I Celebrate Myself…

…And there was no one left to speak for me


“In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

-Pastor Martin Niemoller

I am watching Hotel Rwanda right now. I had to pause it for a minute and write. In this particular scene, the western soldiers came only to rescue the foreign nationals, mostly whites. Several things stuck out to me: (1)when a black British journalist tried to pass, he was immediately stopped, and had to show his passport before boarding the bus. (2) If the foreign nationals all banded together, and refused to go, what would have happened? I immediately thought of the quote above by Pastor Martin Niemoller, and I thought to myself, “Who am I not speaking for?” “What am I willing to die for?”

It is so easy just to be a spectator, and use words. It is even harder to be a participant, and create change. A Hindu belief, I believe, states that we are reincarnated in so many different forms, that becoming a human being is so rare, that we should cherish LIFE. So, to much is given, much is expected, as they say. There is so much to do:

The Congo




New Orleans

Urban America


Rural America


Me …


Author: ngalanjala

I Have Learned So much from God That I can no longer Call Myself A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, A Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself With me That I can no longer call myself A man, a woman, an angel, Or even pure Soul. Love has Befriended Hafiz so completely It has turned to ash And freed Me Of every concept and image My mind has ever known. ~ Hafiz ~

7 thoughts on “…And there was no one left to speak for me

  1. I’ve always loved that quote which rings (sadly) too true.

    Hotel Rwanda- such a great film.

    As the saying goes, easier said than done.

    L’chaim. To life.

  2. I’m not sure who said it, but said it was: If you don’t have something you’re willing to die for, you’re not worthy to live.

  3. You should attach the Jewel song.

    Who will save your soul, if you won’t save your own?

  4. The way those in power retain power is by keeping those without power divided. When I came out, I naively thought that people who had suffered discrimination and/or ostracism would understand and accept me. But that has not been the case. In fact, far too often marginalized people try to prove they are worthy folk to the powers-that-be by discriminating against other marginalized people. It is a vicious cycle. What will it take to break it?

  5. I agree with you, it is a vicious cycle. Although it sounds like a cliche, the best way to break it, is to lead by example.

  6. What ngalanjala just said.

    I’m part of a women’s social group whose members are or were women-identified. There’s enough discrimination and marginalization as it is and we don’t want to feed that.

  7. I just tried to mention the quote to my colleague. We were drawing parallel to the happenings here at home-the way tribalism/segregation is so pronounced that it is stalling a lot of issues. People look at opportunities in terms of what they get from it as opposed to what they put in;

    look at Congo
    Indeed the entire human race.

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