Righting a Wrong
I sat on my mini-couch with my daughter to my right and my grand daughter in a bouncing contraption placed upon the worn coffee table in front of me. We chose to watch Oprah’s Where Are They Now show. I wasn’t prepared for the story to come.
Oprah aired a few segments about a woman in 1993 who applied to go to the military college, the Citadel. She got in and then was promptly denied admission once it was learned she was a woman. After a court battle, Shannon Faulkner won the right to attend the academy of her dreams. She stayed two days and promptly left after the intense hatred, hazing, bullying, and pressure she endured. The You Tube clip begins with a little taste of the energy directed toward her by the community.
Then, Ms. Faulkner continues her update with what transpired after leaving The Citadel. Two hundred plus women have now attended the academy and she went on to graduate from another institution. Citadel alum and author, Pat Conroy, paid for her education. As I heard this, an inner damn burst. My body waled in a way I didn’t know I was capable of. Simultaneous love for the author whose library of books I own and have devoured throughout my adulthood mixed with the pain Conroy endured through his history of military school abuse and the redemptive factor of setting a wrong right; followed shortly after an election where women’s rights were threatened all collided into a melt down. And, I purged. Ugly transformed into beauty. I had once again witnessed the Presence of That Which is Beyond Me and Yet is Me in my midst with three generations of girl family.
The last several weeks I have been teaching the human dynamic of right and wrong, which doesn’t exist in the Kingdom of Heaven, yet is quite active within our daily lives. There are no right people and wrong people, there are right actions in a given situation which may be wrong within another context. There is better thought or action for me to take given who I am and what I’m wanting to bring forth on this planet; not wrong thought or action.
How do I catapult out of right and wrong thinking and acting? Forgiveness and behaving from love. To me, this action by Pat Conroy, was a demonstration of love from one compassionate human being to another in pain. He allowed himself to symbolically represent the organization while honoring the value within the oppressed other, who isn’t really an other and really isn’t oppressed.
This story is one I have ingested into my being and I’m allowing to teach me how to be more. The energy of this is instructive.
Thank you Oprah for airing it. Thank you Shannon Faulkner for being willing to be a lightening rod to open the way for other women to fulfill their dreams while making the military better for inclusion. Thank you Pat Conroy for being all the man you are.
I sign off, once again full,