There is always more than one way to win when you are in a fight, or when you are facing an enemy or oppressor. What I liked about the movie Black Panther was seeing that it is not always necessary or wise to let the hate or contempt that you feel for those who hurt you eat you and every one you come into contact with, alive.
I know far too many people, and a few that I attempted to love, who are consumed with anger and hate. In some cases, they destroy everything that they come into contact with: good, bad, and in-between; until eventually their hate and resentments lead them to bring a premature, unfortunate end to themselves and the good that has come into their lives.
I’m all for insisting upon accountability and justice from those that I would consider to be my enemies and generally as hateful and abusive individuals, but, I’ve also learned that it is not to my benefit or for my good to destroy my own chances at happiness and joy because of what someone else did or said that harmed me or others. I cannot live my life wallowing and drowning in the inadequacies and transgressions of others who seem to be oblivious to their own brokenness and failures.
Approaching the age of fifty, I have learned that living in this way – caught in the grip of my past and pain – will keep me from seeing the beauty in life, the sunsets, the people and the places that I never could have imagined.
I walked out of the movie, Black Panther, being keenly aware of how important it is to heal from the losses and tragedies of the past (and even those that I encounter here in the present).
If we are ever going to be useful to ourselves and a gift to others, including the next generation, these actions – which require the evolution of self and the letting go of hate – are what we must take the time to embrace before our time is up.
© 2018 annalise fonza, Ph.D.
You call me out of my name every time you ignore me or my calls
Every time you walk out and act as if I never even existed
Every time you accuse me of owing you for what you allegedly gave to me out of love
Every time you pretend that what you said and did were not intended to hurt
Every time you threaten to strike me with your hands or your words
Every time you dismiss me and my feelings like they mean nothing to you
Every time you refuse to acknowledge your part in destroying what we built together
Every time you put what we had in unnecessary danger or jeopardy by neglecting to take care of yourself
Every time you let your anger and self-righteousness demolish the trust we came to cherish
Every time you negate the love that some black women have given to you, including me, because of the actions of those who did not
Every time you despise and hate me for what others did to you
Every time you blame me for your fears, shortcomings and failures
Every time you fail to understand the difference between the past and the present
Every time you assume that you know more than me or are better than me because you are male
Every time you forsake your own integrity and happiness
For a drink.
© 2017 annalise fonza, Ph.D.
I have been certified as a Humanist Celebrant for a little over a year. Humanist Celebrants, who gain their status through the American Humanist Society, which is a part of the American Humanist Association, are legally qualified to perform weddings and any other special ceremonies throughout the fifty states and beyond, just as any traditional preacher, rabbi, imam, guru, or spiritual leader does so amongst their membership or community. It has been an awesome privilege for me to recycle or reuse skills that I once developed as a United Methodist Church (UMC) clergywoman but now as a Humanist Celebrant, and to be there in an official capacity to celebrate with those who prefer to leave the idea of god, or even the mention of a god, out of their most memorable moments. Though it is quite different from what I experienced as a UMC pastor, and I am in the process of developing new skills and creative new ceremonial formats and languages, it is a great way for me to support other atheists, freethinkers, humanists, agnostics and to stay grounded and in community with others. A few months ago, I was surprised when a reporter from CNN called me to inquire about my experience; the reporter claimed that CNN was “documenting atheism” and trying to learn more about it. At that time I had not yet been invited to officiate a wedding as a Humanist Celebrant.
All that changed on Monday, March 24th, 2014, and I officiated my first wedding as a Humanist Celebrant here in Atlanta, in Piedmont Park. On Monday, July 28th, 2014, an article that I wrote about my subsequent experience with the Atlanta Fulton County Probate Court was published and featured at The Humanist. Here is an excerpt from that article, but feel free to click the link in this blog to read all about it. And, if you are looking for a Humanist Celebrant in your city or state here is how to find one.
The truth of the matter is that anyone who openly identifies as I do must expect public scrutiny and possible rejection. People in the United States still discriminate against atheists, even though more and more people are using the word “atheist” to self-identify. In other words, just because one uses the term openly and proudly, doesn’t mean he or she will be accepted without question or won’t face rejection. In addition, the religious bigotry and social entitlement here in the South is so pronounced—by people of every color and background. Many, including African Americans, openly discriminate against or exclude other black people from social and professional circles when they learn that those others are atheists.
I’ll be live on TRGGR RADIO at approximately 6:30pm EST on Friday, June 28, 2013, to discuss this week’s Supreme Court rulings and a few other topics. Tune if you can at http://www.wmua.org! For more info on the TRGGR MEDIA COLLECTIVE go to http://www.trggradio.org! I will post a link to the show as soon as it is available!
This week I sat down with Michael Harriot who is a writer, and definitely (what I would call) a freethinker! This interview is somewhat long, but it will give you a good sense of who I am and how far I’ve come. Of course, truth be told, I’ve still got a ways to go! Day to day, it’s all about growing and evolving and that’s how I try to live my life. Well, enjoy this podcast and please feel free to share! Here is the link to Michael’s site where you can find the interview: http://www.michaelharriot.com/#!news/chw0