Regardless of where you stand on immigration policy, the comments and actions made about the young immigrants known as Dreamers, Haitians, Salvadorans and those who come from African nations reminded us of our national rancor and division. These events are alarming and upsetting, but if we can put aside our hatred and name calling for the other side, we can learn a valuable lesson that can help push our world forward.
My life experiences have taught me that when we see ourselves as separate from another we are suffering from bouts of insanity. When we segregate ourselves from types of people, we are suspending our critical faculties and choosing to live in a mythical world wrongfully created. By assuming we—and others like us—are more entitled and superior to others, we are separating from the universal reality we were all created by the same source that is clearly manifested in infinite diversity.
Reflect on this for a moment, with all the scientific proof that our origins come from the same foundation, why do we believe this creative force arbitrarily designated superiority to a gender, a nation, a religion, a sexual orientation, a race, a political point of view, a chronicled age or a social status? The answer is obvious; there is no such designation for any human except those capriciously made over generations by cultures trying to differentiate themselves from others. The ultimate truth is that we were not born with a sense of separateness, we were taught that perspective. It is nuts, therefore, to live in a world of separation where in the eyes of our creative source none exists.
What has become clearer to me about people is that every one of us was put on this earth to learn important lessons on the path to becoming our highest selves. The ultimate purpose of this human evolution is to become a force for a greater good. This is why I am convinced the goal for humans is to create a planet that cares for all living things by protecting our environment and nurturing every person to reach their greatest possibility. This calls for all of us to rely on—as President Abraham Lincoln advocated—“the better angels of our nature”. These angels are contained in every person and they become apparent in the elements of diplomacy, cooperation, non-violence, appreciation, peacefulness, acceptance, generosity and courage. There are more qualities than those listed, but you get the picture. No better way to improve our world than by taking care of the least among us. The United States, as the world’s most affluent and powerful country, has the greatest ability—if not the responsibility—to lead the efforts in creating the right environment for all nations to come together in this purpose.
I can certainly grow disheartened when events as those of the past week promote a sense the world is spinning out of control. During times like this I can feel helpless and small. I can ache inside because of my inability to bring about a sense of peace. It is during these periods when I am reminded that it is not my role to save the world. My duty is to positively influence the people who surround me and encourage them to imagine a world where the greatest nations are the strongest advocates for the well-being of every inhabitant.
Invariably, at times like these, I find comfort in something I learned growing up in a Catholic orphanage. It is the words of Jesus recorded in Mathew 25:40, when he was asked about the criteria that we will be judged on in order to enter heaven.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for Me.
I am not trying to bring in a religious overtone to this nor am I endeavoring to preach about Jesus, heaven and hell, the ten commandments, an eye for an eye, and so on. God knows I have sucked at Bible study all of my life, so I am no authority on the subject. However, the words of Jesus about our role to care for the poor and marginalized ring true in me. Similar teachings are the basis for the principle that is found in many religions and cultures about treating others as one would wish to be treated. This passage continues to guide me when I am lost in the sea of hopelessness about the world. It tells me to open my heart and concentrate my actions toward bettering the life of every single person, regardless of who they are, where they come from or what they stand for. One does not need to be Christian in order to see the wisdom in these words, they ring true no matter the person or the situation.
In our modern era I consider the least of us to be the hungry, immigrant, differentiated, ostracized, thirsty, homeless, sick, disabled and imprisoned. With this in mind then, to create a great nation we would work for reasonable immigration reform, affordable healthcare for all, a livable wage, diplomacy over war, help for the poor both inside the nation and around the world, aid to refugees, aid to victims of natural disasters both here and abroad, reasonable and affordable education for all, affordable housing, assistance for the homeless, financial and emotional support for seniors, counseling and support for our veterans, financial and educational support for unwed mothers and their children as an option to abortion, marriage equality, impartial justice and law enforcement systems, humane prisons, putting an end to the death sentence, care for the environment and, last but not least, humane treatment of animals.
So, no matter what you believe, I am calling on you to support the leaders and policies that would create such a nation. When assessing who or what to support, keep in mind that love is always better than hate, good better than evil, finding common ground better than revenge, unity better than discirmination, generosity better than persecution, embracing our diversity better than shunning and ignoring others. If you pay attention, it is not hard to distinguish the difference in the words people say.
There is great personal benefit in caring for the least among us; we become a better person. If we adopted this practice as Americans, we would become an even greater nation. If the world embraced the welfare of those in need as a priority, we would move our species forward. It is our destiny to make our world heaven on earth with our care and generosity towards one another or to be leveled to ashes by hatred, violence and war. Our future of choice begins with you and me.
Call to Action:
We are all immigrants! Whether we left a country for a fresh start in another, or whether an unforeseen life change has sent us on an unexpected path, this cycle of death and rebirth is at the center of our human evolution and can alter us in ways we don’t fully understand. If you are going through such a period, I can help. If your organization is going through a challenging phase or serves people whose lives are in flux, like immigrants, seniors, or communities that are unappreciated, I can help as well. The combination of years and experiences have molded me into a messenger uniquely qualified to write, speak and mentor on the subject of discovering the inner resource that will convert difficult transitions into positive triumphs. Check out my website for the services I offer, and to subscribe to my weekly blog. You can also request a free one-half hour consultation to get your questions answers.