On October 21, 1967 a 17-year-old girl stepped in front of the National Guard with only a flower in her hands. She opened her arms wide as if to say, “I have no weapons, only a flower.” In the Smithsonian Magazine article of the time, she said that at that point she felt tremendous empathy for the young men who stood in front of her. She might even have gone on a date with one of them. She realized that all of them were just human beings. She was an iconic expression of compassion in action.
It’s not 1967 anymore. It’s 2017. But we are faced with Americans against Americans again, not over Vietnam, but over racism, terrorism and hatred. A flower will not hold back the forces of hatred. Sanity, control and leadership might do so. The kind that Seth Myers spoke about the other night. I hope everyone listens to the video of him if you didn’t hear him live.
I have flowers in my garden. This is a photo of one I took today. It reminded me of the young teenager who had the courage to face the forces of violence and possibly death.
I hope we all have the courage to do so.