Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reflections of Solidarity-Seeing that of God in our Neighbors

Week Five Reflection
Daniel Short is a Quaker and former Director of the Human Rights Program at the American Friends Service Committee.

In this week's reflection, excerpted from Seeing that of God in our Neighbors, Danielle explores barriers to seeing that of God in immigrants and how the call to See that of God in Our Neighbors contributes to our own spiritual development.

To read Danielle Short's Seeing that of God in our Neighbors, go to the shrine and light your candle. No registration is necessary to leave a candle or a comment.

Last Week's Reflection

Migration of the Spirit
by Randle Loeb

All of the earliest examples of human collaboration are reckoned by wandering clans that stood on the precipice of death, clinging to the barest thread of survival. Birth and death have always been intricately overlaid and intertwined. There is no escape from the migration of humanity for survival across the rim of the world to the edge of the aboriginal center of the universe. We came out of Africa. Madagascar was the center of the land mass of the world in the beginning and from the floating islands of teeming life Homus Erectus clawed for a place that was safe and abundant to live.

Our claim to places and strategies which lay waste to other competing clans has always been a futile enterprise. There is no thinking in any culture that can make any rhyme or reason of owning land or, for that matter, anything. All wealth belongs inevitably to the earth. We have achieved the rendering of the world into parcels and places, naming the earth and planting a symbol to lay claim to this as my own.

But if one looks at the artificial boundaries, the citadels, the castles, the walls that have been created to hold people in or out it is clear Robert Frost’s reminder, that, “good fences do not make good neighbors,” is exactly right. It is in fact the opposite that is our only means for avoiding extinction. There is no greater imperative than that we share wealth and redistribute this economy everywhere, while at the same time leveling the playing field. Women and men throughout the world are leaving their families today for the purpose of earning remittances and sending this resource home to build the economy in emerging nations. There is one world economy and our interdependence is the only means we have for survival.

When we think about people immigrating from abroad it’s important we realize that we are all related and interrelated from the initial exodus across the continents, 10,000 miles for the purpose of survival, while clinging to a precarious existence. We cannot reign over the earth, the seas, the air and the fire of the world’s inner core. We must harness a will to coexist as a sea of seven billion faces, where half the world will be new children. We must determine how we will rebuild the world for our lives to move forward along the destiny written by the infinite wisdom of creative instinct. We must decide what we will do to share the resources of the earth and harness our technologies to prepare for the new generation and say, “Mr. President, tear down this wall.”
In many nations of the world long ago they understood that limiting people’s rights to passage is a death sentence. In reality, the migration and balance of where people live is not up to anyone. The planning of the migration of people has already changed the major political-social order. We are not the benefactors of the earth’s wealth. The earth still retains rights and always will be our mainstay because we cannot own anything and we cannot possess anyone.

Instead of bickering over whether a child has a right to citizenship, or a right to treatment, or a right to an education, we would be far wiser to learn from these pioneers and voyagers how to better maintain and live together in harmony. Let us hope that when my great grand children are walking around that the earth has opened its gaping mouth to feed all of the young. We can put an end to pestilence, to avarice, to senseless brutality and famine in one fell swoop by expanding our awareness and realizing that all are welcome here, now and forever, no matter what.

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