“Nevertheless, she persisted,” has become a mantra urging women to stand against discrimination or bullying. Nevertheless, is also a powerful shield for any individual or group facing long odds, from society, ill health, or other adversary.
Author Laura Hillenbrand celebrated “nevertheless” in her bestselling novels Seabiscuit: An American Legend and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. While the books themselves were uplifting, readers may not realize that Hillenbrand herself had followed personal “nevertheless” to write at all. While at college, she contracted chronic fatigue syndrome that forced her to withdraw before graduation. Confined to her house for decades, her research was accomplished through old newspaper clips, her writing was a painful line-by-line process on days she was able to work at all. Still. She persisted.
Over the past years, during our lifetimes, GLBT individuals have come to have the same rights open to other Americans. Recently there has been an upsurge against equal treatment, and it is well to remember that in whatever quarter, change has never proceeded in a straight, untroubled line. There have been, and will be, setbacks and challenges, discrimination, and hateful speech and actions. Whatever word one chooses, pick your “nevertheless” and keep going forward.
Starting with Unitarian minister Theodore Parker in an 1853 sermon titled, “Of Justice and the Conscience,” and reworked in our time by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with his words, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” have moved many and helped to strengthen wills in times of doubt and distress.
Foreshadowing the Civil War, Parker’s original words were, “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see, I am sure it bends toward justice.”
And perhaps, I hope, it shall. As to what we motes can do, we can keep on celebrating life; opening our hearts to love, our minds to learning, and our energies to peacefully and normally going about our business, being seen by others as citizens living the everyday life. A life can also involve parades, balloons, rainbow beads, and gatherings to celebrate how far we’ve moved along the Reverends Parker and King’s arc.
Wishing all a happy Pride!