Reflections by Br Mazen Mokhtar, Executive Director of MAS.
I thank God for His innumerable blessings,
The only future that matters is the one we are willing to work for.
On Tuesday we went to the polls to exercise our right to vote. Many voters were dissatisfied with the choice of candidates, dismayed at the negative and divisive campaign season, and shocked by the mainstreaming of hateful rhetoric. By Wednesday morning we awoke, or stayed up, to a result that most of us were not expecting: How could the rhetoric that encompassed hate, bigotry and sexism prevail? What does this mean for our future?
The only future that matters is the one we are willing to work for. We must be more determined than ever, with unshakable resolve, to create the change we want to see happen. “Pursue what benefits you, seek the help of God, and do not give in.” We do not choose what happens to us in this world, we choose what we do about it. This is our country and we have a duty to make it better, collectively.
So where do we go from here?
- Let us first trust God who leads us along the journey of life.
- We must be vigilant, strong and effective.
- It is not the spectators who win the game. We must be active, well organized and driven if we want a better future for our children. It is no longer acceptable to remain on the sidelines, it is downright dangerous
- We must reach out across religious, ethnic and racial lines to people and organizations who share our concern for our beloved country. We should not face alone what we can confront together.
- We as a country have yet to properly address core problems that continue to haunt us; problems such as economic disparity, the widening racial gap, and access to affordable higher education. If we hope to make America truly great we must work to create real solutions.
- As principled people we take principled positions. We believe in liberty, justice and human dignity not for some, but for everyone.
- All lives matter only when black lives matter.
- All people are respected only when Mexican immigrants are respected.
- All voices are heard only when the Sioux at Standing Rock are heard.
- All are safe only when women are safe from demeaning innuendo and harassment
- Human rights are respected only when the prison system respects human rights.
- All human life is sacred only when Syrian lives are sacred.
- Let us be wise and gracious with those who disagree with us.
- Let’s not be quick to judge the intentions of millions of voters. We can learn a lot by listening to people’s actual concerns and worries.
- We cannot repel bigotry and hatred with more of the same. Our actions must reflect our values.
Finally, we should remember that God and only God is the Almighty. We work conscientiously to better our country then rely on Him: “It is you Whom we worship, and it is Your Help that we seek.”