I sat down so many times to begin this post. The myriad issues plaguing society today make zeroing in on just one of them quite difficult. Of course, I want to prioritize and, well, even that has been challenging. I finally decided to address the thread that seems to run seamlessly through these prevalent issues. We are growing apart and, as a result, self-destructing.
I am, in no way, being dramatic. This is simple truth. You have heard it before, in different words perhaps. There is strength in numbers. When those numbers scatter into segregated groups formed for senseless reasoning every group loses! No one wins!
How high must the death toll be before we learn to live together than to die apart?! Whether it be a physical death or an emotional or spiritual death, death is death and we are wasting the best we have to present as one body.
This post is not an elaboration of some 'bumper sticker'. This is so much more. Honesty seems to be a really difficult concept for many. If truth be told, at the core of all the senseless, in-a-blink-of-an-eye, unjustified killing (not that killing is ever justified) of another human being is pure hatred. Name-calling and denigrating comments about others – members of populations who look or talk different than one’s self – are not expressions of love. When we put forth anything less than love, we are not serving ourselves.
We cannot continue to hide from ourselves - or others - for the facts hit us in the face like a gust of wind on a bone-chilling 28-degree day in January. Our experiences serve as our mirror. Our life experiences – as a society – reflect us – as a society. This, we cannot deny. What, then, do we do?
I don’t think most people understand their power to affect. Those closest to me, and who know me best, know that I believe ‘talk is cheap’. Actions, indeed, do speak louder than words. So, are you ready to act?
Well, before we can do anything, we must be ready to change. We must acknowledge we need to change and that takes courage and requires accountability. Contrary to some’s belief, it is not “us against them”. We are “us” and we are “them.” We are one. Our time for coming together is long overdue. Are you ready?
Time goes on regardless of the action we take but that does not necessarily mean the world moves forward. Movement is not synonymous with moving forward. We can either continue to spiral into deeper hatred and throes of violence which tears us apart or we can save ourselves and grow together. Make no mistake about it. Saving self requires saving others and saving others means saving self.
I could spout off numerous sayings.... "No man is an island." "We are our brothers' keepers." "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself." Excuse me for a moment as I repeat the last one. "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself"! This, my sisters and brothers, is a COMMANDMENT and it does not get any simpler than this. All that is required is that each person treats everybody else as each person wants to be treated. Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.
We find “God” tattooed everywhere, including on currency, yet where we really need God to be indelibly stamped is in our hearts so that God – the God Force – the Presence of God – will be evident in all that you and I do.
For people who have no belief in God or in a Higher Power, acting in a manner without standards of living and without regard for consequences does not matter. For the rest of us, those of us who believe in God Almighty, who created us in His Image, there is no escape. (Don’t tell the others, but there is no escape for them either.)
I occasionally ask myself if I were on the threshold of Judgment Day, how do I think I would fare? Now, I ask you, “How do you think you would fare?” Not only do I not need to know your answer, I do not want to know your answer. This, frankly, is between you and your God. The question serves as a measure, an indicator of sorts. I want you to think about where you are in your life. Think about how you affect others.
How dare I hurt you and say I love God?! A contradiction, for sure! What we think of another person is totally irrelevant. No one will face us on “Judgment Day.” In fact, you and I will have to answer to the Ultimate Source for our actions on that “Judgment Day.” Are you ready for that “Day”?
Too few people understand that none of us need do anything grandiose to affect the change we need to see in our society. The opportunity to make a difference is in the moment-to-moment encounters we have with one another. That is where the power lays. Are you ready?
Are you ready to be kind? Compassionate? Non-judging? Sensitive? Loving? Are you ready to treat everyone else just as you desire to be treated? It really is just that simple. If we treat everyone as we wish to be treated, we cannot go wrong. So, are you ready? If not, what other opportunity do you think you would have to “get it right”? The time is now. All we have is now.
Every being is connected to one another. Every occurrence is connected to all that flows in our lives. No incident is an isolated incident. The decline of quality education for all children is connected to lack of meaning employment which is connected to increased medical and health issues which is connected to ... You get the idea. I hope you get the idea. I could go on and on. Increased crime rates do not occur out of the blue. Intensified hatred represents something quite sinister that shows up ... everywhere ... in one-on-one encounters, in voting booths, in customer services, on the other side of job interview desks, ... everywhere.
We have got to fix this. Again, it does not require anything monumental. There is but one thing you and I must do. I must treat you just as I want you want to be treated. You must treat me just as you want to be treated.
This is it! There are no dress rehearsals here. Again, my sisters and brothers, the time is now and now is all we have. We can either continue in a downward spiral or seize this wonderful opportunity to grow together. So, what will it be?
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