“Suffer (allow) the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (KJV Matt. 19:14).
Little children. Innocence. Nonjudgmental love. Delight and awe in discovery. Are they naive? Limited? Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is made up of these qualities, and more. I remember my childhood. Allow the little children.
In southeast Missouri, known as the Bootheel, a mostly southern mentality prevailed. My grandparents lived in a little town with a population of 500. I remember one visit. After a five hour drive from St. Louis, my dad pulled into one of the two gas stations in the area. No car air conditioning, a Missouri midsummer night, barely able to make out the station pumps before closing time, and the interior lights struggling through the thick, dusty air just enough to show the way to the door. We went inside for a cold soda.
At five years old, I could read fairly well, thanks to my mom and dad both, but especially dad. He had me sit on his lap for a few minutes every day when he came home from work and read the newspaper. He would show me words and help me make sense of them, phonics and sight words. I really could read somewhat, so when we went inside, I read two signs, one spanning the drinking fountain and bathrooms and the other on the wall over the chest-type soda machine, both of which said the same thing: Whites ONLY. I asked what that meant, rather loudly. Allow the little children.
Mom shushed me to speak lower. Dad appeared uncomfortable and tried to explain what was, in the face of a child who didn’t understand bigotry and hatred, inexplicable and inexcusable. Thankfully, he said it was wrong. This was before the 1964 Civil Rights Act and only five years after Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. I was confused. Allow the little children.
Yes, allow the little children to come and know the power of the infinite, deep wells of life within them and to experience their own spirituality. Why? It is because the qualities they possess make up the kingdom of heaven, which I’m viewing here as a societal structure, a government, a method for human beings to live and relate to one another as mortals containing Spirit within them.
We all have Spirit within us, which I call Heart, as well as Ego. I view both as energy operating systems, ways to process life. Ego functions as it should in little children. As they grow a bit, they begin choosing heart with which to act, react, and interact with our environment.
Adults, however, quickly bring in ego concerns — a variety of expressions, one of which is seen in the disciples’ response to forbid the little children to come to Jesus. I suppose they thought he was too important, more pressing matters, not practical — and possibly a dozen more ego concerns. The same sort of reasoning and ego motivations apply to signs like “Whites Only” or segregated schools. Little children don’t understand those things. They just share their water fountains, sodas, and toilets and go to school together, play together, grow together. Simplicity. Love. Allow the little children.
This biblical account shows leaders and organizers of society should exercise heart energy, in general. Yes, spiritual concerns should be the driving motivators of government.
Why is the United States in this current mess? Ego energy has driven us to the brink of losing one of the most amazing governments and societies ever known on this planet, and politicians of all parties have increasingly indulged ego and exalted ego goals as models. I believe when policies and legislation are considered, the formative question should be this: What would a child do? Allow the little children.
I am thankful in one, and probably only one way, that Trump is president: he and his administration have illustrated the basic human condition of living ego over heart. They illustrate every single day how ego works, and while I cannot always assess individuals, I can evaluate trends being characterized by ego or heart energy.
When an administration or a political party establishes laws and policies that destroy the environment, diminishes the value or worth of those not like themselves, or promotes divisions among races, ethnicities, and other nations, then I see the heart energy of a child has not been used. That is a serious mistake, an egoic one. Children — those who have not been corrupted by ego forces of adults — observe Nature in awe, light up when they see other babies, and readily accept others. Allow the little children.
The current Republican Party proposals and efforts focus on the economy, maintaining power, being better than everyone else, and gaining unchecked control. I know most ego-fueled folks can’t see beyond their bank accounts, the power, superiority, and control. That is a serious mistake for a nation, an egoic one. Allow the little children.
Make no mistake, please. I am not advocating for a christian government, at all, nor any religion-based one. I am, however, offering my plea and belief in the infinite power each of us has to create and live in a heart-moderated society and nation. The basic tenets of “certain unalienable rights” being “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” and to “promote the general welfare” are heart-energized founding principles. To depart into an overriding ego-soaked society will eradicate this expression of democracy. Humanity trumps wealth, power, control, and superiority. Allow the little children.
One last memory here. In that same little Bootheel town in southeastern Missouri, my mom, sister, and I were walking along the business section of the main street. Two black men were approaching us, and when we drew close to them, they stepped off into the gutter and tipped their hats at us. I didn’t understand because I had never seen anyone else do that. Mom said that’s what they did to show respect because polite black people did that.
It disturbed my young self, and I didn’t know why. I asked her why, again. I don’t remember an answer. I remember the icky feeling I had. Allow the little children.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said this: “We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity” (King, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/birth-new-age-address-delivered-11-august-1956-fiftieth-anniversary-alpha-phi).
