New Year Dawning
- We must protect our little ones from ferocious monsters and the evil of neglect and harsh surroundings.
- We must protect our little ones that they may grow up in a safe and thriving environment.
- We must attend to the hurt, the abused, the victims of domestic violence ensuring that they have a place to go and a way to live healthy productive and salutary lives with purpose while feeling safe.
- We must be vigilant that people are conscious that we will not allow others to take away our young and destroy their precious lives ever again anywhere on Earth.
- It is our duty in this world to be stewards of the conditions that people face that robs them of their sense and verve, their feeling of innocence, and of wonder.
Life sputters on tenuously for some
for others not at all.
This year let us begin anew and extend out hearts and hands in loving embrace of
the differences distinctions, trials and tribulations that we all must face.
Let US begin anew to witness the miracle of love and keep those who live in
darkness in our thoughts that we may rekindle hope and a sense of purpose to all
who may pass this way.
Without question we are always changing one another and if we live with connection and compassion the points of contact and transformation will change the world.
In a world wrought with such turbulence it is absolutely necessary for us to focus on the gifts that we have and lift up the beauty grace sense of wonder in living.
She stands whimpering in a corner
despairing that she will not be allowed to go and lie down
her hair is must
her hands tremble
her side aches along her lower back
no one is moving in the room where ten people lie
only her quivering lip that she is alive
no one comforts her no one comes to calm her
allay fears that have been gnawing since she was conceived
she’ll struggle for eternity
be snuffed out like a candle
in a moment
clinging to life hoping for a cure for her raging father
for a safe house
for a home
no one minds afar that one of every five children lives in poverty that the abuse of girls begins in infancy that this is not a mistake
but a fragile deadly lie that children in America grow up with enough
loved nourished given every available support
have a permanent place in our hearts
live full satisfying
along with peace and kindness
like a gentle kiss - a gentle embrace
she remembers a story that was told
of the velveteen rabbit
that she is real
there is a place for us some where
a place in your heart
remembering that she is loved
where we belong
Of what importance is this central event in the history of civilization? What happened that led this nation in its infancy to lay down such a sacrifice of innocent lives both Confederate and Northern, forever changing the landscape of the fledgling nation? What does this proclamation have to do with us here at this moment in history?
We are waging a great struggle at this moment on behalf of the human rights of people who are “Standing on the Side of Love.” We have never acknowledged that women are equal to men and that all relationships are sacred covenants. This great speech exemplifies the courage and tenacity of people to freedom. As long as there is one person in chains all are shackled.
The greatest gift for this nation is to live up to the promise of this declaration: that we have sacrificed these lives in vain glory, or forgotten that for us to be free we must struggle peacefully for an end to violence within each one, within this nation and within the world. We must shake free of the shackles of hardship that have burdened us from the beginning as a desperate and ruthless conflict has sacrificed the love, the lives and will of people to be free of hatred, of rancour, of vengeance, of retribution, of deceit that we are or know better than someone else. We are called upon to live together equal in one another’s eyes or to perish as fools, while taking with us everything on earth.
This is the cause that we must never give in to, that no life is worth sacrificing everything for a just society, for an equal society, for the people of this world, for the well-being of all life on earth, for everlasting peace. We must be strong and have courage that what we are doing is for every citizen young or old to be free by living in peace.
“Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, We are free at last,” we are awaiting this refrain that we are all free, all deserve to live with an eye to every being on earth. Only together are we capable of being free, of extinguishing the flame of malice, ignorance and blight.
May these chords ring out the tempo, the chorus, the rhythm of life
© Abraham Lincoln Online
The Gettysburg Address
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. The text above is from the so-called “Bliss Copy,” one of several versions which Lincoln wrote, and believed to be the final version. For additional versions, you may search The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln through the courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
What Matters Most: Friends – Partnerships – Loving – Freedom from Chains – Allowing What We Desire – to Forgive the Errors of Our Ways
I’ve lived a long time, not that I am that old. I had thought that 60 was aged. But I may as well get used to being over 60 because it looks as though I’ll be here a while yet, despite my errors and limitations.
I was not blessed in this life to be here for a long time because I tortured myself for whatever went wrong and had a huge narcissus complex where I had low self-esteem. I allowed people’s conception of my life to dictate my own approval and sought to be accepted. Usually I was alone and desperately needed attention.
When I finally came to understand that I was responsible for the tragedies that I had created in my most significant relationships, and yet felt no more or less shameful for the losses of these relations it was then that I let go of holding on to pain while abusing myself.
I remembered that my life mattered. Not for anyone else but because I am sacred. I cut through the shackles that held me in a prison of my own design, forfeiting my happiness and well-being because I felt shame for what I had done to my neighbors, friends, family, children, those who I was responsible for, in my career and the community. I came to realize that my life was as significant and mattered as much as anyone else’s life.
