“To know and not to act is not to know”


[A fountain in downtown Boston]

Just finished Nadine Gortimer‘s Burger’s Daughter; she’d used the above quote by Chinese philosopher, Wang Yang-ming (1472—1529), to introduce Part Two of her amazing and painful and gorgeously written anti-apartheid novel. It just might be my new credo.

If I know that climate change is real but do nothing, I don’t know.

If I know that my country is riven by racism and the dregs of slavery yet do nothing, I know nothing.

If I know that the criminal justice system isn’t just but don’t speak out, I know nothing.

If I know that men and women have equal rights yet fail to act on behalf of my oppressed sisters, I’m an idiot.

if I can remember when water fountains and swimming pools and schools and buses were segregated but fail to exult when I notice that arc of the moral universe has bent a little closer towards justice—in my lifetime!—I remember nothing.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia! Wow, what a superbly powerful, and wonderfully and amazingly astute blog post article in which you have so masterfully composed, as well as your other astounding ones and other very fine and excellent writings! You are right on, my sister! You have made such super and very relevant point points in this great and inspirational blog post article! Like you have so sagaciously written, to do nothing about climate change is indeed to do nothing, and in fact to not be a part of the solution. To know that our country is riven by racism and the dregs of racism and to do nothing is to know nothing and not be an agent of healing like you shared so graciously, my white sister, Patricia. To know that the criminal justice system is often unjust and to do nothing is by doing nothing maintaining that injustice and even creating more injustice. You so love and care about your oppressed sisters, my white sister, Patricia, and we know so, so very well how all women and girls as sisters in our sisterhood are impacted and harmed by a vile and pernicious, pervasive and universal sexism which is one of our many common denominators as all women and girls together in our sisterhood in our spirit of unity! You remember so, so very well the evils of Jim Crow, with its separate water fountains for white and black persons, and how black persons were relegated to the rear of the bus, and separate waiting rooms, and you were and still are my white sister a part of the solution and a major and vital part of the healing and the eradication of those heinous forms of bigotry, racism, discrimination, and inequity! You rejoice in any bit of moral reform and victory which does still occur, as I do as well, and as many other good people like you, Patricia, do as well! It is very good and spectacular people like the wonderful white woman who you are, my white sister, Patricia, who make a way for change and for positive and empowering good to take good effect in our society, country, and in our world. I am so, so very absolutely inspired by you, Patricia, and it provides me great joy, blessings, and inspiration to visit your fascinating and fabulous blog post website, and to read your very uplifting and inspirational blog post articles and other great writings! I feel even more empowered to go about my day and my life, and marvelous people like you make me see our Loving and Great, Powerful, and Sweet God as I can feel and experience our Good God and God’s Spirit coming from you as such a powerful witness, Patricia! You are truly a good woman of our God and Spirit! I am blessed and enhanced spiritually because of you, Patricia, and your blessings-filled words of wisdom! The picture you chose for this special and keen blog post article, and the other pictures with your other blog post articles, are a perfect match and complement your wise words to perfection!

    I am going to have to go to the library and get Nadine Gortimer’s brilliant anti-apartheid novel, “Burger’s Daughter.” I, too, think I will make the Chinese philosopher Wang Yang-ming’s quote my new credo! What wonderful and gracious words of wisdom which he spoke all of those centuries ago!

    I am so uplifted and inspired toward my blessed evening and toward nightfall with your joyful blog post article and other magnificent writings! I feel that I am enlightened and have more of a blessed perspective with much clarity on my life and my spirituality because of the great and blessed gift who you are, Patricia, and your very spiritually attuned writings! You please have a very nice, special, and a very blessed rest of your day, my white sister who you are in solidarity and as ally so, so very much, Patricia!

    Very Sincerely Always,

    Your lesbian black sister in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.