The World Needs Healing Now, and So Do We

The world needs healing. We feel divided from ourselves, from the world, and from God.
Yet our own personal healing can only begin when we choose to heal others first; that’s just the way healing works. The magic that happens when we forgive others is the very thing that helps us forget and move on.
Minimally, people are irritating. (This includes us!) Many will break our hearts, or even kill us. Yet, when we look at each person and each situation more gently, when we let go of our resentments, give others slack, let up on others' human mistakes, however grievous, we begin to notice that we’re not so hard on ourselves anymore either.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”
Why would Jesus say this?
He was teaching us how to heal one another and ourselves.
So where in the world do we start, in this business of easing up on others, and ultimately, ourselves?
We can begin by forgiving everyone else’s indifference to our own lost hopes, dreams, loves, and opportunities, our deepest sorrows and regrets. When we do, our own apathy and indifference to the plight and suffering of others everywhere will begin to dissipate.
We can stop fretting about the stupid or terrible ways others obliviously act out their fears of loss, death, suffering, disappointment, humiliation, deprivation, cruelty, and loss of control—and find ourselves bravely facing and addressing our own fears.
We can overlook the foolishness people go through to hide behind their masks and walls—and find ourselves extending our hands and hearts outside our own comfort zones.
We can stop criticizing the selfishness that tears apart families and nations and our small blue planet, ruining millions of lives—and let go of our own failures of compassion, giving freely instead, as we have received.
We can let go of others’ self-absorbed rudeness and anxiety (born of the belief that life-is-tough-and-then-you-die)—and find ourselves peacefully within safe, loving circles of unity and oneness.
We can stop being indignant because others think they know, they’re right, they’re sure about how things should work, and how everyone should live—and become secure in our own attitudes of acceptance and humility.
We can stop disapproving of others’ mistake-ridden beliefs, traditions, politics, and cultures—and transform our own fallible and all-too-human personal belief systems and institutions.
We can forgive all who frighten, hate, and angrily misuse us—and forget our own fear, hatred, anger, and abuse.
We can pardon the world its smallness, ignorance, and prejudice—and find within ourselves the loving power of the whole universe.
We can absolve all who have killed or maimed our loved ones in the names of mysterious causes—and free ourselves from our own confused complicity in others’ pain.
We can respect others’ blind loyalties to tribe, nation, race, ideology, religion, class, gender—and embrace our commonalities: one Life, one Love, one Self, one Source.
We can bear with others’ grave and/or foolish past and future mistakes—and live joyously together in the present.
We can let pass others’ weak faith—and grow closer in our shared search for understanding and peace.
We can empathize with others for seeming so far from God and man—and heal our own sense of separation.
We can stop blaming leaders for their many failures, and start speaking out, lifting up, taking risks, and failing and succeeding responsibly, publicly, courageously.
We can release others’ guilt for mistreating us—and drop our own defenses, treating others as we wish to be treated.
We can stop hating God for messing up our lives and mis-creating the world—and start listening for His guiding Voice, and recognizing His bountiful, diverse Creation, perfect exactly as it is.
We can forgive the world, reclaim our ideals and our love, and move on to heal the world as we have been healed.



Saddam Hussein’s Hanging, The Bush Administration, Forgiveness, and Happy New Year

Saddam Hussein, who is very much one of God’s beloved, fallible children (just like the rest of us) met his death with dignity and courage.


If all such world leaders who wreak ill-conceived, reckless, needless mayhem, who destroy innocent lives in their ambitious pursuit of influence and power, deserve such grisly ends, then some of our current world leaders ought to be feeling a bit queasy just about now.


A fully-functioning Department of Peace (see ) would do much to make such dismal futures less likely for all.


There is a lot of irony in the sad fact that we’ve spent hundreds of billions of hard-earned and greatly-needed tax dollars to kill off one violent despotic regime in Iraq, simply in order to install another one equally unpopular and equally dependent upon maintaining its power via the same undemocratic brutish means—armies and secret prisons and assassinations and torture. Why else would we need to send ever more armies into Iraq to prop them up?


The Bush administration sold us their disastrously costly war by drumming up American fears of an evil madman imminently threatening U.S. citizens, yet not only could we not find such weapons, we couldn’t even pull off a demonstrably “democratic” (i.e., fair) trial convincingly proving that Saddam Hussein indeed deserved death by hanging for even one single alleged killing spree.


The west is absolutely accountable for forcibly creating a country called “Iraq” from out of many original tribes, and for supporting their own preferred despot, Saddam Hussein, with only a single aim: to keep cheap oil pumping west. When Saddam later thumbed his nose in the direction of his original kingmakers (Rumsfeld/Cheney they were so incensed that they were willing to do anything and everything to depose and replace him with yet another (hopefully more loyal) crony—regardless of how despotic and evil—again with their sole goal of keeping cheap oil pumping west. (The Bush administration recently reclassified all their original distasteful and disgraceful historical machinations with Saddam Hussein in order to cover up their bloody incestuous tracks.) What a grievous waste in every sense—human, material, political, financial, spiritual—this terrible war has been.


And to think that all we ever had to do was humbly stand in line to pay for oil at the market price, just like every other country.


The “war-for-democracy-and-for-love-of-Iraqis” notion came up briefly only when the American public (and, probably, our still-innocent and idealistic president) could no longer stomach the evil-Saddam-imminent-weapons-fear-thing. Rather than admit that this had always been a war about oil, Cheney/Rumsfeld used Rice to convince Bush (and the public) that continuing the war in order to spread democracy and save Iraqis (at least the ones who weren’t currently shooting at us) was important and necessary. Now they’re finally admitting, at least to one another and to a few others, that this war is indeed a smarmy geopolitical struggle for power, money, resources, and influence; that admission, however, doesn’t make the war any more wise or moral.


Democracy cannot be spread by war, just as peace can only arise from peace. We aging hippies used to say in the 60’s that fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity….


We need to begin acting like Americans again. We need to generously support peaceful leaders everywhere, and use our power and influence in ways that demonstrate our highest, most deeply American ideals. We need to stop acting like big bullies, and rebuild international good will with generosity and acceptance and statesmanship and diplomacy. We need to build up our economy ethically, and base our businesses and long-term trade partnerships on mutual advantage, not unbridled greed, power, and indifference. Peace on earth will come only when each of us learns to offer peace. And yes, we need to be the ones to go first, to take the first step, because we are still the most powerful, most envied, most influential nation on earth.


We can still use multilateral international police forces well-trained in non-violent intervention as necessary to lock up and re-educate violent criminals of all stripes. But we must simultaneously teach our next generation (every child on this small blue planet) to live peacefully with one another, to share, to love our mother earth, and to live and work morally, generously, and sustainably. (Again, please consider the beautiful Department of Peace proposed legislation already supported by 75+ congressional leaders, at ).


The world of the future will not be one of vengeance and anger, but one of reconciliation and forgiveness (if it is to be, at all.) Human beings—we ourselves, as well as Saddam Hussein, George Bush, all those we love and all those we fear–each of us–will always make mistakes. Of course we should be held accountable. Of course we should see the grief we have caused others, and learn to regret our mistakes and make amends. But just as I would rather not be condemned or tortured or killed or thrown in prison forever for the harm I’ve done in my life (frankly, I’d really rather be forgiven, and supported in doing better) so too do I hope that in this new year and in all the coming new years, we will all learn to live and love and forgive others their trespasses, as we would have others forgive us our own, and then move on to build a new world, together, with love.




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