William Bradberry (B?1975. D2017)
William was a brother, a friend, and a witty and opinionated citizen of the USA. His life was cut short by a cruel disease, which limited him physically and pushed him past exhaustion in his last days but never extinguished the amazing wit and passion he displayed every day and in every way.
Regret is the act of mourning the loss of a person who never existed – and was known to no one including yourself. There is only ever one moment that still matters. Use it well.
On the battlefields of war, humans beings demonstrate their inspiring potential to unify, collaborate, and provide fierce, unconditional, mutual guardianship within their units at levels rarely observed in peaceful society. In this environment, you are always your brother’s keeper, and he is yours, no matter your color, creed, gender, or politics. Failing in this, all lives are threatened, including your own.
We cannot possibly hope to resolve any of our differences when we submit to the inundation of messages from all corners, broadcasted by so very few self-interested parties, at such ear-shattering decibels, that we are at war with each other. In such a state, putting aside the challenges of agreement and consensus with our brothers and sisters, even peaceful co-existence is impossible.
I think one of the most profoundly difficult challenges of existing as a human being is the constant, unquenchable desire to be seen, heard, and understood as exactly who, what, and how you are, and came to be, in all aspects, to all people, in degrees specific to the strength of each person-to-person bond – an impossibility we’ll never fully overcome. Only YOU will ever truly *be* or *know* YOU; even the gods could only know you in part – if they are simply glorified reality-shaping voyeurs. To know more, you and they would have to be one and the same.
In that sense, perhaps we are all truly, literally One. But you are your only verified, qualified, ever-present judge. Be accountable, always, but never forget to forgive – either yourself, or others who go through the same eternal struggle to be seen beneath the words they speak and the actions they take.
Always speak your truth. Everything else is a distraction.
Partisanship is the elite’s weapon of choice to fragment the truth into illusorily opposing pieces. Occupy Wall Street is not about nor represented by entitled, violent hippies. Black Lives Matter is not about nor represented by entitled, violent, racist minorities. The Women’s March is not about nor represented by entitled, violent feminazis. Every ‘meaningful’ [threatening to the criminal elite or the myriad shades of racial and gender-based nationalism] social justice movement is obstructed by character assassination, distortion of the message, and bombardment of the public with media content portraying movement extremists as the status quo.
It is telling that we are so susceptible to these tactics that famous, high-profile partisan mouthpieces are starting to pop up on every news channel telling stories about how every last one of them was assaulted, violently confronted, and threatened with death – in the streets of each most recent particular march or rally. And in the background, as ‘evidence,’ random footage is played of peaceful protesting with a supervising police presence. And that’s good enough that we all now accept the entire country full of pro-equality/peace/accountability advocates are mindless barbarians who want to destroy the [not my political party]s.
So, they quickly ‘retranslate’ the conversation from “I fight for brotherhood and an end to corruption and human suffering;” “we must addess the overwhelming evidence of systemic racism;” and “women must be allowed broad-based equalities and foster a paradigm shift that nurtures egalitarialism, mutual respect, and a gravitation away from damaging patriarchal traditions and worldviews.” It now reads: “welfare-addicted pot smoking hippies; unattractive, hysterical, and mentally unhinged women; and minorities that hate whites and peaceful law enforcement are a threat to us all.”
Always, always speak your truth. The reason BLM was so damaged is because their core message – ALL Lives Matter – was cleverly stolen and reflected back at them as if they meant the opposite – painting them as a threat to the white community. While this happened, they saw All Lives Matter as racist as well. You see? Strategic partisanship inflammed racial tensions and destroyed the MESSAGE.
Empowerment of the lesser of us is a threat not to the common man, but the corrupt one. So he simply sets us against each other until we’re actually fighting FOR him.
ALWAYS speak your truth, as a movement or as an individual. Don’t deviate. Don’t ignite tensions. When ALM says All Lives Matter! don’t call them racist. If you’re BLM, tell them: “I could not agree with you more. Here’s why I believe our people need to remind everyone what we’re REALLY saying. Here are 12 federal studies proving horrendous systemic racism in policing in the country and this worries me greatly. Do you have ideas to help that I haven’t mentioned?” It’s not about whether you have food stamps or who you voted for. DON’T fall into that trap.
Sooner or later, we will forge common ground – fragile, wavering, but of a substance suited to congeal and harden over time. We are not our own enemies. Our personal truths come from experience, wisdom, and observation, and each of us is distinct in this formative process. Be mindful of this, see another’s life process as unique and deeply influential, and address them as the summation of their personal reality. Establish brotherhood and sisterhood, and then exchange your truths. There is peace in the *knowing.*
Always speak your truth. Everything else is a distraction.
We will always be at odds with certain others, but amazingly, can also enjoy them as complementary components that keep us in check, expand our wisdom centers, and serve as partners in human advocacy when out truths collide and allow bonds to form that empower us to recognize and face far greater threats.
These are the words of a man who knew his days were numbered. William’s message – Always speak your truth – is a valuable one indeed.