Allow the little children.
(Aug. 10, 2019)
Face to face. That’s the way to conduct business, make policy, and create relationships. That’s the way to explore how you feel about another and how another explores you. Eye to eye. Understanding. Empathy. Reaction. Interaction. Action.
Some educators know this. When faced with problematic students, teachers want some resolution. What motivates any teacher depends on which operating system is being used: Ego or Heart.
When a teacher confronts one of these “troublemakers”, the teacher may stand in the hallway alone with the student and ask, “What is going on?” That previously arguing, cursing, talkative, apathetic, or unbending kid looks the teacher in the eye; tears roll down her cheeks, and she says, “I’m only seventeen and my twenty-year old brother lives with me but won’t work. I work forty hours a week, but I have to get my car fixed. My parents can’t afford to come here.”
This scenario is based on a student I had. She turned out to be really amazing, but she originally didn’t project that. Looking into my student’s face, I saw determination to succeed and be great. Had I just looked at school policy, I could have used discipline and removed the student from my class.
Ego could have done that without guilt. Heart rarely would.
Politicians know face-to-face encounters work. Presidents do this every year at the State of the Union address when they have select civilians who stand up to adoring applause. Of course, those who disagree with the president have their own faces sitting next to them, ones they want to use to present their take on some issue.
Why are face-to-face encounters effective? We are human beings, and we come equipped with two operating systems: Ego and Heart. We choose — either by default or deliberation — to use one or the other. Both are necessary, and each has its purpose. When we look into another’s face, into their eyes, we are forced, for as long as we allow it, to act, react, and interact beyond the Ego self. We sense another with Heart.
That brings me to consider the the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. For those who seem bent on insisting that everyone has a right to military grade weapons and war-time ammunition capacity, I would ask you to look into the faces of those families who lost loved ones. I mean really look. Imagine telling them you have a legal right to have those weapons, and if someone like you had been there, you would have stopped the ego-fueled shooters. But you weren’t there, and you didn’t.
In fact, if those sorts of weapons were not for sale or the ammunition capacities were not legal, then those wicked people would not have been able to wreak such havoc. Can other ways be found to kill? Yes, but we should do what we can to stop what we can.
The second amendment argument? I have a friend from childhood who spent a career in the military. He disarmed nuclear weapons around the world. He makes a great point. Should we have access to nukes because they are fun, because they are arms? What about howitzers? RPG’s? Where’s the line?
Some say they have to have safeguards against an overreaching, possible military takeover of this country by our own government. Really? If our military decided to stage a coup on behalf of a stupid, rogue president, and an infantile, dictatorial-minded one, do you think you could really fight them with their technology and weaponry, with their air capabilities and missile targeting expertise? No, we could not.
Therefore, those who oppose full background checks, registration of all weapons sold, completely closing the gun show loopholes, a ban on all military quality and grade assault weapons, and at least a ten day waiting period until all the precautions have been carried out to produce proper licensing — those who oppose all of these only have the Ego excuse that they like guns and want what they want, when they want it, and everyone else be damned because, well, the Second Amendment. None of those things I and many others desire in any way abrogates the constitution. They are decisions about how it is administered.
Again, I would challenge such thinkers to stand face to face and tell those bereaved family members that you want your guns because you have a right. How does having fun stack up when you look into the eyes of people whose loved ones would very likely not be dead had common sense legislation that “promotes the general welfare” been in place?
Really, don’t think about your argument against me. Or what you would say to your buddies. Or what you would write in a social media post. Or what you would tell legislators. Think what you would say looking into the eyes that have tears streaming, in a head attached to shoulders that are retching held up by knees that are trembling. Your fun and misguided, egoic rights don’t seem to be rooted in the general welfare or in Heart energy. Ego — that’s the issue here.
Some have said the bigger picture is the need for improved identification and treatment of mental illness. Or that video games are the cause. Research says those things are not the bigger picture. Eliminating access to weapons of war would help. But that’s not the bigger picture, either.
The bigger picture gets down to individuals. We choose either the Ego operating system or the Heart operating system. That’s the root. Because neither anyone individually nor society in general chooses to always employ Heart, we need government for those “general welfare” principles to protect society, in general, from Ego actions, reactions, and interactions. That’s the crux of it.
Find a picture of one of the fathers, mothers, siblings, or children of one of those murdered. By yourself, in your own soul and mind, look into those eyes. What would you say — about anything? Each of us, whether we have awakened to Heart or plod along in Ego, can begin healing for ourselves, for those affected, and for our society and the world at large by formulating with words what we would say. We may never get to meet this person, but the energies emitted by our expressions are real and healing. They prompt action.
Face to face.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!