Don Rogers: Far cry from greatness
Mission accomplished for the students, the elder and the Black Israelite Hebrews! You don’t go to demonstrations if not to be noticed, after all. Some shouting, some drumming, maybe a little smirking. All part of the deal.
The provocateur who goosed the video that went viral and celebrities tweeting and retweeting were entirely predictable, of course. As were the cable news hounds braying as they picked up a familiar scent.
Leave it to the papers — The New York Times was my entrance to the whole kerfuffle — to report there was more to the story. By now you’d think we would have seen that coming.
Naturally, Fox enjoyed some cat-that-ate-the-canary glee at the opportunity to lecture fellow mainstream hounds about proper journalism, correctly this time. They’ve been smarting lately over attention to their ethical breaches and for operating as a sort of Pravda equivalent.
None of the particulars interested me much, though I confess I did smirk a little myself at Fox pontificating, always rich.
But MAGA caps, pussy hats, tiki torches, drums, megaphones, all that marching, all that shouting. What is that anyway? Besides old?
The lengths we go to be seen and heard, declaring our loyalties, getting stuff off our chests, living our truths, making our difference, trying to convince ourselves we matter.
Yes, this might be the root. We each want so badly to matter.
But why? Why do we have to matter? Why can’t the meek truly inherit the Earth?
Not meek in the sense of the cowed, the cringing, the cowering and non-voting masses, unless the Sermon on the Mount was a warning about consequences. That we get the world we let happen.
No, the King James “meek” undoubtedly is the wrong translation from the Greek, whose approximate word praeis refers to mildness, gentleness of spirit, humility.
Humility is more like it, actually.
Blessed are the humble. This means you and me, more or less. Let the roosters crow, the peacocks flaunt, the famous fly to their lamplights. The humble just get it done, no fuss, hold the applause.
Blessed are the ordinary, by definition the mediocre majority. Someone has to do it for the standouts to … stand out. We don’t all get to be great. There has to be a background to stand out from.
Blessed are those who lose the lottery every time, who don’t get in to Harvard, don’t make the varsity, sit first chair, win the lead part, captain the ship. Whose intellect, effort, passion, talent might be pretty good but not nearly good enough to reach historic greatness, or at least the prime time broadcast.
We the meek serve ourselves best through our work, our art, our contributions free of craving recognition, needing to be special, this curse of an affliction.
What, we need a standing ovation to do the right thing and feel good about ourselves. Really?
But apparently so many of us do. Why else the anguished quests for likes, followers, claps, clicks, comments, shares, votes, ratings, ribbons, audience, fame, even rank widespread horror at what we’ve just done?
This is not to suggest we duck our life’s callings, which could well lead to glory. Not at all. Just that we focus, humbly, on the work itself rather than the reward, as dubious as it inspires such cheap drama next to the Lincoln Memorial, a testament to something else entirely.
Don Rogers is the publisher of the Sierra Sun and The Union, based in Grass Valley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4299.