Every human heart that beats with love helps increase and encourage peace in the world. As we remember to feel gratitude and be kind, we are contributing to a gentler, more loving earth. Seeking inner peace and shining out our joy is not selfish; it helps everything. It is through all the people who are feeling increasingly peaceful and loving in our own lives that world peace is growing right now. Every loving heart helps. It’s okay to love life!
As my recent theme indicates, the events of last month still linger with me as I ponder how restorative self-love can be, and how dangerous the lack of it is.
This topic is a current passion: to share why being gentle with ourselves as we stumble along this tumultuous path of Life is so important. When we were toddlers learning to walk, we didn’t fall a few times and then give up, thinking “that’s it! I’ll never learn” and sit on our bottoms, hoping to be carried around. No, our instinct to survive and grow is one of the strongest forces there is, and we can still tap into this inner resource.
My heart goes out for anyone who is hurting and feels they are unworthy of being here. I want to reach out to them, hovering on that precipice, and gently offer my hand. I want to bring them back to the world.
A study was done of survivors who had attempted suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Practically every respondent shared that seconds after jumping they could clearly see resolutions for all of the problems they had thought were insurmountable… except for the fact that they had just jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge.
Decades ago, when my young, short-lived, abusive marriage ended, my self-worth was the lowest ever, before or since. That angry hurtful man had so effectively beaten down my spirit (without laying a hand on me) that I felt I could hardly breathe.
I will never forget that sickening belief that I was taking up air… taking up space… and that I was utterly worthless. It was the closest I’d ever come to suicidal thinking and it was a cold, dark, terrifying place. Thankfully my inner spirit has always been strong and I had the presence of mind to seek counselling and it helped me remember how to find my way back to my Truth.
That wasn’t the only trauma I’ve overcome but it was one of the hardest. During this journey of life I have experienced awful woundedness and I personally know the glory of rising above it. And if I can do it, any one can do it! Crawling if we must, we can get back to the Light.
Having felt that icy touch of the darkest of thoughts makes me long to reach out to others who may be lingering in that horrific loneliness. I am deeply saddened that I hadn’t been aware of Nick’s encompassing darkness. His well-hidden sadness must have been so pervasive that he completely lost sense of his value… of his pricelessness. Let us all endeavour to understand our true worth.
As Helen Keller wisely observed, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Learning to genuinely love and accept ourselves goes a long way towards overcoming our woundedness. Let us all remember to look in the mirror with love and kindness, and to treat others gently as well. We are all on our individual paths, which are sometimes rocky, and even the smallest of kindnesses makes a huge difference. We all matter.
Each and every one of us has the ability to help teach peace in the world, whether we are parents or educators, or not.
We can be an example of how to behave peacefully with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers we cross paths with.
By offering compassion, kindness, and acceptance with all other beings at all times, we are leading the way for others.
We are demonstrating what kindness is about. That’s what it means to role model. We are being the way-showers. We are teaching peace.
It was 84 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia that his mother, Alberta Christine Williams King, gave birth to her second, a boy. He was welcomed into the world by her, his father Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and 17-month old sister Willie Christine King, and when he was 18-months old he became a
big brother to Alfred Daniel Williams King.
The King’s middle child grew into a man who generated change and improved the world.
Here is a wonderful description of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from GoodReads:
Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the pivotal leaders of the American civil rights movement. King was a Baptist minister, one of the few leadership roles available to black men at the time. He became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Here he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.
While he was an American, his work went beyond borders and boundaries. He is a beloved icon the world over. This is from Wikipedia:
One place outside the United States where Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed with equal importance is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima under mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who holds a special banquet at the mayor’s office as an act of unifying his city’s call for peace with King’s message of human rights.
The City of Toronto, Canada, is another city that has officially recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day, although it is not a paid holiday, and government services and businesses remain open.
In 1984, during a visit by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Navy chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff conducted the first Israeli Presidential ceremony in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held in the President’s Residence, Jerusalem. Mrs. Aura Herzog, wife of Israel’s then-President Chaim Herzog, noted that she was especially proud to host this special event, because Israel had a national forest in honor of Dr. King, and that Israel and Dr. King shared the idea of “dreams”. Resnicoff continued this theme in his remarks during the ceremony, quoting the verse from Genesis, spoken by the brothers of Joseph when they saw their brother approach, “Behold the dreamer comes; let us slay him and throw him into the pit, and see what becomes of his dreams.” Resnicoff noted that, from time immemorial, there have been those who thought they could kill the dream by slaying the dreamer, but – as the example of Dr. King’s life shows – such people are always wrong.
