Stewart Acuff

Jan 10

Where there is no Vision, the People will Perish

“Rise up shepherd, rise up,” Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” sings  on his new disc – to us, to you and me, those of us with eyes to see and ears to hear. “We take care of our own,” he sings inspirationally in the first track, knowing it ain’t true, but calling us to make it true.

I’m so excited by what one of the comments a reader made in Daily Kos yesterday with the attitude America needs from all of us:

“You’re damn right we take care of our own, Stewart. The GOP has devolved into nothing more than a bunch of dangerous, callous, irresponsible ideologues who do not care who they hurt and how many will suffer if they do not get their way. That they feel no shame is no surprise, a conscience is required for that and they have none. It has been and will continue to be their undoing. I am the proud daughter of a union man and as disturbing as it has been to see the 2010 GOP Governor’s on their union busting tour, it has also maybe been a blessing in disguise. They unwittingly woke a sleeping beast and it has been truly inspiring to witness the uprisings in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. Solidarity! ‘On this train, dreams will not be thwarted, on this train faith will be rewarded.’ The Boss”

The Scriptures say “where there is no vision, the people will perish.” Well, brothers and sisters that’s where we come in. It is up to each of us to envisage a country of justice, love in action, where the terms brother and sister are said with love, where faith and hope are decisions, not emotions, where the people will not tire in well doing. And as St. Paul said, “Faith without works is dead.”

If you’re reading this Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Walter Reuther, James Orange, Dr. King, and millions of others are saying, “Rise up Shepherd, rise up. ”
Amen, Sister, amen!


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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