COMMEMORATION - A Call to Love and Unity
(Special edition in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On this fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington on behalf of civil rights under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., and in the shadow of that great throng of fervent souls who stood together that day and gave testimony to their commitment to equality between races, we, today, are called to extend this commitment and equally to give testimony.
There are, today, legacies of old racial divides that still prevent full equality from prevailing between blacks and whites in America. We know this, for we are all attuned to one degree or another to the subtle and not so subtle aspects of racial discrimination that still exist.
Yet there are deeper issues that we are being called to face today, deeper and broader, for the path to racial equality is built on equality of education, income, employment, housing, medical care, and justice before the law, and these cannot just be achieved through legislating anti-discrimination laws. We have done that, and are still in the process of doing that. True equality must come from a consciousness that does not see others as different from oneself, and that does not, out of this perception of differentness, create a boundary around who may come close and who must stand further away.
Whether we are discussing race, or class, or physical disability, or mental limitation, or ageing, or any class of attributes that we, personally, find makes us feel different from others - in any such discussion, in any such encounter, it is in the precise details of our meeting another in love that the challenge is met or that the challenge is not met. It is in the precise details of our experience of differentness that we become vulnerable to no longer being connected to our common humanity as children of God, and it is in this perception of differentness that fear, rejection, stereotyping, and prejudice can flourish.
We need to free ourselves from these feelings of differentness wherever they occur and for whatever reason. We need to be able to look at those physically different from us, mentally different from us, those holding beliefs that shock or dismay us, those, even, who may express hatred toward us, with the equality of kinship that belongs to all children of God. We do not need to condone the behavior of those who would hurt us, and we may protect ourselves from such injury, but wherever a human being breathes, lives, and has a heartbeat, there, that being must be accorded the same love and respect that we would give to our own family members.
This may seem like a daunting task. And yet the understanding that we are all of common descent from the Creator of All needs to bring us to a realization that we can and must get past living according to personal likes and dislikes. We must get past the boundary that we have kept around our hearts out of fear and unconsciousness, a boundary that would only let some in but keep others out. Today, it is this boundary that is being effaced by the expansion of light within our hearts, and it is this boundary which, once demolished through the power of love, will allow all human beings to live as one.
But first, we must be willing to step beyond 'like' and 'dislike' in relation to certain individuals, groups, qualities, belief systems, and any other characteritic that causes us to turn away from others. We must sacrifice our clinging to our own beliefs as a way of judging others, and instead embrace the living breathing heart of each one that exists beyond any belief or personal quality of expression.
This shift in our willingness to erase the boundary around our hearts, to no longer give power to fear and rejection based on our historic sense of differentness from others, will, more than anything else, allow those practices and policies on the outer level to come forth that can create a just society of equal men and women, all of whom can breathe freely in the light of our love.
This is the society that each heart beneath the outer rancor and fear it may carry inherently longs for. For each heart seeks peace. Each being seeks to be able to live freely and to be recognized for the contribution they can make to the world. Each seeks the respect that is their inherent right.
Now, today, let us promise to walk in the footsteps of those who stood joyfully and courageously in the great throng that gathered on the Washington mall fifty years ago, and let us take the next step to further that most profound and sacred mission that is now embedded in our collective history.
May God bless this effort and this enterprise on behalf of unity. May the hearts of all seek the bonds that exist between all, so that one in love and one in God the unity of a society of souls can be established upon the Earth. All blessings of the light to those who stand proudly and walk with hearts of love in the ligbt of these holy principles. Amen.
Listen to audio version of above recorded by Julie
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