A Call to (Link) Arms

photo credit: Franklin Londin

After September 11, 2001, many people, good, smart people, were afraid to speak out. They saw how the government was using the World Trade Center tragedy to clamp down on protest, and to chip away at the individual rights of all Americans. The PATRIOT Act (diabolically anagrammed as there is nothing patriotic about it — it’s the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) was rushed through, and effectively nullified entire sections of the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. Most Americans were experiencing shock and fear, and few spoke up as these rights were eroded and we were pushed headlong into wars, which continue until today.

Then, about 6 months after September 11, Americans for Democratic Action held a day long event in Los Angeles. It’s title was something like “What happened to our Civil Rights in the wake of 9/11?” There were speakers that might have been expected — Tom Hayden, Maxine Waters, Jim Hightower — and they all made compelling points. And then someone got up on the stage, someone I had never heard of before that day. Dennis Kucinich gave a speech, his Prayer for America, that brought people to tears, and to their feet, and to yelping with glee and support — He was finally saying in clear terms what we all so sorely needed to hear. It was time to create the Peace we sought, and to do so in a way stronger than those who would bring us to war. This speech would end up launching his candidacy for the presidency, and I had the good fortune to be on staff of that campaign for a time.

Here we are now, in 2017, more than 6 months past the shock and awe of the contested election of Donald Trump. In a way that feels eerily similar to those 6 months after 9/11, I sense the country, one citizen by one, coming out of its stupor. We are looking around and seeing the signs of a totalitarian state popping up around us. And people talk about how the country feels more divided than ever before. However, I do not see the divide as between Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, or even the coasts and the middle states. I see the true divide between those who believe in the unity of humans on a living planet, and those who persist in seeing, and often benefitting from, our perceived separation.

I’ve had a recurring conversation with various friends over the past few days, in 3 different states. It goes something like this: some vast number of us know that everything is connected. All matter is made up of the same stardust. All beings on this planet are connected. We truly are all one. Therefore, the way to bridge the illusion of separation among us is to live to one’s fullest, and to treat all beings as if we are all one.

Now, it gets sticky when we come upon not just an individual, but a government, or even a system, that sees the world very differently. In the United States, we practice a form of capitalism which rewards separation. And our two-party political system uses as its life blood the bitter resentment bred by showing the supposed sharp differences between us and the other. With so much money and power dependent on this separation being believed, how might we who are sure of the underlying unity ever break through?

For as long as I can remember, I have advocated that individuals continue to practice actions that lead toward unity in their own daily lives. Eventually, when those married to separation see the unity in action, the hope is that all will come around to wanting to be a part of that unity. I’ve been doing my utmost to live in peace, to foster unity, to send little ripples into the world that eventually might make mighty waves. This has been my own prayer for America.

I now realize what I’ve been missing has been the acknowledgement that those who rely on and profit from separation don’t simply disbelieve in the unity of all things, they do not respect it. And why don’t they respect it? Because to them it reeks of weakness.

Those who wield power, and profit from their position, only respect power. Things that seem to them soft are perceived as weak.

Well then, unity-believers, it’s time to show some power. It’s time to have our own call to link arms. The power of love can be far stronger than the love of power, but only when we stand together and continue to prove it so, every single day.

One protest, or ten, or a hundred, is not enough. A clever meme on social media is not enough. Meditation and personal growth, though necessary, are not enough.

It is time for a relentless assault of unity, so powerful that the forces of separation succumb, and allow themselves to sink into the oneness that they so ardently, and futilely, resist. They will do so precisely because they love power, and want a piece of what we have to offer.

What does it mean to be a relentless proponent of unity? How do we do it? What actions do we take? To be successful, we must drive out fear from our lives. Separation is fueled by fear. When we remove fear, we remove the life force of separation. Starved and weakened, separation withers and dies when fear is overcome.

How do you drive out fear? Love fiercely. Love with a ferocity that you have until now never known. Love like your life depends on it…because it does.

Love yourself — make yourself strong. Love your neighbor — feed them, take care of them. Love your co-worker — show concern for their family. Love passengers you are driving in your ride-share — take care of them during that ride as you would your own child. Love your perceived antagonist, whatever it is that makes them different from you — do something, anything, to improve their life. Walk the dog of your political rival. Send a gift to the annoying neighbor. Invite your nemesis to dinner.

Do all of this not because you wish to be seen as a better person, not because you feel guilt, but because all of our lives depend on it. Truly. We have no more time to waste in getting everyone on board the unity train. The climate won’t wait. The planet won’t wait. Love fiercely, and with great power, starting right now.

Then, after you have led with love, and opened the heart of the other, show the depth of your commitment. Reveal your inner strength. Reveal how you are linked to so many like-minded others. Let all who feed on fear know that you are part of a Spiritual Light Brigade, come to drive out the forces of fear. They need fear no more. They can drop it, and drop the separation. No more need to make a scapegoat of the immigrant, the poor, the educated or uneducated, the different race, the other. It’s inevitable — they can hold out for a while, but not forever. Unity is the way of the universe, it will not be denied.

Humans only have two choices — submit and surrender to the unity, and thereby gain its infinite strength. Or persist in choosing separation — of one human from another, of humans from animals, of humans from the earth itself — with the outcome being that humans shall perish, leaving the earth and the universe to reclaim its unity without us.

It’s our choice. Our survival is keenly on the line. Are you ready to suit up? Are you ready to live and love out loud? Are you ready to drive fear from your life, in order that you may save yourself, your children, and the entire human race? The stakes are that high. Start living like you mean it.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Make yourself strong. Build your inner power and resilience. Face the fears within you. Let there be no weak links, so that when we link arms, either physically in the streets, or metaphorically, we form an unbroken chain. That kind of power will gain respect, and will gain converts.

Reach out and find as many bent elbows as you can to link with your own, and build strong human chains. Fierce love warriors ready to stand in unity, dissolving the illusion of separation wherever it attempts to take hold. We are all on the same side — we invite all to link arms with us in love. But for those who are not ready to acknowledge the unity of all, they will never again divide us from our brothers and sisters in linked arms.

I invite your comments — how might you build your own fierce love? How might you bring more into the fold, acknowledging the unity of all?

license: Creative Commons Zero — CC0



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