Something I've been dwelling on for awhile, actually struggling with, is the disparity of living conditions in the world.
I was sitting down to breakfast not long ago with my wife and came across an article about Rwanda and the horrible ethnic genocide that's continuing there. I was just overwhelmed with a sense of grief and horror. How could that be happening on the planet while I'm sitting warm and safe in my kitchen eating a bagel with cream cheese? I was really struck with the overwhelming thought that until I accept the fact that on some level I'm just as responsible for the genocide as the person with the gun or machete it will always be. Until I own that horrible part of myself and humanity it's going to continue. Until I take steps to further myself, my neighbor, my community, it will always happen.
Martin Luther King said, "I cannot be who I ought to be until you are who you ought to be." How true. What a monumental statement. He was a person who shifted his focus of life from I to ALL. He lived his life out of possibility. The possibility that all humankind could be equal. So he made declarations that called him forth into action. He made declarations that transcended who his past declared him to be. He created possibilities that literally gave him the steps he needed to take in life to make those possibilites real. Those possibilites were too big and too threatening for some so he was killed.
So the challenge I'm taking on is to be courageous in life. To make declarations so bold that I am called forth to be so much bigger than myself. I'm going to use the time I have left on this planet to make a difference: with my son, with my wife, with my friends, with my community, country and world. I will be in action everyday to end war, end genocide, and help make our planet heaven on earth.
To sit idly by and watch TV, read the paper and comment offhandedly how terrible it all is, is to do nothing. We are so tempted to view it as a movie, a car wreck, with fascination and maybe a little sympathy. We need to own each others humanity. We need to realize that we are all one of the same family. My heart and soul breaks for the families lost, seperated and broken from the tsunami. I pray everyday for them, for us and for me. For we are all one.