In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and With Encouragement for President Barack Obama
We have been inundated lately on all fronts -- economic, political, geophysical, meteorological, astrological, and spiritual -- with threats of terror and trauma. These are indeed very scary times.
What is at stake is our safety, our peace of mind, our centered inner selves, our very lives and the lives of all the species who share our planet home. Indeed, our Mother Earth, Herself, is very vulnerable right now.
What to do?
We can shrink in fear and wallow in our worries, just close down. Or we can use this time to work toward the expansion, openness, and love that we all know in our heart of hearts is possible.
Some might argue that we don't have any choice in this upside-down, dangerous world, and that we can't affect what will happen. But even if we can't immediately alter the course of human events on the world stage, we can certainly create change in our own lives and in all of the lives that we touch.
Our thoughts are the seeds of that change. We know that worrying is like praying for what we do not want. Instead, let us put our intentions, attention, and energy toward what we do want.
So our first order of business must be to stay positive. To entertain only positive possibilities. To imagine only affirmative alternatives. To surround ourselves with wholly uplifting, life-affirming people and influences. To align ourselves solely with the greater good so that our actions will be born of only the finest of our best intentions.
What we all have to do from now on is to stay alert, stay centered, stay calm, stay connected, and most important of all, keep talking. Talking, writing, and protesting keep the light of truth and tolerance shining upon the hidden agendas of governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals. Silence, like the dark of night, shelters nefarious deeds. Silence forgives violence.
I have been haunted recently by the words written by Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant pastor and head of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, he was arrested for "malicious attacks against the state" and spent seven years in Dachau and Sachsenhausen until 1945 when he was released by the Allies.
In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me -- and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.
Let us actively resist the urge to freeze when we are frightened and overwhelmed. Instead, let us breathe deeply to fill ourselves with the air of the ages, the oxygen that can calm us, the breath of new inspiration. And as we exhale, we can sing, chant, talk, shout out our reverence for life, our concern for each other, or care for the planet, and our sacred prayers for peace.
Be bold! Make a statement! Take a stand! Make a difference!
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