Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lesson of Rosa Parks: Stay Seated!

In March of this year, I wrote a rebuttal to a heavily-biased editorial by James Preston Allen, an alternative newspaper columnist and Progressive apologist based in San Pedro. He reported that the recently-installed commemorative statue of Rosa Parks in the Capitol Building was an embargoed story, meaning that the Washington press corps wanted the commemoration delayed.

The statue was significant for San Pedro residents because the sculptor Eugene Daub and his collaborator Rob Firmin. The greater significance for me, enough to write a response letter, incited me to consider what she would think of President Obama, Progressive policies, and how they have affected African-Americans today.

In summary, I wrote:

"Rosa Parks would shout: ‘President Obama, stop putting my people in the back of the bus!’"

That meme "Stop putting my people in the back of the bus" means so much to me. In this life, there are always those who are trying to disturb us, trying to deceive us into give up our place of peace in the front seat of life, where we sit and rest easy.

Their derisive response followed:

We feel so very assured that an old [sic] libertarian white guy from Torrance can accurately channel the spirit of Rosa Parks so as to speak for her from beyond the grave. Honestly, we just don’t know how you are able to do it. Did Rosa come to you in a vision to explain just how disappointed she was in the first black President?

Let me tell you about this Spirit, one which a preacher called "the throne attitude."

He preached from the Psalms:

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110: 1)

Often we are tempted to solve our problems when times get tough. We act as if we must do everything or nothing will happen. When things do not work out the way we want them to, we assume that more action on our part will get everything working the way we want them to.

I have since learned to stay seated, just like Rosa Parks.

Lao-Tzu, a proto-libertarian Chinese philosopher once shared:
"I practice doing nothing, and people transform themselves."
When we recognize forces greater than ourselves at work, and working in our favor, we stop striving and start thriving. The very problems which seem so great become nothing as they melt away.

Christian mystic Blaise Pascal wrote:

All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room.

When we learn to take it easy, and stop acting as if the world revolves around ourselves, we rest, and everything works out for the best.

Calvin Coolidge, the US President who did very little while the country and the economy roared into recovery, placidly shared:
Four-fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would only sit down and keep still.

Why was he able to keep calm in the face of pressures without and concerns within? He offered the following advice:
Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind.

We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.

When we trust in what we do not see, we find that rest is as easy as can be.
Adam Smith described the Invisible Hand of the marketplace, which balances supply and demand without government coercion. Jean-Baptiste Say declared: "Markets Correct if you let them." Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell entitled one column: "Don’t just do something, stand there!" He was writing about economic recovery. Instead of massive government interventions, which confuse market signals and instill greater uncertain for businesses, government should cut taxes, spending, regulations, and all other frustrating efforts.
The same Spirit which animates free markets, makes the world go round, teaches us to believe and act on what we do not see. Know and believe that all things work for good to those who believe.

As a substitute teacher in an inner city school, I covered a science class in which the permanent teacher never showed up. The students copied pages and answered questions from the textbook. Frustrated and bored, tired of writing answers which contributed nothing to their grades or their learning, they acted up. Once they started a paper airplane war. I simply said "Not at this time."

Then five students began drumming vehemently on their tables, hoping that I would get alarmed and try to stop them. I understood their frustration and let them bang away, just as long as the rest of the students could get their work done.

After five minutes, they stopped. I won.

Have the throne attitude, people! Stay in the front seat, like Rosa Parks, trust that the Spirit moving all things is in charge, and watch your problems disappear.
Let go and let the Spirit flow!

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