Without love and compassion, nothing is sacred. No marketplace, free or otherwise, is good when it fails to consider the basic human state of needs at every stage of life. No political body is sacred, sustainable or under protection, which allows the exploitation of its people, or capitalization from the subdued life-force of its weakest members. No nation's flag is great or glorious if it flies over the weak and downtrodden, even if they raise and protect it out of misguided allegiance. No belief or idea is sacred, unless it treats all people as sacred. And no construct on earth will stand, that does not stand for the least among them, as their advocate and humble servant.
Respect is the lifeblood of progress, and the safe harbor of humanity's great aspiration — that all people have human rights affording them unfettered access to liberty and justice. Respect is that great spirit of good, which creates the beautiful space giving all souls the simple room to breathe. Every blood-soaked patch of soil in the world came from the grotesque attempt to surreptitiously or overtly control others by imposing selfish will over the broad consensus desires for safety and respect, and by failing to recognize universal human commonality. Any act of violence creates resentment and resistance, because humans were meant to be free. This includes passive violence, which is ubiquitous in today's current world construct we have chosen for ourselves. The most deadly silent killer of passive violence, is the everyday social menacing of people into silence. Any being or group of beings seeking to silence the voice of reason, or ignore her nurturing will of protection, are traitors against humankind's deepest and most revered and sacred impulse — the desire to be free. All people desire to be free from the molestations against the soul of intimidation, violence, force, coercion, deceit and injustice.
The systems of governance and community we create must hold many elements of life in constant consideration, the highest of which is freedom of the individual to live the life they choose in safety. Of course these considerations go beyond more than mere individualism, because the individual cannot exist outside of the many spheres of the deeply interconnected webs of life, so our solutions must also be organic and holistic. It is tremendously short-sighted when individuals, institutions, communities or other idea-constructs, fail to consider people during all stages of life. It is especially disgraceful when our created society fails to respond to the human indignities of not having our simple needs met, for we are all frail-embodied creatures, who at times suffer through injustice, abuse, illness, pain and misfortune. When a society becomes that insensitive and impotent, those dysfunctional or malignant parts must be engaged, and then transformed or eliminated to make way for more sensible and humane constructs. In other words, those constructs are bad ideas, which must be replaced with better ideas.
The power of the idea is often overlooked, but if you think about it, everything is really an idea. A government, institution, company, or even a society is really just an idea. They are constructs, or thought-forms of consensus reality, that only exist because we choose to support them collectively with the human resources of the heart, mind and hand. So make no mistake, there is no battle or engagement with any institution, company or government; it is always an engagement of ideas. Never lose sight of the fact that we are at all times exclusively dealing with ideas, and all ideas in a truly free society should always be open for discussion.
What every person or group wishes to say is important, even when we do not fully understand their message, and even when they do not fully understand their own message. This is because what we are really engaging in is a sharing of ideas, feelings and emotions. We are all thinking and feeling entities and we all have these wonderful and sometimes painful emotions within us, ever reminding us that we feel, that we are alive, that we are involved, and that we are inseparable from the great experience of living. We share profound interconnectedness with our natural and artificial environments, our communities, our created-nations, our institutions and with every person alive and to be born. Yes, we are all one in this great experience of life. What we do to others, we do to ourselves, and so it is essential that we reach for the highest place within ourselves, and afford every soul we encounter the wide and free passage they need to give birth to the dear expressions they feel are important. We must always strive toward our noblest behavior as good listeners by receiving messages with a graceful comportment, showcasing the highest state of respect we can muster. Even as the sometimes flawed, fragile and immature beings that we are, we can encourage and facilitate the mutual, free and respectful exchange of ideas.
Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination. Respectful communication under conflict or opposition is an essential and truly awe-inspiring ability of the modern human being's newly evolved social sensibility. It involves having the courage to listen carefully and respectfully, and then giving real and heartfelt consideration to what has been communicated. It involves reaching for deeper understanding beyond what was merely said, and into what was meant or intended. It involves considering the greater context of the history and experiences that created the need for the discussion, over what may sometimes be years, decades or even centuries. This type of high-order listening is only possible with great intention, humility and magnanimity.
Susaye Greene, *Artist, Activist and former Singer from the Motown Sensation, "The Supremes" Singer and Songwriter for Stevie Wonder and the late Michael Jackson and Ray Charles*
People have a right to ignorance, stupidity, and hatred. Intelligence is not enforceable. You cannot make people respectful through intimidation. Civility is not a compulsory mandate, nor is incivility illegal. Inasmuch as all unjust coercion is repugnant — civility, decency, and respect are only beautiful when voluntary.
May we all hope in earnest, in each and every country, for the day enlightenment and unity of one human spirit dares to foster equality, empathetic justice, and dignity for all. May the human spirit ascend to victory and to the highest potential of what we all know — everywhere — to be good.
Change can arrive in an instant, or slowly settle around you over the years. One day things are just different. Maybe something happens, or you just happen to notice, that everything, including you, has changed. Who we think we are is often who we were many years ago. Maybe this is why we are always trying to find ourselves. But time eventually shows us everything we need to see. Change is always illuminating; casting a shadow behind us of all the things we mourn through loss — about the way things once were. We all look back, and then forward again, as the brightness of what lies ahead catches our eye with its clarity. New things carry the charm of freshness and wonder. What is new arrives with the excitement and awe of that which is unordinary; sometimes as blessings, and at other times as calamity. New beginnings, even when wonderful can be so scary, carrying the tensions of every doubt and every hope you have ever endured. All change takes courage. Change insists we endure its ceaseless queries. Change is always asking us questions that are only answered when we choose. How will you choose to remember yesterday? How will you choose to see tomorrow? Can you bare the heartbreak that comes with living and loving? Will you dare to once again believe in something beautiful? Look back once or twice, but not for too long, for change is calling you to tomorrow, to receive all that is new and full of hope.