2) We who are not directly affected can clearly see a level of bigotry that was previously invisible to us and can, hopefully, be shocked enough to work for and support more enlightened attitudes and legislation.

Whenever there is an increase in light in the world and in our inner worlds, an opportunity exists to shine that same light into the shadowed corners of our inner and outer lives. Only then can we heal the festering, infected wounds -- personal and societal --  that cannot be dealt with as long as they remain hidden from view.

Only then can we be free.

Photo (c) Mark David Gerson

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