To the Editor:
“Don’t take it personally.” Those words of wisdom were repeated again and again during my childhood. I’m regularly reminded of this wisdom when I feel offended by a president who has a habit of making inflammatory and insensitive remarks. Simply reacting and taking his comments as a personal affront isn’t helpful in solving anything.
But how do we respond or protest in some meaningful way? Last year, we saw NFL football players bring attention to racial and social injustices by going down on bended knee. In 1777, during the darkest hours of our country’s revolutionary struggles, the future first president of the United States was found on bended knee seeking guidance from divine providence. It might be well worth your time to do a quick internet search for “The Prayer at Valley Forge,” a painting by Arnold Friberg.
In the late 19th century, Reverend Mary Baker Eddy was asked “What are your politics?” She responded, “I have none, in reality other than to help support a righteous government: to love God supremely, and my neighbor as myself.” Princeton is a community where we care for our neighbors. So far in 2018, there’s been an outpouring of love and care for those 35 individuals affected by the Griggs Farm fire. We also had a multi-faith service at First Baptist Church on Green Street that not only honored Martin Luther King Jr., but brought together many faith traditions to share prayers and brotherly love to address threats to peace and prosperity in these revolutionary times.
America means hope, the hope that good will conquer evil and that we will find ourselves on the side of good. Dr. Martin Luther King’s enduring legacy of not taking things personally is illustrated in an approach that can be useful today: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” These are a few reasons why I’ll try a bended-knee approach to celebrating Presidents’ Day.
Tenacre Foundation, The Great Road