The “Radical and Revolutionary Deed

From Howard Thurman’s Deep Is the Hunger:

“[L]ife in any form seems to have a little way of its own, moving with quiet assurance to some special end.  It is of immeasurable comfort to remember that much of the chaos and disorder of our own lies is rooted in causes that are understandable; much of the evil in life is reasonable, in the sense that its roots can be traced and it is not necessary to place the blame upon the devil or some blind senseless process.  The naked responsibility for human misery, you and I and ordinary human beings like us must accept.  In this doomful fact there is the ground of hope, because it means that in the creation of man, God provided for limitless resourcefulness, and because of any situation, however chaotic, can be understood and reconstructed if we have no fear to do, if need be, the radical, the revolutionary deed.”

There is so much there to unwrap.  Life moves “with quiet assurance to some special end” settles in so softly, but Thurman sends along with it the unsettling message that we all share some of “the naked responsibility for human misery.”  But as he notes, within that “doomful fact” there is “grounds for hope” so long as we recall and act upon our innate ability to perform “the radical, revolutionary deed.”

That “radical, revolutionary deed” comes in many forms, shapes and sizes.  We can pause and listen, stop and help, contribute, smile, encourage….  All of course fit under the single most “radical, revolutionary deed” – love.

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