We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It’s been a tough week. Stories of protests, violence and rioting in the U.S. have dominated headlines. The tone of sadness mixed with outrage has been palpable, bringing to mind the 1992 riots following the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles. Black lives do matter, and it is my prayer that this civil unrest will be closely followed by policy changes that bring equality to our populations of color, resulting in an unprecedented unity in this country.
The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members. ~ Gandhi
The city of Flint, Michigan, is already implementing such changes. In an article entitled “Flint Emerges as Symbol of Peace and Unity Amid Protests and Turmoil,” (https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2020/06/flint-emerges-as-symbol-of-peace-and-unity-amid-protests-and-turmoil.html) it was reported that Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced the creation of a coalition to address systemic racism in the state. Further, the Flint Police Chief is instituting a training program for the police department that will focus on diversity and healing. Former President Barack Obama praised the city and its residents in a recent essay, stating that these actions could spur “real change.”
Change is often the outcome of a new understanding. To that end, I want to share a Facebook page called Sustainable Human. Recently, a video clip was posted on the page called How to Understand a Human Being. The video is short and succinct, but most valuable. The big takeaway is this: All human behavior is either an attempt to meet a need, or a reaction to a need not being met. That really resonates with me. What about you?
Attempting to understand others can create much-needed unity. We share a common existence with the entire human race and all of nature. Quantum physics shows that we are all made of the same elements within the same conscious Universal Fabric. Therefore, all of our actions, feelings, thoughts, and intentions affect not only our own lives, but everyone and everything in the entire Fabric, for better or for worse.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ~ Herman Melville
In the spirit of unity, I want to share some music with you. A big thanks to my friend Darlene, who “introduced” me to the super-talented international group Playing for Change. I’ve watched this video clip & listened to the song repeatedly over the past few days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hGSqqhhokE. (It makes my heart happy to see & hear these talented musicians performing this uplifting song from various countries, often using traditional instruments. And the kids in this clip are ebullient!) This is the group’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground, from an album entitled Songs Around the World that includes the collaboration of 100 musicians from 21 countries. If you are old enough to remember the powerful lyrics and funky bass in Stevie’s version, you’re not going to want to miss this one. (And if you don’t remember, having a listen will stir your soul!)
Valarie Kaur is a unity-promoting author, lawyer, civil rights activist, and creator of The Revolutionary Love Project, designed “to champion love as a force for justice and wellspring for social action.” Her Ted Talk, 3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage (https://www.revolutionarylove.net/ted/), is a beautiful and poignant presentation that couldn’t be more relevant to our current reality. Each time I watch this 22-minute clip, I gain more insight and appreciation of her strong desire for unity and love.
Love as a force: I really like that. Thinking of love as a force causes me to draw parallels with the reliability of gravity and the aggressive nature of the forces of hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. May the reliable, aggressive force of love permeate your every thought and steel your resolve of gratitude for all of life. May it envelop the hearts and minds of your local police officers and policymakers. And may the beautiful force of love awaken in us all a sense of unity at this precarious time when big change seems imminent and absolutely anything is possible.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. ~ 1 Peter 3:8
Blessings for Unity,