Love in ActionMon, 06/25/2007 - 01:11
the front line cities of Selma, Birmingham and Montgomery Alabama, and spoke to some of the surviving footsoldiers of the movement, that the true depths and power of this story really sunk home.
What struck me most, was that this was a movement rooted solidly in love. Not the hallmark love that we have come identify with the word, but a fierce love, a love of unrelenting compassion, of unwavering nonviolence. A love that faced the bigotry and hatred of the Klu Lux Klan, of the police with their dogs trained on black dummies to attack wildly at the sight of black skin, of the average white citizens of the south who spat on and taunted the protestors as they were beaten bloody for simply trying to sit a lunch counter or ride a bus or cross a bridge, and dared to see the divine spark within each and every one of those human beings. That recognized that behind their hatred, was hurt. Behind their anger, their prejudice, was fear. Behind their violence, behind that testosterone fueled male agression of the hooded Klansman, was a sad little boy, who didn't get enough love.
The people of the movement were fueled by faith, and though I'm not a christian, and like many in this era of fundamentalism, have grown weary and wary of Christian rhetoric, I have developed a profound respect for the way Christianity informed the movement. It was sheltered in the churches, the one place they could safely meet free from interference in a segregated land. Although one of the Churches we visited, the 16th St. Baptist Church, was firebombed by the KKK, resulted in the deaths of four young girls. This tragic act became one of the sparks that set off the irrepressible fire of the movement. The power of Faith, and Christ's original teachings on justice, and peace, gave great strength to the people as they surged forward in the face of out and out assault.
Speech itself can be violent. Ask yourself before you speak or write a violent phrase - is this love speaking? Are you a force of positivity in the world, or a force of negativity? Are you promoting biophilia, the love of life, or necrophelia, the love of death, the cyncism and hatred that is at the root of the destruction of this planet? Do you think you can create peace in the world through hatred? As Martin Luther King said, hatred does not create love, only love can do that. Darkness cannot create light, only light can do that. Although there are a number of severe limitations to the popular book and documentary "The Secret" (in particular the fact that is very ego based and stuff based), there is a fundamental truth to this fact: your thoughts and words draw to you the energy you put out. What forces do you want to draw to you? Forces of caring and compassion, or anger and violence? The choice is yours.