Posts Tagged ‘toni morrison’

I just finished reading Toni Morrison’s book A Mercy and may I keep it real by saying Nobel Prize or not, I just don’t understand her writing.  The book focuses on slavery and indentured servitude in the Americas in the1680s. 


One good part of the book includes the section “You say you see slaves freer than free men.  One is a lion in the skin of an ass.  The other is an ass in the skin of a lion.  That it is the withering inside that enslaves and opens the door for what is wild.”


The last lines in the book are the best: “It was not a miracle.  Bestowed by God.  It was a mercy.  Offered by a human.  I stayed on my knees.  In the dust where my heart will remain each night and every day until you understand what I know and long to tell you: to be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing: to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.”


Morrison’s writing has always been over my head and I am man enough to acknowledge my limitations.   Can you believe that some small-minded people are bracing for President-Elect Obama’s “dominion” over them; somebody did not play attention in high school government class.  Anyway, a person or system can only enslave your body; not your spirit or soul.  Obama is one good guy who will govern (not rule over) and people who have never been around good people need some new friends.


Strangely, I am writing about personnel management—I use to be in “personnel hell” while working with good people in an odd operation–“have mercy.”  Some former coworkers still complain that they were “done wrong for years.”  That statement is a contradiction in terms because no one can do you wrong for years if you are there voluntarily.  As Dr. Phil would say, you did yourself wrong for staying in that situation for such a long time.  Ms. Morrison said it best when she wrote that it is wicked to give someone dominion over you. 


Psalm 34:13-14 Keep thy tongue from evil, And thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and purse it.  


(okay, I just added the free Bible to my smart phone; but I am far from righteous…yet)  http://www.olivetree.com/resources/bibles/


Rough times at home or work remind me of the quote “all that does not kill you, makes you stronger.”  Being in a tough situation can be a welcomed opportunity to grow and develop—some of us grew up soft while others were strengthen by circumstances and conditions that children should not experience.



Reading about Black and White slaves and near-slaves who arrived here in the hulls of ships made me think about Africa.  History should remember that President Bush’s policies and efforts in Africa were outstanding and I thank him for that—he actually walked the walk.  If two others were not all up in his ear with incorrect counsel, things might have been different.  (Like Ms. Morrison, I am going to be peculiarly vague about the “two others” but maybe some Rice would have been better for his Colin than a  R.C.)  






Unpopular at home, Bush basks in African praise


Banners across the route, decorated with Bush’s image against a backdrop of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, read: “We cherish democracy. Karibu (welcome) to President and Mrs Bush.”

Others read: “Thank you for helping fight malaria and HIV.” Dancers at the airport and at Kikwete’s state house to greet Bush on Sunday, wore skirts and shirts decorated with his face.

Although many Africans, especially Muslims, share negative perceptions of Bush’s foreign policy with other parts of the world, there is widespread recognition of his successful humanitarian and health initiatives on the continent.

Bush has spent more money on aid to Africa than his predecessor, Bill Clinton, and is popular for his personal programs to fight AIDS and malaria and to help hospitals and schools.

Bush has stressed new-style partnerships with Africa based on trade and investment and not purely on aid handouts.

His Millennium Challenge Corp. rewards countries that continue to satisfy criteria for democratic governance, anti-corruption and free-market economic policies.


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