Right Now

There is a revolution. It spins like the world on its axis. It’s fast, carries no sound, no image not even a vibration. And if you run fast like a child and come to a sudden stop in your sprint, and close your eyes quick and hold your breath, you’ll feel it. You’ll hear it just seconds behind or a lifetime ahead.

 Right now, there’s a Congolese boy running through a field with a pair of Nikes tucked under his arm, dodging bullets like raindrops. His blistered feet barely touch the grass. Racing across the mud. Racing against consumerism. The shoes are not for him, but for his grandmother, so that her time in the field can be gentler in its monotony.

Right now, a boy just found a stone. He checks the weight for strength and the grooves for accuracy. He darts off with his fist held high; signaling to the others that the stick game is officially on. He is oblivious to the fact that the rock he holds is the last remaining piece of a church bombed years ago in Selma, Alabama. And the sound he hears later that afternoon when he cracks a homerun is not the tinkling of broken glass from Mrs. Johnson’s window, but four little black angels crying tears of joy while cheering him on as his feet hit every base.

 

 Right now, in the South Africa, the red ground cracks from the intense heat of the sun, but it’s blood stained ghost of Apartheid still casts over the eyes of everyone living there. And names like Hertzog and Verwoerd, bring shivers colder than the Hudson River in December. And words like optimism, freedom, and democracy can get you shot and killed if you’re lucky. There’s a girl sticking her hand into a barn fire, ignoring the pain and crackling of her own skin. She takes out a book half-charred book that reads ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela. She tucks it under her shirt not for warmth, but for salvation.

 

 Right now, a drug addict waited ten minutes longer than he did yesterday before going to “cop” and told himself, “Tomorrow, I’ll shoot for twenty minutes”.

 

 Right now, a man turned off his television to actually have a conversation with his kids. There is a revolution happening around us every moment of every day. It’s not black power or white power, it’s not scary or tyrannical, it’s not Hitler, nor Gandhi, Martin or Malcolm, Osama nor Noriega. It is a young couple kissing behind the bleachers and the old couple holding hands at the park. It is looking at someone intensely for five minutes, then, letting go when the song ends. It is the beating on your chest like some drummer-boy hell bent on making his way through the spiritual desert. It is writing a poem or hearing one.

 

 Right now, there’s a revolution being fought right around us. Look at the person next to you. See the battle being fought in their eyes and recognize it is just a reflection of the same war being fought inside of you. It is with the effort to live your life the way we wish every moment of every day of this life that you have and that is the battle. And that is the revolution. And your goal is to inhale and exhale, live and love, inhale and exhale, because the life you save today will be your own.

 

 Note: Read at the United Nations in 2003. It recieved a standing ovation.

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~ by adhna on August 16, 2009.

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