Word of the Month, February 2018: FORGIVENESS

The Virtue is Forgiveness and the Saboteur is Betrayal.

Betrayal never wants us to be liberated from sorrow. 

I wrote a piece on forgiveness earlier this month and then I scrapped it. Our country underwent such a deep betrayal that I wanted to address forgiveness through that event.

I think it is important that we remember that as a country, we are a family first. We are a typical family, in that we love each other and we bicker with one another, but we will defend one another every time someone outside of the family picks on one of our siblings. Recently our family has suffered a great loss, we lost seventeen of our beloved siblings. And this loss is one that we can barely speak about. So some of us are shouting in angry tones, some of us are praying with silent tones, and some of us are a curious combination of bafflement and shock, because that is just the way grief expresses itself in families.

We are so hurt that we are pushing one another away. Grief does that too. We can hurt so bad that we beg denial to take us away from the pain. We can hurt so bad that we want someone else to hurt. Of course it does not make sense, it is grief. 

We are a family first and families are susceptible to being torn apart during times of crisis. Our family has fallen prey to that before. So, here we are, yet again, on the verge of separation, just when we need one another the most. Only this time — only this time we are being led by children. Children who have recently went through atrocities that could have shattered them into silence. Instead, they have risen, powered by love and they are leading us to embrace compassionate action.

Now is the time for us to listen to them and have compassion for our family. To be united in our grief, not divided. We need each other right now. Going through grief together is a mysteriously, satisfying feeling of oneness. Our family needs that right now.

Personally I do not have any connections to guns, because of that, I do not feel the need to protect their existence. I am not opposed to other people having them, but I do not understand why people are passionate about them. I am passionate about protection, for sure, but I am old enough to know that protection comes in many forms, and guns need not be present.

I ask you to kindly read the following excerpts from the speech called, “Where do we go from here?” spoken by our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King on August 16, 1967 (Look it up, it is very enlightening.)

He said:

“I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood and sisterhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness only light can do that.”

(Later on, in the same speech, he eerily makes a prediction that still haunts our hearts today. Kindly ponder on the words of our Martin. )

“You may even give your goods to feed the poor, you may bestow great gifts to charity, and you may tower high in philanthropy; but if you have not love, your charity means nothing. You may even give your body to be burned and die the death of a martyr, and your spilt blood may be a symbol of honor for generations yet unborn, and thousands may praise you as one of history’s greatest heroes, but if you have not love, your blood was spilt in vain. What I’m trying to get you to see this morning is that a man may be self-centered in his self-denial and self-righteous in his self-sacrifice. His generosity may feed his ego, and his piety may feed his pride. So, without love, benevolence becomes egotism, and martyrdom becomes spiritual pride.”

Dr. King was killed with a gun on April 4, 1968. Whether or not the gun was legal, did not make a difference. He was still taken from us on that fateful day. He was only thirty nine years old.

May peace be with you and with all those who are grieving.  

Namaste.

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