On May 17, 1967, Ron Scolastico sat on the steps of Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley, mesmerized by the words and presence of Martin Luther King who helped pave the way for a person of color to become President. On January 17, 2009, Ron and I listened with tears in our eyes, to Barack Obama speak in Philadelphia at the start of his historic ride to Washington DC. Of course, we were only as close as our TV this time, but good enough.
What stood out for me is the following paragraph from Obama’s speech,
“I believe that our future is our choice and that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together – Democrats, Republicans and independents, north, south, east and west, black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American, gay and straight, disabled and not – then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process.”
That, my friends, in a nutshell, is the crux of what I consider to be true spirituality–if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together. This is the Golden Rule stated without shoving religion down our throats. This was the true teaching of Jesus, Confucius and other great teachers. If it were practiced fully, we would not only perfect our union, we would manifest the divine into human reality and perfect our world.
And so, we are hopeful once again, that the words and deeds of a great leader will touch the hearts of humanity and propel us to a new beginning of kindness, compassion and love toward one another. Say Amen somebody!
By the way, Obama has designated MLK day as a day of service and a day to recommit to making this world a better place. Here is a site to find places to be of service in your area. Here is another suggestion for action: Born Again American. Please feel free to suggest other sites that you consider worthy.