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  • Writer's pictureDavid Welch

Grounded?

We usually hear the word used in connection with a teenager who has gotten in trouble somehow… late for curfew, taking the car without permission, failing chemistry, and the like. We sometimes hear the word used in connection with a person who is sensible, level-



headed, confident… as in, that person stands for what s/he believes with both feet on the ground, immoveable. On a rare occasion, we’ll hear the word used in connection with someone who has gotten in trouble because s/he is grounded.

People who gather in protest, for example, which happened not too long ago on a couple of college campuses. Decades ago, it happened with right much regularity. Even in recent years, we occasionally saw surges of support for some among us who still struggle with perceived lack of justice and equality… such as Black Lives Matter or gay pride marches. Such efforts might be applauded by many as being courageous about one’s convictions and even important for society as a whole. Others may feel uncomfortable about these public demonstrations, believing that those who seek to preserve peace and order are appropriate to police, disperse, even arrest protestors. When do our freedoms go too far?

Targeting is a troublesome tendency among us beings who are human. We focus on a particular type of person or a distinct class of person or simply persons who are noticeably different from us and we deem them questionable or undesirable to be with in community. The more vicious among us might even seek to push them away, run them off, or do them in… consciously or unconsciously. And often those who are inclined to do so claim to be grounded in their beliefs. When do our freedoms grow too small?

We beings who are human often walk on rocky roads. It can be difficult to balance on such uneven terrain. We stumble, even tumble, and sometimes shatter against the sharp edges of life. And as we travel, there’s always the potential that a rock might be hurled in our direction by another being who is human. Such rocks are usually disguised as words. Sometimes a facial expression, a look. Perhaps we’ve taken a stand for something or someone that’s not widely embraced or expressed in our community, or it is known that we’re part of a church or organization which engages in certain activities deemed questionable by others. When do our freedoms fuel too much friction?

Being a being who is human is no easy undertaking. How can we stay grounded when the world around us trembles with the troubles we humans all know? Gravity keeps us earthbound; when do our freedoms allow us to rise above it all?

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