“It is a deep personal privilege to address a nationwide Canadian audience. Over and above any kinship of U.S. citizens and Canadians as North Americans, there is a singular historical relationship between American Negroes and Canadians.
Canada is not merely a neighbour to Negroes. Deep in our history of struggle for freedom Canada was the North Star. The Negro slave, denied education, de-humanized, imprisoned on cruel plantations, knew that far to the north a land existed where a fugitive slave, if he survived the horrors of the journey, could find freedom. The legendary underground railroad started in the south and ended in Canada.
The freedom road links us together. Our spirituals, now so widely admired around the world, were often codes. We sang of ‘heaven’ that awaited us, and the slave masters listened in innocence, not realizing that we were not speaking of the hereafter. Heaven was the word for Canada and the Negro sang of the hope that his escape on the underground railroad would carry him there.
One of our spirituals, ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd’, in its disguised lyrics contained directions for escape. The gourd was the big dipper, and the North Star to which its handle pointed gave the celestial map that directed the flight to the Canadian border.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
If you have not already visited the official website of the foundation continuing his legacy and his work, I encourage you to do so. The website for the King Center is well organized with so much to read and learn about. Enjoy!
Official Website: http://www.thekingcenter.org/
Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our programs and partnerships educate the world about his life and his philosophy of nonviolence, inspiring new generations to further his work.
~ Imagine Our World At Peace ~
John Lennon’s song IMAGINE is so popular because it resonates within us. It touches our soul, our psyche. The response to this song is rarely, “Oh, it’s okay I guess.” We more commonly hear, “That’s my favourite song of all time!”
It has become an anthem of sorts. An anthem for World Peace. And we need an anthem about peace now more than ever.
We need to remember how important, how essential it is that we practice acceptance of perceived differences. We need to realize how this one step is critical to creating lasting peace in our lifetime. This year. Right now.
Let us move beyond the schoolyard manner of thinking and acting upon the outdated belief that ‘my religion is better than your religion’ or ‘my geographical location is more important than yours’ because these attitudes only keep us frozen in archaic battles.
As a fan of Dick Wolf, I’ve been enjoying his latest addition: Chicago Fire. In one episode we observe a secondary character named ‘Mouch’ express his intense hatred for Canadians when a couple of fire fighters from Toronto visit the station. He could not stand to be in the same room as they were. Towards the end we learn how he had fallen for a girl from Ontario through a website, and sent her money to come to Chicago, but she was a cruel person who scammed him and broke his heart. Through this one event, in his humiliation and heartbreak, he’d written off an entire country, dismissing with disgust anyone with that nationality.
It felt like a pretty good example of one way that exclusion, even racism, can begin to fester in a person’s heart. And everyone who allows these types of wounds to grow while refusing to forgive a larger group of people based on the actions of one or a few, are contributing the problem.
I choose to be a part of the solution. I choose to focus on peace, and the best way for me to foster a peaceful world and make a real difference towards world peace, is by ever deepening the love within my own heart. Peace within individuals grows outward to become peaceful communities, cities and nations. Peace in our hearts is the primary thing we all can do towards creating world peace.
As John Lennon invites us to imagine, what if there were no countries? No borders? I don’t feel borders. And I don’t see borders on our globe. To me, I feel like a resident of the continent of North America. And on a larger scale, as OAK at Only Abundant Knowledge wisely states in her blog, I am an Earthian and to be human is enough.
There is only one race: the Human Race. And I feel as much compassion, love and concern for my human ‘kin’ in Toronto, Aurora, and Newtown, as I do for my fellow ‘kin’ in Delhi, Sudan, and beyond. In my prayers, I feel deep compassion and love for all my fellow residents of this planet, and do my part to send my highest light towards these places where people are hurting and are filled with sadness.
I like to imagine the world at peace as John Lennon dreamt of.
I like to imagine a shift in consciousness, when enough of us on the planet pray for and believe in peace, when the angry ones suddenly wonder ‘what are we even fighting for?’, put down their weapons, and reach out with aid for others who they can now see as their ‘kin’.
And yes, that may make me a dreamer. To which I say thank God for John Lennon and his eternal anthem for peace, and for helping all of us dreamers know that we’re not the only one.
Note: Images here were randomly sourced through Google except the bottom banner.