(Mike DePung — Feb. 5, 2018)
I’m thankful for Dr. Martin Luther King’s invitation to sit together at the table of brotherhood. As with any piece of writing in any genre, it’s incomplete until digested by the reader, until someone assigns meaning and relates personally to it. In a sense, it’s a risk, but not if done from Heart-energy and in faith. Therefore, I continue to read and fellowship with Dr. King over his “Letter from the Birmingham City Jail.”
In the third paragraph beginning on p. 2, he makes a statement, which is a simple observation of a natural phenomenon, a fact: “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states.” Any contact — positive, negative, or more often than not a sine wave between the two — constitutes interrelatedness. After awareness of the fact, Dr. King, as anyone should who is faced with fact, engages in self-awareness. How do we respond to things that are, that exist, that we relate to, connect to in any way?
His response is this: “I cannot sit idly by…” For him, his Heart-energized purposed, engaged him in the quest for justice. He explains why when he says, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He spent most of his adult life in pursuit of this purpose. He shares, here, his understanding, profound, universal. When Dr. King writes “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny,” this demands a response. He must do something with this reality that each human is not only made of the same cloth but also shrouded in one massive wrap.
His action begins with the statement “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This truth of his prompts his trip from Atlanta to Birmingham and his organization and involvement in the nonviolent protests. For this, he is accused of being an “outside agitator.” He acted, and his actions show he is living his Heart-truth. The white power base knew a decision was required on their part, a decision in response to the message and action of Dr. King and those who followed him. They could join in the fellowship of the Heart, or they could rebuke light, goodness, and love. They put him in jail; for them, Ego prevailed.
Whenever you read this, know that the fact is at our core, our essence, each of us is a Spirit-bearer; we each have Heart. We have Ego, too. The difference between outcomes from acting, feeling, sensing, making decisions, and any mind-soul-body function is whether the energy derives from Ego or Heart. Many times, I could not and would not care to distinguish the energy source of others; such matters belong to the individual. However, in some cases involving society, trends, government, culture, the discernment of the prevailing energy becomes clearer.
In issues such as racism, Ego would tell us basic differences exist, and it’s only “logical” we should maintain and reinforce those, isolating ourselves from those not like us. This can occur, based on Ego-charged yet ingenious minds, in a variety of ways. To those who exist in Ego, it is a truth, and they would not normally call bigotry, prejudice, and racism hatred. It is, and as such, in denial of core Self, their Ego-truth is plain, unvarnished lies against the Heart and Spirit.
The facts that we are “interrelated” and “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny” demand a response, because we are human. And Dr. King’s sentiments, his truths, strike resonance in today’s world, because our interrelatedness has been technologically, economically, and irrevocably established. We either love in Heart or hate in Ego. The love or hate may be manifested in a spectrum of words and deeds, but it boils down to each one choosing to respond in Heart or Ego.
In that light, it’s not so difficult to understand protests or protestors, although each individual is either following Heart or Ego; however, the social movement in general is clear. How do we feel about those who are treated unjustly under the guise of law and order to protect a favored race’s status quo? We each choose, one way or another.
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!