Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

mardi 26 février 2008

Trials of being a passionate person

What does it mean to live by your principles? Heartache and grief, I’ll tell ya. Seriously.
Thanks to my principles, I’m in a fetal position more often than I care to be in.
Thanks to my principles, I’m upset more often than I care to be feeling.
Thanks to my principles, I’m aging myself more than I care to be due to stress.
Thanks to my principles, I’m more stressed than I care to be feeling.
Thanks to my principles, I’m sticking my neck out more than I care to be doing.
Thanks to my principles, I’m involved in more imbroglios than I care to be involved in.

I’m usually OK with all of the above, but not at the moment. Most of the time, I shrug and figure that that’s a small price to pay for being true to my principles. But at times like this, I wonder why the hell I’m putting myself through all this crap.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Right now, I’m waaaaay up in the boughs for several reasons, and they all have to do with principles. Principles shminriples.

One situation: I fought, along with a small group, for a positive outcome, based on a set of principles about supporting our community, et cetera. We stuck our necks out and fought, because we care. We succeeded. Now it’s a few short years later, and we are supposedly in a far better position than we were in then. However, the Fates (with a heaping dose of help from some people!) have conspired to put us in exactly the same position we were in then. I feel like I’m up against a monolith, and that all we did was to delay the inevitable. What was the point after all?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

The tangled situations that helped propel me up even higher into the boughs recently are connected with many principles that I hold dear, including some I didn’t realize *needed* to be articulated. Among the questions the situations engender in me are: What does it mean to be a principled leader? Where do we draw the line? When is it OK to figuratively go to bed with someone who has, and continues to, betray the community? When is it OK to bitch-slap a subordinate who has done so much for the community? How much responsibility do I bear for what has transpired? Who can we trust to stay true to their principles? What does it mean to be responsible to the community? When is it ok to ignore a malevolent force and to deny the truth? How far should collectivism go? At what price loyalty? When do I need to cut my ties and let go, no matter how much it hurts? In the recent situations, a small group is pitted against this leviathan, and I feel powerless. All I have are my principles and dignity. But are they enough?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

I look at people who don’t care and, while I usually deplore that, right now I am filled with envy. One person I know didn’t care about the 2006 protest when so many of us were pouring our hearts and souls into this. He focuses on his small corner of the world, chooses a focus, and lives his life. He certainly seems so much more at peace than I am. I look at people who have chosen to stick their heads in the sand, and I envy them. They’re able to partake in opportunities that I’m denied because of my principles. They’re able to flatter themselves that they’re needed and contributing in a meaningful way. And I’m left with a small group of people and my principles. The green-eyed monster’s perched on the shoulder of my soul right now.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

I just want to curl up under the blankets, bawl my eyes out, and rail at the injustice of it all. I want to hurl invectives at their heads and wash my hands of everything. I’ve HAD IT.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


That would be denying a very integral part of my whole being. So much of who I am is based on my principles. My choice of career and how I’ve conducted myself as a professional is wholly based on my belief that Deaf children deserve a Deaf-centered, positively affirming, language-rich, and empowering learning environment. My community involvement and the causes I’ve been involved in are all based on a set of principles that includes collectivism, integrity, the betterment of Deaf children and people, and a deep and abiding faith in people, just to name a few. I cannot deny these values that I hold dear.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

I’m left feeling adrift and unsure how to proceed, but I know this: I will not betray my principles. For without my principles, what do I have left?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

*raising a glass* To integrity.


  • At 00:27, Blogger Ella Mae Lentz said…

    This is a precious post especially for someone who is serious about studying the impact of various leadership styles in the Deaf/ASL community. What you said hits home as I find myself wondering if what I'm standing up for and holding my principles is all worth it sometimes.
    Your post reminds me that its not gonna be easy although there will be moments of inspiration and relief that there are others who share the same convictions.
    Thank you.

  • At 18:11, Blogger vicki said…

    Awesome moi

    times like these r like "the Dark night of the soul"

    there are many times when i feel like throwing up the towel and saying - why BOTHER!

    i too would love ignorance is bliss to guide my days but it is not meant to be

    some of us i think r borne being very very perceptive, sensitive, and principled

    when i first started teaching over 20 years ago - the deaf dean of students at the Deaf school i was teaching at said to me..."you are a person of principles. That won't last long. I went to college with people like you who had these lofty principles and beliefs and now they all drive mercedes."

    I was like 21 years old and thinking HUH? why are we talking about cars?

    about ever 5 years or so in my career someone has pulled me into their office somewhere or stopped by mine to dispense upon me their wonderful advice and it is always to give up my principles

    u know "win some loose some" or "don't burn bridges" or "work in the system" or "you'll change after you have been here a while..."

    but im basically the same me - moi - i

    integrity is something we shall hold most dearly

    there is a marvelous story in a book "Hassadic Tales from the Holocaust" i think about a group of women about to go into the gas chambers. stripped of EVERYTHING they have in life and soon to be stripped of their very own lives and what did they do - they began to sing - i think it was the Shema - a very holy and lovely prayer

    the guards thought we have taken everything from them yet we can not take their souls

    cornel west said:
    The categories of optimism and pessimism don’t exist for me. I’m a blues man. A blues man is a prisoner of hope, and hope is a qualitatively different category than optimism. Optimism is a secular construct, a calculation of probability. Black folk in America have never been optimistic about the future – what have we had to be optimistic about? But we are people of hope. Hope wrestles with despair, but it doesn’t generate optimism. It just generates this energy to be courageous, to bear witness, to see what the end is going to be. No guarantee, unfinished, open-ended. I am a prisoner of hope. I’m going to die full of hope. There’s no doubt about that, because that is a choice I make."

    my friend often reminds me that i often loose my serenity when i have expectations attached to my activism

    if i can continue to keep my eye on the prize and keep my actions and deeds in accordance with my principles then i should be able to resist resentment and anger when things do not go my way

    im not so good at this acceptance thing but i know i can not abandon my priniciples - i have said i would a few times and my wise friend just looks at me and signs "you CAN'T. you don't know how"

    principles, integrity and dignity go hand in hand

    thank u for sharing your struggle - i am with u



  • At 12:06, Blogger David said…

    Never give up, never compromise, never be concerned about what others may or may not do.
    I like your blog because you care. I care a lot about many things. Education, the planet, poverty, social injustice, children with no lunches,and now my new deafness.
    I could write all day on what I care about and what I fight for. Yes Fight! I am independent of the good opinion of others because people look at what I do and how I spend most (Yes Most) of my time, fighting for and helping others.They snicker and wonder why I care so much, when it is so easy to just turn on American Idol most nights and not care.
    Whatever is easy to do, is easy not to do. I am the one who sleeps at night knowing I gave it my best shot. I fought for what I believed in, no matter if by chance it took us 2 steps back. Never dismiss principles
    I do what I can, then I do the best I can.
    My reward is simple: My 13 year old son told me he wanted the world a better place one day, and he was glad I was working toward that. He told me that long after I'm gone, he will continue our battles.
    Thank you for caring.
    I will care and fight, right along side of you every day.

  • At 19:41, Blogger moi said…

    Ella, Patti, and David,
    Your comments moved me deeply. They were from the heart and touched me greatly. It is wonderful to know that I'm not alone in wanting the best for the community and for the world.
    Thank you, all of you. *hug*


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