Writer Without a Clause: All Life Matters

Updated on July 12, 2020
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In his "Writer Without a Clause" articles, Chris writes about whatever is on his mind at the moment without research and without editing.

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About half an hour ago, while sitting in my travel trailer that I now call home, I decided to go outside and build a campfire. I learned how to do this without using combustibles, such as lighter fluid and paper.

I proceeded to do so. First, I took several minutes to shave thin pieces of wood off a single stick. Then I collected twigs that were about one-sixteenth of an inch thick (0.16 cm). Soon I had an adequate pile of branches. The small flickering flame that took hold of the shavings became a raging bonfire.

As I coddled the initial flame on the shavings, I thought, small flames matter. There is no bonfire without first building a small fire. I am a small flame—my life matters.

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The world is using these words in a variety of ways today. The movements described, in my opinion, deserve our support. Which one should we support? That answer changes from time to time.

I once heard a speaker talk about raising children. Someone asked which of his children he loved most. I found the answer to be profound. He said that he loved the child most that was hurting the most at that time.

In our modern world, many people are hurting. They represent races, sexual orientations, and religions. Many of us run to the aid of some of these groups. Others run to all of them. Still, others avoid all of them simply because they are different.

Currently, in America, the black race, our black brothers and sisters, if we are of any other race, are hurting the most; therefore, we love and support them most. This doesn't mean that other races don't matter. I think most mature people get that. Right now, it is true. Black Lives Matter.

Fear: The Root of White Supremacy

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But this takes me back to my original premise as I crouched by the campfire—my life matters. We are surrounded by people who have not accepted this essential truth of humanity. They do not believe that their life matters, and if their life does not matter, then no life matters. This psychological deficiency may be the root of many social problems.

People commonly understand white supremacy in the following way: "I (white person) am superior to you (non-white person). But is this really what is at the heart of white supremacy?

I want to suggest that at the heart of every white supremacist is the following: "You (non-white person) are not better than me (white person).

Do you see the hint of an inferiority complex? Is it possible that these people are terrified of not even being equal to those of other races?

This is similar to the playground bully who intimidates everyone because he feels inferior.

Of course, the truth is that every life matters. Even the life of the skinhead-neo-Nazi-white-supremacist matters. His politics may be irrelevant, and his behavior deplorable, but the person matters.

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The global society must reserve the right to respond to the immediate needs of any group that is currently experiencing more pain, more stress, more persecution than others. Just as a parent focuses on the child who is hurting most at any given moment, the world society must respond to its citizens who are most in need at any particular time in history.

Today, because of inequitable treatment by law enforcement, courts, and the criminal justice system, the people of the United States of America and the world community must declare that at this moment in history, in a unique way, black lives matter.

Just as my little flame progressively grew into a bonfire, the world's understanding of the black race is also increasing. We are beginning to recognize the strengths, the beautiful culture, and the wisdom produced by the purifying fires of history.

Our black brothers and sisters must demand their rightful place. They may cross over into violence. But even the American Revolution became violent as have most social revolutions.

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Look at the lessons of history. Many of these are only partially written. Women fought for equal rights with men for years. They have made enormous progress, but the last page has not yet been written.

For centuries, blacks have been fighting for recognition that they are equal to all other races. But, up to this point, despite considerable advances, the dominating whites have repressed blacks and kept them down. Those who oppose black equality will object to this assertion most loudly. They will say that blacks most certainly have gained the position of total equality. These white supremacists will say this as a means of preventing further erosion of their disappearing foundation.

One day we will advance as a species to the point that we recognize, not only that all human lives matter, but that all life on the planet matters equally.

© 2020 Chris Mills

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    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      8 weeks ago from Traverse City, MI

      Audrey, Some people just have to be first. Life to them is a competition and the winner dominates everything and everyone. People like you and me are content to live, love, and be happy.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Chris

      I love this! "All human lives matter." Yes, a thousand times yes. Your article is stellar in every way. Full of truth. I've said it before and I'm saying it again...why can't we all just love one another?

      You're a light at the end of the tunnel.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thank you Dora. I appreciate your careful reading and understanding of my essay.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Beautiful, excellent, significant! That flame is a perfect illustration of our understanding broadening, and I just love your conclusion that "not only that all human lives matter, but that all life on the planet matters equally."

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ruby, "They will teach their children to love." That sounds like the right prescription.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a beautiful article full of truth and written so well. I really do believe in time we all will feel the need for equality. The people who hate will die out. The younger generation feels equal with all races and they will teach their children to love.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Pamela, Yes, violence is horrible. Random violence of mass murders is horrible. But violence aimed at people specifically because their skin is a certain color is the kind of thing that makes me ready to fight back.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Greg, I hope many more will come to this same realization as time progresses. We have been debating this issue far too long.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Genna, All life, human and otherwise, is vitally important to the survival of life of any kind on this planet. Far too many people understand how the species are linked. I am not only talking about the food chain but also about symbiotic relationships. Many species give and take assistance from other species. Every time a species goes extinct, the whole system is weakened.

      I know I 'm preaching to the choir. You get this. Thanks for your comments.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Shauna, Thank you. Each of us is a fire that has great potential for doing good.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Bill, thank you for enduring for so long. Cynicism is a disease that infects many, and they give up. The arrogance of some people in regard to the subject of race makes me sick. But then I talk to people like you who have understood the reality of equality for years, and it gives me hope.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Eric, Believe me, your life matters. Thanks for all you do here on HP and elsewhere.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      John, "Here, Here" is what you say when someone is handing out money. You say, "Hear, Hear" when you are in to total support of what a person is saying. Since I don't have any money to hand out at the moment, I'm accepting all the "Hear, Hears" I can gather. Thanks John.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ann, thank you. I hope I succeeded in communicating something positive and helpful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Chris, this is such a thought-provoking article. I watched the greivihg family of the 1 ywar olld that after being shot in the stomach. Where is this violence going to stop? What about the 2 policemen that were shot in Washington state.

      The vioence in our courtr iss horrible!

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      2 months ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Nailed it, Chris. Well said, well argued with the standards of logic and evidence and calm, rational words. I wish there were many millions more right-thinking people who believed the same things. Thanks for putting this out there.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent, Chris. "Blacks most certainly have gained the position of total equality." I am still appalled at those who think this is true, or, just as troubling, know that it isn't but it forth as fact, regardless. All lives matter...including our black brothers and sisters. Perhaps when we reach this understanding, we may finally come to realize that all life on this planet matters as well. One goes hand-in-hand with the other. (We cannot embrace the importance, love and understanding of our environment without feeling the same for our fellow man.) Yet I fear we are fast approaching the point where our history will show that we didn't do anything about it until it was too late.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      When will it end, Chris? I love the analogy you brought forth, sparked by the evening you set about making a roaring bonfire from a few sticks.

      Very thought-provoking!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you all the way, buddy! How long will we have to watch this "battle" unfold across society? It is such a simple truth, and yet one so many people fight. I'm tired of it. I marched in the 60's. I'm marching today. For those inclined towards math, that's sixty years fighting the same fight. Unbelievable!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks for sharing this well thought out school of thought. Our notable spiritual people would and do demand no less of us than this.

      Hard to reconcile the skin head Nazi as equal. That must be one of those -- in the eyes of the law and in God's grace.

      I was feeling down the other day. And told myself "my life matters". That was good.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 months ago from SW England

      Well put, Chris. You have it in a nutshell.

      Ann

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Here here! Chris, or is that hear hear? Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      2 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thank you, Umesh Chandra Bhatt.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      2 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Nice essay. Thought provoking.

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