Now I am about to embark on a new way of life and seek a place that I feel fits who I am and what I am doing here. I want to write and to design a place that is a sanctuary not alone for myself but for the rest of the world. What we have most of our lives is our family. We have a vital interest in living with care and commitment to the lives of those around us and for guiding generations who are to follow. Making a place that benefits everyone and living with interest for the outcomes of everyone who had been in the world who made this possible as well as preparing for the world and lives that will follow.
How does one accomplish this? With loving kindness and acceptance of peace within and all around despite whatever may await one along the way. People who make an effort to hold on tight to their possessions and create an enclave to protect themselves from onslaughts of others are confusing their purpose alone in the world with what we do together to build community. Wealth in itself does not belong to us but to where we come from and whatever we do we should always be remembered for being kind; and for keeping our focus on living with loving kindness.
We belong to one another and to all sentient beings. When we die we return to where we emanate as the silt ends up washing down the river through the bayou, to the basins, the delta, and into the mouth of the sea. It is out purpose in the world to blend with the natural elements and make a sacred hallowed ground for those who walk along this way after us. We are always connected from the beginning unto the last breath, until the mountains ride up and are washed into the sea.
What helps us to become a living sacred trust for humanity is to release ourselves from the burden of being special, different, a hero, and the center of attention. We are called not to be the head of anything but to be merciful and caring, good Samaritans, people who are remembered for being generous, humble, and covenant with all that is as a sacred gift and trust that we are always loved.
If this world was released from its chains of terror, deceit, self-incrimination, what might happen is that jails, and places of punishment would disappear. Neither the military would be needed nor armaments and weapons of mass destruction by anyone. Shock and awe would be a long-lost memory of how we lived and to what ends we resorted to control. We would begin to live up to our true purpose, which is to take care of one another forever. We would be capable of living with freedom, commitment, trusting that we are always connected. We will always be remain stewards of all that we shepherd into the world and in our daily routines. we would nurture all young and old alike, and provide sustenance to whoever came to the door as a bond that we create by being conceived and verily, born.
We would be revered because out life was given as a gift and we lived as well and fully as possible with an eye on giving and loving wholeheartedly whatever we were required to do for the good of all sentient beings, the earth, and all of life.
In these days of awe and remembrance let us rekindle he candles of the benediction of all life and to the purpose that we rise up singing hosannas to the highest that we give thanks from our going and coming, for rising from bed to meet the new day and feel full within our hearts that we may give until the ultimate time of our being without fear, and without end that our offering is acceptable and fitting for the world has long embraced the finite gift of being born and living with loving kindness.
Engaging in work groups on the state plan creating an integrated federal plan of local support for the interconnection of people who are living on the edge of the community. We’re fortunate. Our connections cross all circumstances. I’ve been the beneficiary of the gifts of most of you.
Because of these gifts I can now move on with my life, which is the goal of any of our efforts. To make it possible for people to feel that life changes - any person has a chance to live out his or her dreams. Thank you.
There are many people who have lost much of their lives. Many people have lost their lives utterly. I almost lost my life. In many ways everything at the beginning of the century was destroyed. For most of the next decade the world disappeared. There was no reconciliation. The harm was multiplied over and over. We crashed and burned but now that has come to an end. The suffering has dissipated and has been replaced with an inner sense of acceptance of the change and impermanence of all living beings. We remain grateful for the gifts and the trials as gifts. These have strengthened our will to live well and be full of grace.
There is another side to this tragedy as there was for the assailant of Columbine High School, the Uni Bomber, the arsonist who created the Hayman fire, the man who blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building, the terrorists who assaulted our consciousness on September 11, 2001, the attacker at Virginia Tech University, the shooters along the District of Washington D.C. corridor, those people who took over trains or recklessly endangered 1,000′s of children in schools, in places where people felt protected, in the threats of various groups who have plagued American history, killing and terrorizing untold numbers of people, in the massacres that we have permitted among diverse ethnic minorities since the inception of this nation. We have marketed and shipped overseas all of our violent tendencies to every corner of the globe.
Maybe we need to consider a different course of action, like laying down all of our arms and walking more humbly together. How many more people have to die before there is an end to this senseless slaughter?
We need to live inside out in peace.
A friend wrote:
“On heavy days like this it reminds me why we need a peace committee.
“July 18th, 4 million Coloradans went to work, played football in their front yard, strangers opened doors for each other, people gave blood, offered shelter, served hot meals, held grand kids, played pick up basketball and committed unnumbered acts of kindness and gentleness. One Coloradan dressed up like a villain and believed that by showing up at the site of America‘s mythical hero he could slay our actual heroes.
Its true there was no batman sitting in the theatre to fly down and tackle the attacker, as he hoped their might be. He had tactical assault gear covering his whole body ready for America to fight back.
