In Our Anger

I was a teenager during the height of the “missing and murdered children case” here in Atlanta. I remember one frantic evening when my younger brother was late getting home from a school event. I remember my mother breaking down into tears as we searched. We found him safe and sound, but you never forget the times you see your mother cry. Those moments are seared into your soul. Then, how much worse is it for the Trayvon Martin’s mother?

But what if?

What if there was no audio or witnesses? What if the victim was a little black girl sitting in her room when a stray bullet found her? What if it happened everyday?

What if we focused less on the shooter, and more on the authorities who felt no need to arrest him? What if we focused less on what the neighbors didn’t do, and more on what we will do in our own lives? What if we focused less on what he was wearing and more on why we as a society allow most anyone to have a gun?

What if voting matched polling in this country on issues of the underserved, women’s rights and healthcare? What if we registered and turned out to vote like other segments of the population? What if love and concern motivated us more than hate and selfishness?

What if we realized that we are the government? What if we took ownership of what happens at each level of government? What if we didn’t wait for incidents like this to give a darn?

What if we didn’t care where we served, as long as we served? What if we didn’t care who got the title, as long as the task got done? What if each of us, consistently, just did something, anything, for someone else?

What if we realized that the best way to prevent these events is to produce a climate of accountability, beforehand? What if we realized that the best way to save lives is to love life? What if we realized that the best way to move on is to let go?

What if we weren’t afraid? What if we lived each day like it was our last? What if we lived each day like it was our first?

What if Trayvon’s death opened our eyes to the death all around us? What if the unjust silencing of Trayvon here, opened our mouths to speak against injustice everywhere?  What if, at long last, Trayvon’s cries have awakened us?

A Call to Write

I’ve noticed since the inauguration of President Obama an uptick in the
rhetoric and not so veiled threats to the president and our country.
Fueled by talking heads like like Sean Hannity, Alan Keys and Rush
Limbaugh, as they argued that President Obama must be stopped at any
cost, it has progressed into the formation of a political party (the
Tea Party), who’s sole purpose seems to be to “take our country back”,
which sounds more like rallying cry for a coup than a tag line for a
political movement. Many in this movement are quick to associate any
humility or deference to the needs of the world at large, as treasonous
or at a minimum unpatriotic. Those who have lit this fuse appear willing
to say anything, to keep their ratings up and their pockets lined on
the pretext of preserving the American way.

First, let me say
that I do not wish to exists at any cost. If I must cast off all that I
am, and myself become an abomination to myself and others, I would
rather that I not have been born at all. And likewise for this country,
if we yield to the vulgar nature of fear and loathing to continue our
existence then we have already forsaken all those things we claim to
be, and we make a mockery of the creed “One Nation Under God”.

Secondly, it seems equally clear to me that “we” must push against the
current of hate and rage, with all the vigor of our beings, that all
that we have worked for may not perish from the face of the earth. Yes,
this country is at great risk right now, but not from anything President
Obama has done, but rather from the lips of those who oppose
freedom when the candidate of their choice is not elected. Where were
these voices the previous eight years? With very few exceptions, those
clamoring the loudest to that we are on the wrong track, are the very
same ones who sold and embarrassed themselves for the previous
administration. Where was their outrage then?

Thirdly, we must
confess that we are a country of morally dishonest people when it comes
to politics. We take up truths that line up with our predetermined
position or affiliation. Many know the truth but they are too afraid to
say it. The truth is, that President George H Bush (the father) was a
good president. He corrected the fiscal policies for President Reagan,
that led to the last major recession. President Reagan was a great
leader, but his policies were very flawed. President Clinton benefited
from President Bush’s fiscal policy, but had the good sense to build
upon them. And as the years pass and the media spin wears off,
President Carter will look better and better. While not right on
everything, he was right on so much, that we as a nation were just not
ready to hear (he called for energy independence before it was a cool
thing to do).

So, the question in my mind is just how do we
change the conversation? How do we affect change, such that we speak
and act upon real issues and not rhetoric and blind ideology born out
of fear of those different from ourselves?

We write.

We write upon this gigantic blackboard called the Internet. We write to
newspapers large and small. We write to the radio stations that
broadcast programs that prey upon our fears and promote incivility. We
write to our legislators and congress persons. We write articles,
opinion pieces and letters to national and local magazines. We write
anywhere where we have the right to express ourselves and our shared
belief of a better existence here in this life. We write the truth, no
matter how painful it may be, whether it benefits us personally or not,
and whether it offends or not. We must have faith in the truth, and
that by its inherent power; we will be delivered from this current
climate of bitterness and deceit.

Lastly, let us remember that
nothing is impossible for those who have faith in what is good and
just. Whether we see the harvest in our generation, does not matter in
comparison to the preservation of the process, built upon the belief
that all men are created equal, and that we might pass this hope along
to future generations, granting them the faith to continue on…

Alan Jones

Thoughts on writing and other means of sharing

Surely it is questionable how one can constantly and persistently open one’s veins allowing one’s life to splatter across the page, especially when each encounter leaves the writer drained and a little dimmer.

What is this compulsion to examine one’s own soul, the drive to share lessons learned from each encounter, real or imagined? Why this thirst for something better, even when seemingly, there is no satisfaction within reach in this life?

…Except for this hope, glimpsed in the corner of the eye like a wayward lightning bug appearing in the darkest halls of our lives; leading us further into the darkness. Is each uncertain step further into the vapors faith, foolishness, or both? But then again, if we could understand it all, if we could see it all, would it be faith at all? And maybe, just maybe, in our brighter moments, might we be lighthouses for one another in this journey we all share? For when we shine in the darkness, it has no answer and the substance of our hope is revealed.



I’ve spoken too much without listening. A product and prisoner of western thought, I’ve focused too much on changing things, rather than being changed.

Even if I know the utter truth, it matters not, given that I am not pure and taint every word that proceeds from my lips. The love I want to share is held captive to my own imperfections.

And if by some divine intercession, I find an unfiltered moment of light, what then?

How do I survive this world so, in such a state of being?

How do I hold on, and yet let go, that I might become?

I Listen.


Please visit: Amazon to purchase the book Sacrifices on sale now for $2.99, and to see other works by the author, Alan Jones.

Or visit my site,, just to hang out.