This whole post at Pink Thunder: "A Brief Meditation on Fear and Self-Hatred"
If you've been reading the On Racism stories on PinkThunder.com, you know and I know: I wasn't born a coward. I once took on 7 big guys as a kid. Oh -- I got my behind handed to me. I knew I'd lose going into the fight and badly. But winning wasn't my goal. Or maybe it was how I defined winning: my goal was to save my new friend from Korea, Sue. To prevent them from getting past me and going for her. On that score, I won.
The thought of standing and delivering against 7 big guys now is pretty scary to me. Looking back it was scary then too and probably one of the worst beatings I ever took: it was after-school. So what gave me the courage to do it? What freed me mentally and spiritually to be able to do this?...
Why are people so afraid of their true selves, of their personal power? Why do we create the fence of fear? Tai chi sword was one for me. For years and years, this was a practice I hid from almost everyone. Why? I suppose I feared being different. I feared what it might say about me to other people. Mostly, I think I feared me.
At some point, I stopped caring though. I set myself free.
...I never imagined that it would be accepted so easily. That people would think it was cool. That I was cool. Isn't that funny. So now when I push up against a barrier of fear, I don't pretend it isn't there. It doesn't really matter how it got there. It does matter that it stands between me and claiming another piece of personal power. I've decided not to back away but to stand and fight the fear whenever I can...
Why the fear of personal power? With power comes responsibility. How much more relaxing to blame someone else -- your childhood, your job, God, fate, The Man, the wife and kids, your boss, the system, the Bush administration, Tony Blair, your parents, anyone -- other than you...Get over yourself, get around yourself. You owe it to the rest of us. Be who you really are. Without fear. Because who you really are -- is a pretty amazing person we'd all like to know better.
and i could be wrong wrt PT's own philosophy, but speaking for myself i interpret this as: no, this does NOT mean one stops examining the System or even assume that there is no such animal. Rather, i read it as a call to recognize the part we play in it, and see this as a hopeful sign, not as an excuse for more guilt and self-flagellation.
You have the power to help uphold.
You have the power to help change.
Yes. We do all have power. We do all have agency. We do all have choices. They may be limited choices--and it is important to recognize that, yes; and yes, one could certainly Blame the System for that, the restrictions;
but choices they nonetheless are.
and power it nonetheless is.
That's really important.
We already have what we've been looking for. We've had it all along.
Now, the scary part: the unknown. Leap.