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Driven by a sense of justice

Dynamic presence: “Shawn was a man who made stands based on his own observance of truth”

Along with my condolences and sympathies to the family and friends, the passing of Shawn Crockwell stoked a fire that quietly lurks underneath the many thoughts and impulses that are attached to our social conscience. That sense of justice and pursuit for human equality is an innate reality of our human existence in spite of the appearances of separation and socioeconomic stratification. We are indeed of one flesh, one blood and proceed from the imminence of one soul under the brotherhood of man.

Standing up to assert our truer humanity is not in reality a giant step; rather, it is a natural step, but undertaken by too few. It is the rarity that adds to the peculiar features of those who do stand. Like a people lost on a remote island who have now developed new norms and expectations, and have degenerated to the extent they believe that the tribal ruler and learnt treachery is the true order, our society has succumbed to a politic, which similarly separates us from our humanity.

Under the construct, we must stand up for the order and betray our truth. The order is not only fashionable, but it is also considered insane to live outside of its claps and values. You see, no one has left the remote island because they were told many generations ago that only fish swim and for humans it is taboo — and, more important, they actually believed it. They never built boats, either, because they never saw one and any who thought or dreamt the idea of it were declared insane.

They had even adapted traditional medicine to cure people who had thoughts like building a boat, or learning how to swim. People were executed and killed for inciting movements to build a boat, and others were declared lunatics because they declared to have learnt how to swim.

Shawn was born into this kind of political culture where the boundaries of possibilities were firmly set and established long before he reached intellectual maturity. What seemed so obvious to him was absolute folly in the world he was trying to influence. In the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr: “Wrong is on the throne, truth is on the scaffold.”

In other words, your truth may be the platform upon which you want to build, but remember, wrong is on the throne. It’s in charge.

In our Bermuda society, we are perpetuating a neurosis where the very instincts for truth will be crushed by either side of the political divide for non-compliance and God forbid your passions, if not tempered by detachment, will become one’s own hellfire. To stand for truth and walk the middle path invariably means being hit by traffic travelling both ways. No apologies will be accepted or entertained for having a contrary opinion. Once tainted with the paint of either side, the marks are indelible; they last for ever and you are not to be credited for a changed mind, even if it’s an evolved one, or to express an alternative point of view.

Power is the only game in town, so the only sport is the art of gaining power.

For all those who are seekers of truth, the old maxims are absolute requirements for today. You must abandon all your worldly possessions and enter the kingdom as a child naked. You have to give it all up before it is taken away; every piece you hold on to will cause pain because the masters of our political game are merciless. Of course, this is not a literal statement but a spiritual requirement of detachment from the desire and entrapment of wealth or aspirations of grandeur.

Shawn was a man who made stands based on his own observance of truth, from where he saw it. He continued to evolve and move with the nuances of what was happening each new day. Truth is dynamic never static; we can be correct in one instance and wrong in another, be with the party of right on one day and the same party be wrong the next.

The dance of life is the dance with truth, and to remain a constant defender and proponent of what’s right and constant antagonist against what’s wrong is the preoccupation of a truth seeker.

However, one day we shall have hope like that of the old philosophers, who envisioned that philosophy, wisdom and power would eventually become one. When the rulers used their power and became seekers instead for wisdom and truth, then the baser things and trivial pursuits were put to rest. It is thought then and only then would mankind begin to see the light of day.