I’ve been catching up on this weeks frenzy over the resignation of  Shirley Sherrod, former USDA Director of Rural Development for the state of Georgia.  There are several things that I find remarkable about the event, and the center stage position it’s been given in the media.  I agree with what the CNN newscasters imply in their coverage – that just the fact that this story has created such a splash indicates  that we have not yet created a society that can deal comfortably with race.

But beyond the central issue of race in question, there are two other issues that catch my attention:  dignity and haste.

Dignity because Shirley Sherrod maintains her dignity throughout; she is calm, sure of herself, and non-confrontational.  Her ability to forgive and move-on is inspiring while it is frustrating.  I might be furious if I were her, but at the same time I am attracted to her slow, sure manner of speaking and her thoughtfulness.

Which brings me to haste.  Race is clearly the match used in this incendiary but the fire was lit by haste.  We are addicted to instantaneous news, immediate responses, and worst of all – instantaneously gratifying digital media.  The biggest embarrassment is Tom Vilsak, NAACP, the White House, for reacting at cyber speed to a partial video clip without looking into the full story first.  We are tripping over ourselves in our haste to utilize web media in our jobs.

The next buzzword after local should be slow.  Slow food is a growing movement.  I’m reading a book called Slow Money.  How about the Slow Down Everything movement – that we take time to properly research, reflect, think, and talk things over before we act?  That we just do one thing at a time and do it well instead of killing people texting while listening to audio books while driving on a highway looking at a GPS?

Haste makes waste.  Tragically, and unjustifiably, Shirley Sherrod ended up as waste.

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