Because I re-read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham City Jail” this week, I have thought about the whole concept of injustice based on stereotypes of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc. These have always evoked strong, visceral reactions from me, ones that I need to modulate. The many human dynamics involved in such societal issues makes discussing them difficult — but not totally.
As a nation, we have traveled a long, radical road since I was a child. Everything looks good on paper. Hell, we should have had no problems since these words were written: “We declare these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Powerful words. Inspired words. Words that can’t be effected by government alone. MLK’s words, have the same spirit: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Government should provide tools to help us preserve and nurture these truths; it cannot create these truths.
Why? These truths come from people who walk in the fellowship of their hearts, which is where my idealism starts. That means that when widespread deviation from these quoted ideas occurs, then people, in general, do not know Self and are not following their hearts. It becomes all about ego. The more people turn to government to create what can only be done by one’s heart, the more we will create acrimonious national conflict. It is the only thing that can happen when egos are pitted against one another. Government has its function, but it cannot effect what needs to occur in hearts. Our hearts are where current problems need to be addressed, whether they be ISIS and terrorism, racism, immigration, or ???.
Another idea that MLK shares is the concept of extremism, pointing out that whether we know it or not, we are all extremists in some ways. Therefore, the ultimate question is “what kind of extremists will we be”? I advocate for knowing and living Self in fulfillment, significance, and peace, and then we all get to experience love. MLK’s words for his time are just as true for today: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” The ultimate silence is that of ego silencing Self. The best way to speak out is to live Self and spread that form of love.
If you think that I am too idealistic because I believe in a spreading awakening to Self and all the greatness that creates, then consider this, please. If you ever doubt the influence of culture and prejudice on us as humans, watch little kids playing together. Race, religion, ethnicity — none of it matters. Just play with the Legos, kick the ball to one another, roll the trucks around, dress the dolls and smile and laugh and discover.
Yes, my novel The Fellowship of the Heart deals with these ideas, and I have been speaking about it because I want to help as many as possible think about their own wonderful value and greatness. Let’s be kids again and play together joyfully.
What kind of extremist will you be?
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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!