WE WERE MADE FOR THESE TIMES: the slow power of NO
Rev. Kit Ketcham, January 21, 2017
Women’s March, Astoria OR
Our emphasis today is on the positive, what we want to achieve despite the challenges of our current national situation. But the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes , “we were made for these times” resonated with me and got me to thinking about just HOW we were made for these times.
We have indeed been training for these times all our lives, from the moment we discovered the power of the word NO, at age 2. As we grew older and faced challenges we did not choose, we said NO over and over again. As teenagers, we used NO to separate from our parents, well-meaning as they may have been.
We have said NO to countless useless wars and our NOs have resounded down the halls of academia during VietNam, in the streets during the Gulf and Afghanistan and Iraq wars. And some of us are old enough to have said NO to Hitler and his Nazis.
We have said NO to offshore drilling, fracking, desecration of sacred land, and misuse of our waters and our beautiful natural lands.
We have said NO to mistreatment of women, children, and men. NO to sexual violence. NO to illegal drugs and cigarettes. We have said NO to unjust laws. We said NO to HIV/AIDS and homophobia and transphobia. We have said NO over and over again to gun and sexual violence.
Sometimes our NOs seemed to fall on deaf ears, but every NO we said in an effort to maintain human rights, dignity and justice for all, and to stop offenses against the land fell upon those ears that could hear, opened pathways of YES as more came to join us in our cause.
And the more times we said NO, the more YESES we heard from other people who felt the same way and came to join us.
The Power of NO is a slow-moving power, whether we’re two years old, rebellious teenagers aching to be independent, or protestors in the streets. It takes time for NO to become visible, to take shape in our national consciousness.
And here we are, saying NO once again, because we have learned that NO has power, that NO brings change, that NO may take longer than we wish to bear fruit, but it does bear fruit.
We have chipped away with our NOs steadily and determinedly at the world’s and our nation’s problems, even though sometimes the way was dark and many delays occurred. In the process, we have turned many NOs into YESes.
For every time we stand up and voice our concerns and our hopes, we turn NO into YES. We watch the foundations of oppression begin to crumble and fall, as NOs turn into YESes as the light dawns in human consciousness.
We can do this. We were made for these times, we have honed our voices and our skills and our resolve. And the world and our nation are watching. YES! Let me hear you say it: YES! YES! YES!