“Love all and exclude none.” – Swami Rama
There is a growing misery on our planet. In response, we are witnessing many lines being drawn to shut out the plight of the suffering and marginalized. Hungary is building barricades to keep out Syrian refugees. Kim Davis, an elected government official in Kentucky, is drawing lines between who can and cannot receive a marriage license. Donald Trump, currently leading the Republican Party, promises to build a wall that will not only keep immigrants out, but will be paid for by the immigrants themselves. It is easy to draw lines to keep others out. It is easy to justify the walls we build. It is not easy to face the truth of why these lines are being drawn or to address these challenges with more than a guilt offering.
For those of us still somewhat safely removed from the pain of so many of the worlds inhabits, the time is ripe for self-examination. Distance can no longer be a place from which to live our lives; the world is asking more of us. Can we take this time to open to the pain and suffering that so many humans, animals, and other species are now feeling? Can we take this time to examine our own fear and the rigidness of the boundaries that fear creates? None of us can any longer afford to excuse ourselves from this deep soul searching the world is begging for.
There is a growing opinion that it is too late. But it is never too late to reach out to someone in need. It is never too late to look at our own pain, so we can more easily be available to the pain of others. It is never too late to look at our own fear so that we can find tolerance for those whose actions stem from fear. It is never too late to look at our own greed, so that we can pull ourselves back from the prison of too much and allow generosity to free not only us, but the ones we are depriving.
We are being asked to do the work that ultimately words can’t do. To not only act on behalf of the suffering with donations, prayers, petitions, and humanitarian efforts, but to feel our pain, to feel our fear, to acknowledge our greed, to tear down the fences in our hearts and open them to our neighbor, to grieve, and ultimately to love. It is only from this place of action and contemplation that we can live into the answers of a new way to be with one another.