But love is more organized than that, love has cellphones, and ambulances, nurses and doctors, complete strangers and policemen and emergency responders always at the ready, love has nurses who will jump out of bed in the middle of the night and get a family member to watch their child so they can rush to the hospital and save the life of someone they’ve never met, love has first responders who will walk into a Bobbie trapped building to save the lives of neighbors they will never meet. it must be lonely being James Holmes, spending the first part of your life planning alone for an act that will leave you sitting alone for the rest of your life. For the rest of us, life is crowded, Love is always only 3 numbers and one movie seat away.
We have lived our country’s history as a chapter of wars, and many of those wars we have been blessed to win. we are a team that loves each other and will fight for each other, and if you punch us in the mouth we will fight back.
That is one of our obvious strengths, but it is not our greatest strength. America’s awesome strength to fight is overwhelmed by its irrepressible strength to love. The gunman took 12 lives last night. Love saved 59 lives. Policemen on the scene in minutes, strangers carrying strangers, nurses and doctors activated all over the city But we didn’t stop there, love saved the 700 other people who walked out of the Aurora movie theatre unhurt. But we didn’t stop there. Love saved the 5000 who went to see batman all over Colorado, and the 1.2 million who saw it all over the country, who walked in and out safely with their friends, arm in arm. but we didn’t stop there, love claimed the 4 million other Coloradans who went to bed peacefully last night, and who woke up this morning committed to loving each other a little deeper. the awe of last night is not that a man full of hate can take 12 people’s lives, it is that a nation full of love can save 300 million lives every day.
I sat this morning wondering what I could do to help: give blood, support victims, raise money, stop violence, how could we start to fight back?
My friends were texting me they had plans to take their kids to batman tonight and now were afraid to go. Others who were going to play pick up basketball or go out to dinner who were afraid to leave home, who thought they would bunker down in their home and wonder, how do we fight back? The answer is
We love back. We live back. We deepen our commitments to all the unnumbered acts of kindness that make America a unrrendable fabric. We respond by showing that we will play harder, and longer, we will serve more meals, play more games, eat more food, listen to more jazz, go to more movies, give more hugs and say more thank you’s and I love you’s than ever before.
So while the assailant settles into the cell where he will spend the rest of his life, wondering what we will do to fight back, we will love back. We will go to a park this afternoon and play soccer, we will go to the playground and restaurants and movie theatres of our city all weekend and all year.
He should know not only that he failed in his demented attempt to be the villain, but that batman didn’t have to leap off the screen to stop him, because we had a far more organized and powerful force than any superhero could ever have. even the twelve lives that he took, this nation will love so strongly and so deeply that we will ensure they get a lifetime full of love out of a life he tried to cut short. And the 59 lives we took back, will be so overrun with love that they will live their lives feeling blessed every day, and every one who ever meets them will pass on in an instant a love they never knew they earned but we will never let them forget. in a movie theatre in aurora 50 years from now, one of last nights survivors will be waiting in the popcorn line and mention that he was in theatre 9 on that terrible summer night in 2012. And inexplicably, with an arm full of popcorn, a total stranger will reach out and give that old man a huge hug and say, I’m so glad you made it. Love back. We’ve already won.”
One clear expectation is to find a way to provide comfort and solace to the grieving victims and to the community. The second greatest challenge is to create a peaceful, prudent and just community for everyone to feel that they are living in a sanctuary.
Midiba on his 94th anniversary.
The crime of living in the world is being stuck in a place that is forbidding and terrifying. When one has visions of being lost, stuck, having no place that is safe and sound this burden stymies all ability for a person to see that we everyone has a place here, a place to come in and get warm, to lie down and rest, to put aside the unquiet mind and feel free.
These dark recesses inhibit our ability to be happy, to be well, to enjoy life, to live with a sense of beauty and serenity in our hearts. The sorrow is that many people live looking through prison bars of their own creation. They cling to perceptions that prevent them from running and jumping like a gazelle. What are we to do with these limits, these fears, anxiety and perceived failures? We must release them, dispel them, no matter how much we cling to the burden.
How often do we utter that we cannot go toward the light but must live in a cave, as the story of Plato describes in the Republic? We always seem to be caught in the grasp of a sentinel that does not watch over us but makes us feel powerless.
Nelson Mandela shared with us a means for overcoming the obstacles and flying beyond the bars of the prison on Robin Island. Many more have described that none can keep us from our divinity’ none can limit us in our ability to live with grace; none can contain the elan that we feel to rise and fly on.
This day and every one that follows let us give thanks, and proclaim that our life has been harsh but that we are at peace; that nothing is going to harm us anymore. Let us come to understand as we have always come to see that our lives are connected and that we are responsible and can go on, no matter what.
Let us within forgive and live in peace; in the world let us forgive praising whatever we meet along the way.