Posts Tagged ‘Community’

So here’s the deal

December 28, 2016

It is going to be tough to decide how to respond to the US government in the coming months.  Do we wait and see or do we act out of fear and prepare for the worst?  I believe that a time is coming where people who are aware and wanting to do the right thing will be severely challenged with balancing the letting go with right action.

I really don’t feel I can sit idly by and watch terrible things happen.  But at the same time, I don’t really always know what I can do to change things.

I watched one of the protests in the days after the election.  It was a demonstration of white supremacists.  The two sides basically just had a stand off in the street where they were yelling at each other.  I wonder what was the final tally of the cost of the police protection?

And then on one of the nights I watched as the police in riot gear unloaded on the street in front of my building.  I felt a tremendous anger with authority at that moment.  The demonstration that particular night did not seem any different than on the previous night.

It has all been a learning experience for me.  I have witnessed people who are very serious about these demonstrations and are perhaps the type of people who would resort to violence in just a few seconds’ time.  Those people exist on both sides of the issues.

So what is the appropriate response from a purely spiritual perspective?  A nonviolent approach would most certainly be called for and perhaps there is some room for a wait and see approach.  I do think those who choose the wait and see approach need to be careful that it is not in reality just the path of denial.

Things can change very quickly in this type of environment and we do need to be prepared.

Perhaps the path is one of wait and see and vigilance.  Pay attention, pray your prayers, ramp up your practice just a bit.  We can make it.  Love has to be on our side.  Justice has to be on our side.  The Truth has to win out.

Peace

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140 Characters or Less

November 20, 2016

Is it the safety pin challenge?  I am referring to the practice of wearing a safety pin to show support to people of minority groups.  Groups that might be living in more fear because of the recent US election.  There was a Twitter response from a person of color that contained what can only be described as a grade school level epithet.   I’ll admit that I had never heard it and did not quite understand it.  This person was upset that white people were just now coming to the idea of having solidarity with persons of color.

Okay, now this I think is interesting.  I understand a lifetime of fighting.  I can be considered a marginalized person as well.  But the important piece of maturity here is to realize when people are honestly trying to help.  Not everyone who doesn’t look like you or think like you are your mortal enemies.  I really have to believe that people have good intentions and that they are trying to help.  I would like to offer an alternative response:

“I appreciate your intentions of trying for an outward expression of your inner desire to show me that you are a safe person.  I really appreciate that.  I suppose that I have disappointment that people who are different from me are showing support just in response to these particular times and the event of the recent election.  Where have you been?  Please be patient with me as, I too, process everything that is going on.  It may take me some time to welcome you with open arms, but I would like to, at the very least, try to commit to the process of openness and inclusion.”

Oops!  I think I may have exceeded 140 characters!

The people out there

October 7, 2016

Who are these people?  Just how deep runs the us and them dynamic?  Yes, The United States is in the middle of a very confusing and bewildering election.  I feel that many have simply given up on any concept of cooperation.  We are sheltering in place with our own kind.  It is just too overwhelming.  How do we emerge from our cocoons or will we ever be able to emerge?

Aren’t we all really just looking for safety?  Should we stop and compare our lives to those in places like Syria where war has torn everything asunder?  Why are we fighting this war of ideas and opinions?  I am right and you are wrong.  How can I even consider that you are right when your belief threatens my very existence as a human being on this planet.  More often than not, the threat is very real.  Much more often.

How can I talk about race when I know so few people who are different than me?  How can I learn about LGBT lives when I don’t think that I have ever met anyone from that community?  If you are a Christian fundamentalist, I cannot have anything to do with you because it is too threatening to my identity.  Do you care about my identity?  Is it your sole (soul’s) intention to threaten my identity?  Do you really want me to disappear from the planet?

Black/white, gay/straight, right/left.  Over and over again.  The individual elements of the great melting pot have separated themselves from the whole.

Can we just stop?  What if everything were to just stop for a day?  No news, no blog posts, no activity on any social media platforms.  Would it cause everyone to just take a deep breath and reboot?  It is as if we are compulsively heading to our own extinction without thinking that we can do anything to stop it.  It almost sounds like addiction, doesn’t it?  Just looking at the increase in verifiable addictions such as the opioid epidemic makes one wonder if therein lies a clue.  A simple definition of addiction as defined by Merriam-Webster is “an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.”

Mistakes have been made

August 17, 2015

What do we do when a mistake has been made?  Do we talk about our intentions?  Do we apologize?  Do we say “I’m sorry”?

It is important how we talk about our mistakes.  It is important that we frame our conversation in a way that the wronged person has every chance to be heard.  One of the things that is most difficult to say is “I made a mistake”.  It is hard to be accountable.  The quest for accountability, however, is freeing for both parties.

Reconciliation

August 10, 2015

I just attended the Gather at the River convocation.  It was held in San Antonio, Texas at Travis Park United Methodist Church.  It was sponsored by the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).

There were over 700 people in attendance from all over the globe.  I have never been in a more welcoming environment.  The boundaries of gay, straight, transgender, gender identification, marital status, physical ability all just seemed to disappear in the safety of that environment.  The creation of safety was very intentional on the part of the organizers.

My reflection on this first “day after” is that we need to see with our hearts.  If we see with hearts filled with love, then those boundaries will continue to disappear.  Do you think it could really be that simple?