When one speaks out about injustice, inequity - when you speak out against racism, sexism, homophobia you practice embracing life while preparing for death.
Each time you speak you face the death of associations, the death of what some people thought of you, how some people viewed you. You risk the death of friendships,of family relationships. You face the possibility of the unmasking of conditional love and provisional respect. You face the possibility of that death coming at your own hands as you drop the executioner’s axe on the lines that tie you to someone you once viewed as friend, support, backup.
You walk with death, stare it in the face, sit with its shadow, hear its whispers. You see the bodies and hear the stories of the fallen. You know that could be you someday. Sometimes that stops you.
But only sometimes.
You know your death is coming and before that, after that, the births of others who will either wish you had risked these deaths or thank you for each and every one of them. Others did it before you. You are here, able to risk - or not - because of them.
Deaths of many sorts await. And if we don’t face them, learn them, defy them, who will?