the nest

the nest

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

stop. breathe. love.

I keep trying to sit down to write and every time I'm distracted by my own inner thought process.  So much to think about, to write about, to talk about.  Where to start?  I want to ponder the recent death of a kind, beloved young woman who I was privileged to have met at Camp Calumet.  She is added to the deaths a few weeks earlier of two other women - also too young.  Death surrounds us lately.  4,000 and counting souls in Nepal.  Freddie Gray in Baltimore.  Death leads us to mourn, to cry, to get angry, to hate.
These are the times when I find myself angry with God at the same time I pray for understanding and solace.  How could these souls be taken from the world so soon?  We need them here!  This is when I have to believe there is something waiting for us after death.  I can't accept the idea that we die into nothingness.
Death spurs us to action - in Nepal, there are stories of so many survivors helping each other.  I just read a story about a group of girls cooking for and feeding hundreds of survivors.  Donations from around the world will pour in and volunteers will stream across the borders to help.  Tragedy and death can bring out the best in all of us.
Death can also bring out the worst.  I don't live in Baltimore, I am not black and I am not poor.  I will never truly understand the conditions that have led to increasing violence each time another young black man is killed by police.  The violence and rioting just make things worse, but law enforcement has to accept their role in tipping the balance and take responsibility for their part of the equation.  The vicious cycle of suspicion, harassment, aggression, violence is replaying over and over again.  I know there are good police - I believe more good police than bad.  But I also know there are good black men - more good than bad.
The news and social media have a responsibility to share information, but when they share it in a skewed way, spending way more time on the violence and hate than they do on the peaceful protests, the survivors feeding others, we foolishly accept that THAT is the world.  There are posts going around disparaging the violence and the riots.  I agree they are terrible, but when we deny the conditions that have led to this point we should be ashamed of ourselves.  We live in our privileged bubbles and have NO IDEA what has led to this.  It's way more than the death of one young man.
In my lifetime I would have hoped we would have moved beyond the violence and protest when I was born in 1968, to a place where what color you are, what gender you are, what religion you are, wouldn't be an issue.  But we are afraid.  We are afraid of anyone who is different than us.

This is when I have to believe in an afterlife and I have to believe in the words of Jesus Christ.  Even when I don't believe in God, I still believe that what is most important, and in fact, the only thing that will save us from ourselves is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
We have to look for the sameness in each other - we all bleed red.  we all need food and water.  I don't accept that because someone LOOKS or ACTS or BELIEVES differently than I do that they are less than I am.  They are just different.
We have to stop looking for the worst in others and instead look for and expect the best.  Make eye contact. Smile. Be polite. Share. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Get off your privileged high horse and LOVE.  If you say you are a Christian or a Jew or  Muslim or a Buddhist or whatever. If you are male, female, trans, gay, whatever.  If you are white, black, yellow, red or purple!  Stop living your life in fear of different and instead be curious.  Learn, grow and LOVE.  These are lessons we teach little children in songs - "Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world".  Children learn what they see though and if they SEE us hate and disparage and fear, that is what they will learn.

We will all die someday.  It's what happens.  I believe that when we do, there something else for us.  It's what is left behind that I worry about.  Our time is short.  Quit spending it hating and fearing and instead LOVE.

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