Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Power of Love

The Power of Love

“Non-violence is a power which can be wielded equally by all---children, young men and women, the elders, provided they have a living faith in the Source of Love and have therefore equal love for all humankind. When non-violence is accepted as the law of life it must pervade the whole being and not be simply applied to isolated acts.”  
~~Mohandas Gandhi

I have been struggling to find peace ever since January 21st. Since the inauguration, it has been a whirl wind of headlines, sensational and not always factual news, and a struggle to find balance. I found a creative outlet in my pottery that has served as a distraction and given me purpose. I have found a likeminded group of individuals with which to join energies and find ways to Expose the Love. And I have found myself challenged on almost a daily basis on whether or not to remain silent.
A good man once said that the only evil a good person can do is to remain silent in the face of evil, or something to that effect. I have witnessed the powerful truth of that statement on more than one occasion, and our collective history is full of examples. Hitler and his rise to power is the leading example these days. And with that in mind, I have chosen to speak out on occasion, and felt compelled to speak out on others when I would rather choose to hide. As a mother I am very aware of my living example to my children. I cannot possibly expect them to live by a certain code of ethics if I do not. Knowing that, I have made an effort to choose carefully what news articles I share on social media. I check my sources. I make sure I have the facts straight and have a strong understanding of the problem at hand. I am human, and have occasionally shared something a little too quickly. But I have also taken the time to go back and correct mistakes, delete falsehoods, share links to the truth, and most importantly of all, to own my actions and their consequences.
I expect our president and his staff to do no less. As the highest ranking public servants in the nation with more than 3 million employers asking them to do a good job, they should be working as hard as I am to check their sources, be sure of the facts, delete falsehoods and correct mistakes. Unfortunately, the almighty dollar and all of the power they believe they have been given has corrupted them into thinking they have absolute power. And they are trying to wield it mercilessly. Not being blinded by the hazy promises of some greatness only they can see, being grounded in reality and aware that the whole world shouldn’t look like or think like me and me alone, I take issue with the passionate dishonesty being peddled in Washington these days. And as a mother, I have always believed my job as my children’s first teachers was not only important by never ending. As I said, I am a living example of what I want them to know. I can preach it or teach it if I don’t live it.
Therefore, I have been compelled to share news articles that are pertinent, important, and fact based, in order to help provide them with some real information from which they can make well educated choices in their lives. And lately, a lot of those articles are politically based, with good reason. As I see it, the White House is rushing madly down the sewer pipes and headed for the cesspool. So much for draining the swamp; these days, it seems to be overflowing.
But what bothers me even more are the people I know who take exception to my sharings. Friends and relatives who are good people deep down, but who have been taken in by these conmen and believe the promises of greatness. These good people are chastising me and telling me that I am tearing apart this country (like I’m some kind of Goddess with Great Powers) and that instead of tearing it down I should be trying to build it up, to make it great again. Yes, they have actually quoted that God-forsaken excuse for a campaign slogan at me in their comments. And I have to ask, when did we stop being great? What exactly do you mean by great? This line of commentary is entirely too generalized for intelligent people to consider. Therefore, I feel compelled to go on record and state my opinions, for my own sanity and sense of well-being.
America is only as great as the people who live within its borders. To be a people of open inclusiveness and loving kindness is to be great. To be a nation that welcomes the down trodden and offers them an opportunity to learn, work hard, and build a good life is to be great. To help other nations around the world work towards that same greatness would also make us great. To defend the weak, support the young, care for the old, and show respect to all people equally would make us great. To encourage truth, justice, hard work, and loving kindness in all peoples, towards all of humankind, would make us great. And I do believe that many of us have been walking that path for a very long time.
What disturbs me is the possibility that others may think that having lots of money, or oil, or guns, or other forms of wealth is what would make us great. I am bothered by the seeming hunger for power over other people that drives some to argue the hate filled rhetoric that they share. I don’t understand how denying basic dignity, or basic health care, or food, or clothing or shelter for that matter, could ever make us great. How can bullying the weak and greedily hoarding wealth possibly make us great? Striking fear into the hearts of the people of the world is not the way to greatness. And bringing religion into the argument serves no good purpose. Those Christians who argue for such power and control do not follow the teachings of Jesus and need to go back and read their Bibles. They have become like Cesar and the Pharisees and have forgotten the lessons Christ taught on the Mount. And one of those lessons was respect for other people’s beliefs. Christ did not condemn the Samaritan, but lifted him up as a lesson to all not to limit their compassion for the select few that share your beliefs.
So I ask you, the next time you see or hear something that demands your attention and your action, pause first and ask yourself why it moves you so? Is it an affront to your long held beliefs? Are your beliefs grounded in love, or simply in comfort? Do you feel uncomfortable? Perhaps you are being challenged to grow, to open your mind and consider another way. We should all be willing to hear others out before we decide what we feel to be true. Hiding from the truth never helped anybody. And quickly condemning others as false without doing any research or considering others sources does more harm than good.

We cannot begin to practice greatness as long as our hearts are sealed to shut to others. Greatness begins at home, by respecting others feelings and opinions, and accepting their rights to those feelings and opinions. We do not have to be carbon copies of each other to live in peace and love. We simply need to be open to the possibility that we are human, and therefore we can and will be wrong from time to time. If we can own that responsibility completely in our personal lives, then we can begin building a world that is as great as some imagine it can be. In order to begin we must first agree on what makes a people great. I for one believe greatness lies in our ability to love extravagantly, completely, with unflinching wholeness. That it is the greatness I will work towards.

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