As I went through the steps of making my version of home-made beef vegetable soup with the radio on in the background, I had occasion to reflect on events in the news. Activism to correct wrongs. Standing forward to live up to the ideals of our founding documents and of personal faith traditions. 

As a Baby Boomer, these ideals are not alien. And as a Baby Boomer truly far from perfection, save what our Blessed Lord tugs me toward, I deliver words of discernment. Speech and assembly have their place of honor but so does “right action.” 

Burning down or taking over the very arenas in which citizens struggle to actuate our ideals is not the answer and brings no good. This rage of 2020 is false, narcissistic, nihilistic, hijacked. 

As I make my soup this morning, my reflections lead me to understand a bit better the true work of Americans against wrongs. The strong, committed, persistent, lived work of “everyday people,” especially those personally experiencing our “distance” from our founding ideals, comprise the real activists. They are in it for the long haul. They are the builders. They are the keepers of our founding principles.

Statues are coming down this season. Maybe, as I make my soup this fine day, someone can start a statue to them!

- E.O. Gillam, Appomattox