We shall overcome

When we were kids, we were taught the “We shall overcome” song. The song has a version in Hindi as well that we were taught along with the English version.

I didn’t know then that it was an anthem of the civil rights movement. I didn’t know what the civil rights movement was, either.

I chanced upon a video of Joan Baez singing the song at the White House yesterday and choked up as I thought of the significance and power of the song – especially the lines “we will not be afraid.”

Moments like this remind me of the difference between difficult, challenging and hard. Our lives are often challenging, occasionally difficult but never hard. Hard is when we have to fight for our existence. Hard is when we’re denied basic human rights because of how we look.

An absence of hard is the sign of a presence of privilege. And, for that, we must be grateful, be humble and feel responsible to make the privilege count.

In the absence of hard, we have more going for us at any given time than we realize.