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My Soapbox Diary Blog

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Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Every time I watch the new presidential administration, I cannot help but think of the biblical story of Haman and Mordecai. If you know the story, Haman had it out for Mordecai and all the Jews including unwittingly the queen. Haman plotted to bring down Mordecai to the point of building a gallows. The ironic conclusion to Haman’s plans is that the same gallows that he built to be the end of his enemy served as his end as he is ensnared by his own trap.

There are parallels to our current political landscape. Currently, the same person who chanted at campaign rallies, “Lock her up” and decried folks who sought immunity saying, and I quote, “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime,” that same person is now asking for immunity.

Then to add more to the Haman comparison, the man that sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in the Oval Office also prophesied that his opponent would be embroiled in scandals from the first day in office. He has instead discovered like Haman that the Truth has a way of exposing schemes. The circumstances that he gleefully peddled about his opponent is coming to fruition surrounding his own administration.

Haman was also undone by his own self-righteousness and ambition. He was a man that thought very highly of himself and would not tolerate those who did not fall in line to give him the respect he was truly convinced that he deserved. In fact, scripture records that when Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, Haman was filled with rage. I can imagine that if Twitter had been around in biblical times, Mordecai may have been the object of a Tweetstorm.

But I digress. Haman was so full of himself that in his view Mordecai’s insolence had to be dealt with. And not only that, but Haman actively pursued a position of honor and respect that he believed should have rightly been his. I find it quite ironic that sometimes the very thing that a person seeks to possess, once he has achieved it, the possession of it becomes his undoing.

Haman had a position of honor, but he wanted more. However, Haman also had, what turned out to be, fatal character flaws. He was petty and mean-spirited, vindictive, vengeful, driven by prejudice and hate. He sought to use his influence to put others in “their place.” He sought to use legislation to accomplish his own agenda.

The interactions between Haman and Mordecai should be a cautionary tale. Be wary of your own efforts and rhetoric to bring down someone else, you may find that when the dust settles, you have fallen into your own trap.

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

As my co-workers and I watched Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it struck me how contemporary his words were. This speech could have been given yesterday with its references to police brutality, second-class citizenship, and bankrupt promises.

And then I quickly tried to calculate how long ago that speech was given, and what King might have expected would have come to pass in that time frame. It has been 53 years since he stood on the steps of the monument memorializing The Great Emancipator. Eight years since the election of the country’s first Black president. Many things have changed, but too many things have not.

It is easy to become bitter or cynical or tired. As King stated, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” We must rise above the actions that challenge our belonging and the rhetoric that debases our humanity.

The future is uncertain and sometimes even downright scary. Retreating to the familiar or sliding into complacency or even succumbing to paralyzed inactivity are not choices that we have the luxury to pursue.

We are called to action. King himself stated in his speech, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

If you are frustrated or angry, stop posting comments on social media, and formulate a plan of action. Get busy. Find out how to get involved locally or nationally to make a difference, to have an impact. NOW is the time to do something, whether that is something in your local school or community, or something larger on the state or national stage.

Find your voice. Do something! Don’t just quote the dream, wake up and be about making the dream a reality. The alarm is ringing! Now is the time for action. WAKE UP!

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