Esau said, “I am about to die;
of what use is a birthright to me?”
How quickly we condemn Esau
for not playing the game of privilege and status,
for not pretending there was some supremacy
of one brother over another.
How easy for us who have inherited a stolen advantage
to fault him for trying to survive—at the cost of the lie.
How smoothly we avoid noticing
how our own ancestor takes advantage of his brother’s need,
demeans his life, and lives the rest of his own
with a claim to superiority worth no more than a bowl of soup.
How often do I make someone sacrifice their dignity and identity
just to survive my greed?
How often do I profit from my imagined birthright,
set apart from my darker sibling
by a bowl of extorted stew?
It must be really good soup, huh?
Am I proud of it? Do I know the recipe?
Am I willing to give it away yet?
July 8, 2020