My dear grandchildren,
when I was in my 20´s, back in the sixty’s, the world was in great turmoil, many thought the threat of nuclear war was imminent and there were proxy armed conflicts going on everywhere. Students were protesting the war and the establishment, many were being imprisoned, or wounded or killed in the streets of Paris, Mexico City and Kent University. The forces of hatred and fear were rampant. It seemed then that like Bob Dylan’s song said, the “hard rains are going to fall”.
But forces of love were also being released, through music, spirituality, and the collaborative sacrifices of many activists. The world’s gardens seemed to bloom for a while, music like the Beatles “All you Need is love” echoed the wisdom of ages, and consciousness shifted a bit, compassion oozed a bit, and people started to tolerate more the rights of others to be different, the world’s environment was recognized as a commons to protect, international dialogue reached a peak, walls in Berlin were brought down, and people, through multiculturalism, migration, trade and intermarriage, became more aware of being one humanity rather than separate tribes. Communication networks started to link the planet and our minds, in a dynamic global bulletin board.
But it seems that it was not yet enough, for us to fully understand the inseparability of all life. Many people were left behind in forgotten pockets, displaced by technology, by world trade, by the greedy appetite of elites, that drew upon the wealth of the planet and did not care much about distribution, about the basic needs entitlements of all. Of those people, the ones still caught up in tribal consciousness, started to apply the concepts of exceptionalism with subtle hatred and extreme bias, based on an exacerbated fear and blaming the “others” for their plight, and walls were being conceived again, and people were being killed again, this time in acts of terror.
So here we seem to be again, climbing the spiral stairs and seemingly looking at the same panorama of the sixties, just like when my parents looked at the turmoil of the sixties, remembering their terrible second world war experiences and said oh no, not again.
Relax kids, you are the inheritors of this beautiful planet, it is not the same, it is never the same, it is like a friend told me once climbing a small hill in India, ‘when climbing a spiral staircase, you might be seeing the same scene as you turn around, but you are on higher ground now’ We are on higher ground now.
This is your challenge of the present. It is a cycle of challenge and realizations, like life itself, a cycle of learning new lessons without forgetting the past ones. You must do your generational duty, others have tilled the ground, remember the achievements in recognizing the inter-connectivity of life, the social and environmental realms, the power of love, the beauty of music, the beauty of hope.
Remember, in a country that was marching in the sixties for racial equality, there was just now a very popular African American president for 8 years, in a country that only allowed women to vote, 300 years after it was founded on principles of human equality, a woman was a main candidate to become president. and received more votes than the man, even though, by the anachronistic peculiarities of the system, he technically won.
This is a world that saw a beautiful man, lead a big country to independence from a small one, through nonviolence, and another one’s to finish a racial apartheid in Africa, and yet another man who led marches in peace for civil rights and opened a path to give more freedom to people, a world who saw a young girl that after being critically wounded for attending school, by religious bigots who opposed women’s education, became a world champion for women’s education. There are so many stories of real heroism, some famous, some unheard of. There is so much love capacity within each of us.
Yes, there is also good and evil, ignorance and wisdom, all the time in the world, also within ourselves if you look closely, these are challenges one must overcome, the opportunities for inner growth and understanding, so that you, we, become closer and closer to understanding the interconnectedness of life and being, so that we fully connect in our humanity. It is your turn now to climb the next flight of stairs for all, and as you turn the spiral, you will see the higher ground.
Don’t be afraid of Trump and the re-emerging bigotry happening in the whole world, the politics of fear, the recalcitrant violence and hatred, seemingly re-emerging in the whole world. Remember, it is fear that feeds these forces, fear creates these leaders and followers, but they are all made up of the same stuff as you and me, they all have the same humanity and love. It is just that fear feeds them and makes them forget.
Two things: do not fall into the trap of hiding your heads on the sand, saying that spiritual forces will take care of it or become dejected and say that you cannot change the world. Know that spiritual forces are within you, and that with wisdom, compassion and courage you must stand in your perceived truths about equality and interconnectedness, truths already nurtured by the efforts of so many before you and you must cast the light on the darkness projected by fear. With courage and love, but never hatred, you will make your change happen in the world.
Above all be happy. It is a wonderful, miraculous world, and you must engage in its challenges and riddles, to reveal its beauty. No matter how dark it is, the sun always rises again, outside of you and within you.
Meher Baba, a spiritual teacher from India said:
“... for those who are overpowered by the spectacle of the hindrances of humanity, there is bound to be nothing but unrelieved despair about its future. One must look deeper into the realities of the day if one is to get a correct perspective on the present distress of humanity. The real possibilities of the New Humanity are hidden to those who look only at the surface of the world-situation… the one redeeming feature about human nature is that even amid disruptive forces there invariably exists some form of love.”
May you all be blessed by this love.