June 17, 2008

oneness..taking care of the human race

there is plenty of food in the world. there are plenty of resources. but there are few who have a lot and many who have not enough. the extremes of wealth and poverty are beyond the simple results of injustice and greed - at the root, they are the result of a lack of true, universal brotherhood and love, where people and governments are not deeply connected to the reality that humanity is essentially and ultimately one family.

we would never allow one's cherished family members to live in a state of abject poverty, or without access to a good education, or without good land on which to grow one's food, etc....

the real crisis is that not enough people throughout the world and from wealthy governments truly love their neighbor. the crisis is that those individuals and governments with so much do not exert their will to redistribute and ensure that enough is provided to ensure a healthy way of life for every human being in this world. there isn't enough collective and political will yet to change the laws and establish systems whereby every individual is considered significant and important to the beauty of the human race.

any and all of these necessary and vital changes must spring forth from the heart, to make daily efforts toward establishing justice in our lands, in our communities, in our neighborhoods - it is the heart that must be inspired daily by the reality of our Oneness, so that we no longer are content with only our own well-being, that we are no longer able to feel at peace until all our brothers and sisters are being assisted in their contribution to the transformation of the world toward its final victory: the oneness of the human race in one organic world system of justice and peace.

June 03, 2008

vigil against xenophobia

friday, may 23rd, the kids and i attended a peace vigil against xenophobia. we parked near the art museum downtown and walked with 2 friends to the Parliament building. a crowd had formed upon our arrival, but there were many more to come. an eternal flame was held up high, along with the South African flag, and soon the chanting and singing of various songs and calls for universal brotherhood, peace, and love for our neighbors were raised up high. i kept looking around at the wide variety of people who came to show their support for immigrants and foreigners in this land: Christian pastors and Muslim leaders, Cape Malay, Xhosa, Congolese, Europeans, elders, children, students....at one point the whole crowd held hands and raised their arms up in the air for one of the freedom songs. at another time the crowd loudly sang the national anthem together:

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela,
thina lusapho lyawo.

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

what i felt and witnessed that evening is that a lot of people care deeply about our humanity, our oneness, and were brought together as a result of tragedies that are heartbreaking. before leaving, the drummer created a space inside the circle of Xhosa women who were singing some spirituals, and then we were all swept into a rhythmic dance around them, singing some Xhosa song about Thixo (God). the photographers were trying to capture the moment, but what occurred next left its imprint in our hearts: the drummer raised his hands in praise and began to call out the names of African peoples living here in Cape Town; his acknowledgement of each of these populations felt powerful to me, as if no one was forgotten and all were recognized as important; then he asked all of us to pray for peace in our own language -- by this time the sun was setting and the candlelight illumined the gathering as the crowd prayed in unison in many different languages. the power of that moment has no measurement, but surely all of us left there feeling how powerful the light of unity is....