Have you ever heard of something referred to as a "white elephant"?
The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. To possess a white elephant was regarded (and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice & authority, & that the kingdom was or soon would be blessed with peace & prosperity.
Here's where it goes awry: Because the animals were considered sacred & laws protected them from labor, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was both a blessing & a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred & a sign of the monarch's favor, & a curse because the animal had to be kept & could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.
Have you ever been given a gift that fits that description? It's a gift, but you think you can't use it to any good personal benefit & it cost you to have it around.
Whether it's an actual elephant or that tacky statue of a armless naked person with a belly-clock; when either a judicial law or cultural etiquette implies you can't give away the white elephant or put it to work, then it can then only serve as an unwanted decoration.
The Justice Project could easily be seen as a white elephant. They keep telling you it's a gift, so you can't simply throw it away. You may even feel guilty trying to see if others will take responsibility for it & therefore get it off your hands. And of course you don't want to keep it because you know it'll cost you the kind of maintenance fees you're really not wanting to shell out right now. What to do? What to do?
Seen through the wrong lens The Justice Project can viewed as a white elephant, that which is either more of a decoration or an annoyance than as one of the toughest, strongest, & most useful creatures when it comes to some of the roughest & weighty jobs in some of the most difficult & primitive terrain.
No matter how many times we've been told that this elephant is meant to be put to work, & that the rewards of the doing so will far exceed any maintenance cost, even to the meeting of some of your most deepest needs & those of others, it's still been hard for some of you to jump on in. Stuck somewhere in this tension between decoration & annoyance, some have found a strange compromise by feeding the elephant but not giving it any tasks (or none worthy of its strength). Ya know, sending it money or giving it canned goods every week, but not climbing atop it & actually heading into the assigned places of great need.
Here's the thing about elephants; they do not work on remote control. The require the personal presence of the human element. You can't simply feed one & tell it where you want it to go while avoiding the hassle or adventure of actually climbing it, & holding the reigns, & being actively involved in its forward motion & in its lifting of heavy burdens & bringing strength into weak places in the urban terrain of the lives of Reid Park residents.
In the coming days, weeks, & months each individual will get to decide whether to see this white elephant called The Justice Project as a mere decoration or an annoyance or as a great vehicle to bring great change into a place of great need. And if the latter, than cross the line & take real ownership & personal involvment in forward motion, no matter your chosen speed or size of the steps.
So... If you've got one, (no can do from a distance) climb atop, head West, & start using it lifting heavy burdens.