Persisting in my faith in humanity

Like so many, I was deeply saddened on Saturday when Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate for the Supreme Court. It was another blow to to the future of our country, and I found myself thinking “How can the people who voted for him sleep at night? How can anyone so callously and thoughtlessly give this obviously unfit man a lifetime appointment to such a powerful position? Are there no limits anymore?”

The sheer cruelty, ugliness, and insanity regularly displayed by Donald Trump and his followers have frequently elicited such thoughts in me in the past several years. Indeed, I have to admit that my faith in humanity has been seriously shaken. Oh, philosophically I retain that faith; as a student of A Course in Miracles, I continue to believe that in spite of our darkness, our true nature is of God and thus is ultimately good. But on a practical, everyday level, I’ve been shocked and appalled at just how dark that darkness can get. There are moments every day when I am struck speechless at the latest example of utter barbarity or sheer Kafkaesque insanity.

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Dennis Gaither’s Kashmir Project blog

You may recall my post in August about the wonderful work of my friend Dennis Gaither. As I said there, “He is part of a group that will be going to Kashmir, India in October to help support several predominantly girls’ schools in the area.”

Now, I’m happy to report that Dennis and his group have arrived in Kashmir. And good news! Dennis has started a blog to share his experiences there. If you would like to follow it, I invite you to check out his Kashmir Project blog. Dennis, we wish all of you infinite love and  blessings as you and your group work with our brothers and sisters in Kashmir!

The Persistence

The movement against Donald Trump and his Republican allies has often been called “the Resistance.” I think that’s a fine name, and I’m sure I’ll continue to use it myself, especially when I’m working with others who have adopted it. But earlier this week, on the heels of finishing the Mexico City Marathon (picture below), I came up with a new name that I think I may end up using more: “the Persistence.”

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“Each of us can do a lot more than we think we can do”

At last, the Golden Rule Activism blog is up and running again. My failure to answer an important e-mail that looked like spam caused my account to be temporarily suspended (long story). But all is well now.

Now, back to business: Along with many other  people, I am deeply concerned that the Trump administration and the Republican party are moving our country away from democracy and toward authoritarianism. This week, I encountered two poignant commentaries on this issue. The first, sent to me by Robert Perry, is New York Times commentator Paul Krugman’s op-ed titled “Why It Can Happen Here.” The second is a video by historian Timothy Snyder, author of the excellent book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century and also The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, which I am now reading. The eight-minute video is titled “The Path to Authoritarianism.”

These are difficult times, but we have the power to make a positive difference. I’ve highlighted in the pages of this blog some people who are making such a difference, and of course there are many other examples. Snyder sums the situation up this way: “The most important thing to see is that we are in a moment in history where what we do actually matters more than at other times….Each of us can do a lot more than we think we can do.” So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

“Grassroots Citizen Diplomacy” in Kashmir—you can help!

I received an e-mail from my friend and fellow Course in Miracles student Dennis Gaither about a wonderful project that to me is a beautiful example of Golden Rule activism.  He is part of a group that will be going to Kashmir, India in October to help support several predominantly girls’ schools in the area.

Dennis kindly gave me permission to post his message below. You can help with a donation to the cause and also by attending one of Dennis’s benefit workshops (see below). God bless this wonderful endeavor!

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“Yes, love will win in this world”

I’m continuing my reading of the Peace Pilgrim book and came across the following gem from the Q & A section, which I would like to share, especially on today’s anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

In this time when darkness seems to have snuffed out the light and hope seems to be swallowed up by despair, it is good to be reminded that good is greater than evil, love is greater than hatred, and light is greater than darkness. Transformation is only a matter of time—and loving effort:

Q: Often I tell myself that good is stronger than evil, love stronger than hatred, that good must win, but will it win in this world?

A [from Peace Pilgrim]: Yes, good will win in this world. The darkness that we see in the world today is due to the disintegration of things which are not good. Only the things which are good can endure. Yes, love will win in this world. Those who are filled with hatred are desperately unhappy and desperately—even though unconsciously—seeking a better way. Only those who are filled with love are serene and at peace. (p. 142)

May we all seek and find that better way!

Peace Pilgrim: Lobbyist for Peace

I’ve been rereading Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words. This book tells the story of Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Norman), an amazing women who spent the last 28 years of her life walking a pilgrimage for peace. She has long been an inspiration to me. She’s known, quite rightly, as a advocate and shining example of inner peace, but as I enter into a more activist phase of my life now, what strikes me as I reacquaint myself with her life is how much of a sociopolitical activist component was present in her life’s work. For reasons that will become clear below, I’ve started to refer to her tongue-in-cheek as a lobbyist for peace.

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Eyes on the Prize: Inspiration for our times

As Martin Luther King Jr. said in his final speech, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead.” As we face those difficult days, I’ve been inspired by the story of how a group of amazing people responded to difficult days in the past.

I’m rewatching the acclaimed PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize, which draws on archival footage and interviews to tell the story of the African American civil rights movement, focusing mainly on the ’50s and ’60s. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I pray that we too can find the courage and passion to foster a nonviolent movement to bring about a more just, more equal, and more loving society Let us keep our eyes on the prize of the beloved community!

Here is one YouTube link where you can watch the entire series:

Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years

Grannies respond to border crisis

The grim situation at the US-Mexico border continues. Here I want to share a heartwarming and inspiring response to this crisis that I came across this week in a wonderful article. A group called “Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden” is organizing “a caravan of concerned grandmothers heading to the Mexico border to deliver grandmotherly love to the migrant families there”

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