This post is dedicated to the memory of my second husband with whom I spent 29 years of my life. He was the father of our daughter, now 29. He died when she was 25 years old. He was 60.
From, “Little Gidding” from “Four Quartets” by T. S. Eliot:
“And what the dead had no speech for, when living, they can tell you, being dead: the communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”
After my husband had died of a major stroke, through which he fell to the floor, in seizures, of the national/international corporation where he had been employed as an ordinary worker, I made the point to enter that corporation’s local store to tell that store’s manager that, in my opinion, he was responsible for my husband’s death. I wanted him to know that he should carry the weight of my opinion in his conscience, and in his conversations with God, into his future. That manager told me, that day, that my husband’s request to be transferred to another store was denied by corporate office personnel. I asked him if he had advocated to corporate office personnel for my husband’s transfer, as I had advocated for my husband’s transfer in my letter to him six weeks before my husband’s stroke. I had cited his medical condition and the fact that I was observing his health declining because of the stresses of his present working environment. That store manager had no response for me regarding my question. His silence, however, spoke loudly that he had not advocated for my husband, in spite of my fervent letter to him and the medical recommendations he had received regarding my husband’s health.
I had cited at the bottom of my letter that a copy be sent to the district’s supervisor, but my husband had thought it best not to send a copy to that supervisor because he did not want to make so many waves that his job might be in jeopardy. My husband had, however, personally delivered my letter to that store manager, six weeks before his death.
As fate would have it, on the day I chose to speak with that store manager – which was two days after my husband’s death and four days after his stroke in that store – that district supervisor was present. He had been conferring with the store manager so that both heard my remarks. Another person from that corporation was also present. The store manager acknowledged having received my husband’s letter. I gave a copy of my letter, that day, to the district supervisor, but he saw it, unfortunately, after my husband’s death.
Of course, one never knows the reason, ultimately, for a person’s death in terms of how much was precipitated by physical or by emotional conditions. But I did know that my husband was very unhappy in that store, and that he had tried to receive a transfer from that store for seven months before he died. He had given his store manager, in writing, the medical reasons and recommendations for its necessity. He had persistently been denied a transfer by that corporation. The human resource director of that district had even told my husband, after having seen his written request with medical recommendations, that if he could work in one store, he could work in any store.
That corporation’s members are not represented by a worker’s union. I had told the district supervisor that I was aware that corporations are not in existence to secure the welfare of individuals, as social services might, but that corporations exist to make profits. I said to him that I understood that, but I did not expect that my husband would die having been employed by a corporation, either. The district supervisor nodded his head in agreement.
There is a revolution happening today within the collective consciousness of people throughout the world. One has to step back only a little, from one’s day to day life, to see this dramatic revolution of the spirit unfolding throughout the world. On December 26, 2010, I posted on this blog my New Year’s post, which is titled “A New Year: A Budding World Consciousness.” In that post I said that a “new age is rapidly rising – one which fosters a more egalitarian spirit as people relate to one another as inherently equal beings. The old realities of hierarchial thinking are giving way to realities based on truths not mandated from outside of oneself, but which spring from within oneself. We are beginning to relate to others laterally, instead of vertically – as brothers and sisters, instead of as masters and servants.”
Many in America are becoming disillusioned with those in power who would deny workers a meaningful voice in the conditions of their working lives and who wish to destroy workers’ unions – public and private – as a result of their hierarchical vision of others as managers and as workers, or as masters and servants. If one’s vision, instead, encompasses all as equals, inherently, but with differing talents and gifts, then one would have no difficulty with discussing working conditions and interests between management and labor.
I also said in my New Year’s post for 2011, these words:
“During Iran’s 2009 presidential election protests, in which the beautiful young woman Neda was killed on the streets of Tehran, people were willing to die so that they would not to be ruled from without by power which, they felt, gave them no voice. They were seeking a more egalitarian world. As Mama Cass Elliot sang in 1970, ‘a new world is coming.’ All the signs point to it. The old world is quickly coming to an end. Do we, individually and collectively, in this next year and beyond, have the grace of spirit – as well as the courage – to relinquish power for service? Are we wise enough to know that America’s first president, George Washington, by his example of deliberately relinquishing power, was modeling for posterity the role he desired for America’s leaders to emulate in the future? Will America acknowledge that all in the world are inherently equal? Will America and Americans lead others in seizing this budding egalitarian world consciousness through the choices we make? If America can lead others into the coming new age, in this new direction, then she, like her first president, will become a great leader through her grace of spirit and wisdom, rather than simply through her power.”
Since I wrote those words in December, 2010, the world has witnessed many people in the Middle East, such as in Egypt and Libya, speaking out against governing dictatorships in order to have a voice in their own destinies. Those who are risking their lives by speaking out have recognized that they are being ruled, from without, by those who hold autocratic power over them by force, and who hold that power, not to serve the people, but to sustain their own well-being, their own wealth, and their own power.
At one time my husband owned his own business of his created recipes for salad dressings. His business lasted for five years until one large corporation bought another and his products were cut in the process.
After his business loss, my husband immediately became a wine steward in a retail store because he did not want to put our home at risk through his business ventures. (He had been a state sales manager in wines for a distributor before our daughter was born.) When wine stewards were phased out of these stores, my husband remained in retail in other areas. He may have worked only as a common worker during the last years of his life, but he had exceptional class as a human being. He had worked for 43 years, without stopping and with only minimal vacations when he died, counting his three years in the U.S. Navy, and he was exhausted mentally and physically. He had worked the last seventeen years of his life in retail to help support his family. The lack of respect he was afforded, as a typical worker, by the hierarchial management mindset in his last corporation was heartbreaking to me. It broke his spirit, but he never stopped working for his family. We shall never forget.
As a French immigrant, my husband only loved one musical. It was created from Victor Hugo’s masterpiece about the common people of France, “Les Miserables.” I hope that you will take a few minutes to listen to the finale of that musical, below. Listen, especially, to the last two minutes in which you will hear the words, “Oh, the wretched of the Earth have a flame that will never die. Do you hear the people sing? It is the music of the people who are climbing to the light. They will push away the sword, and the chain will be broken, and all men will have their reward. They will live, again, in freedom. Will you be strong and stand with me? This is the future and the tomorrow, beyond the barricade, a world you long to see.”
Earlier in the video the words, below, from “Les Miserables” are sung. They are words that reflect ultimate reality, in my opinion. Choose well your vision for humanity’s future. It matters.
“Take my hand, and I’ll lead you to salvation. Take my love for love is everlasting. Remember the truth that once was spoken, “To love another person is to see the Face of God.”
So many ways of loving . . .