Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Symbols are powerful communication tools - sometimes in loud ways and other times in subtle, quiet ways. In one's home, for instance, how we decorate our rooms with such things as pictures, posters, artifacts, etc. give insight into us. The represent an array of snapshots into our preferences, histories and even wishes. We draw pleasure from our personal symbols as they give us comfort and a certain level of inner-security because, in part, we are the ones who have chosen them to showcase us to outsiders that may see them. In essence, they say, "This is part of who I am."

Outside our homes, we are surrounded by symbols that speak more to us as part of a larger society. How do we as a community or society want others beyond our borders to view us? We answer that, in apart, via our symbols. These days steps are underway to remove certain symbols that have been part of our societal landscape for generations. Specifically, I am referring to a number of statues of various Confederate generals from the U.S. Civil War that was fought over 150 years ago. In fighting for the Confederacy, these soldiers played an active role in leading an effort to help the southern part of the country that supported slavery form its own nation.

With a movement underway to remove the statutes, our nation is taking a significant step to tell whoever might be paying attention that we no longer want these entities to represent who we are. We no longer want to be assessed on the basis of these symbols. As a result, they are being taken down and will possibly be replaced by symbols that we feel are more representative of who we as a people are today. Make no mistake, the removal of these symbols is a powerful effort to adjust how we wish to communicate with not just the rest of the world but with ourselves as well. I should note that some support this movement while others do not. Boldness is rarely a unanimous act. But without question, it is significant.

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