All Means All
I woke up this morning thinking of the men, women and children living and dying in the drought-stricken areas of Kenya …
The latest IPC report (July to September 2022) on the drought situation in Kenya indicates that; in the ten ASAL (Arid and Semi-Arid Land) counties, where AHN members work, more than 40% of the population is facing high levels of food insecurity compared to 24% in all ASAL counties of Kenya and this figure is projected to increase to 47.5% in the period October to December 2022 and will continue to worsen over time.
… then, while walking Polly, my mind wandered to those managing to survive through the catastrophic devastation in war-torn Ukraine …
Millions of children are in need of humanitarian assistance as they continue to suffer the deadly consequences of a brutal war not of their making. The war has sparked displacement on a scale and speed not seen since World War II – with far-reaching impact across the region and beyond. By November 1, 2022, more than 7.7 million individual refugees from Ukraine had been recorded across Europe, while millions more people had been internally displaced in Ukraine.
… and a little later, before I left to volunteer at Meals on Wheels, my heart ached for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs.
Sadly, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and / or queer (LGBTQ+) people face higher risk of becoming victims of gun violence.
I do not feel as detached from these events and other similar tragic occurrences as I once did. Generally speaking, I have in the past felt the sorrow of global, national and local disasters over the years, but now these cataclysmic happenings are much closer at heart and felt with an incarnate intensity in my spirit.
I am not sure what the difference is; perhaps it is because I am in that decade of life where the deaths of people my age start appearing more frequently in the obituaries.
According to World Bank statistics, my current life expectancy is 77.28 years. If that is the case, I have a very short 14 years left—if that–to make a difference in whatever way, shape or form that may be. I find myself hoping that I have demonstrated more love and given more joy than pain and sorrow.
Those sorts of scales matter not to the Divine, I know. Grace and Love look only through the lens of Grace and Love, yet I still wonder.
I met a really beautiful human being at the grocery store one morning. Their deep resonate voice suggested they were male, but their mannerisms and other qualities suggested they were female—which is why I am using the non-binary pro-nouns ‘they’ and ‘their.’ I really do not know their gender and I really do not care. All I know is that during our short interaction, I was deeply affected by their kind and gentle soul which is really all that matters.
Before his death, James Lipton hosted a show on Bravo called ‘The Actor’s Studio’ where he interviewed famous actors of stage, screen and TV.
At the end of the interview, he would ask each actor a series of questions inspired by the show ‘Bouillon de Culture’ hosted by Bernard Pivot. Among the ten questions were: What is your favorite/least favorite word; what sound or noise do you love/hate; what turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? And the one for which I always had a definitive answer: What turns you off?
Man’s inhumanity to man … our lack of empathy to one another is indefensible—how can we continue to treat each other so cruelly?
My mother was a great admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt was THE driving force behind The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. The UDHR is widely recognized as having inspired, and paved the way for, the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels (all containing references to it in their preambles).
Have you ever read it? If not, you should! Personally, I believe it to be a more sacred and holy document than the Constitution of the United States simply because it undertakes to include and unify ALL of humanity! Not just Americans and certainly not just MAGA Evangelical believers.
Article 1 states …
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
… and it only gets better from there!
All human beings … not some, not a few … not just whites, not just far-right radicals, not just cisgendered heterosexuals, not just males … ALL human beings.
ALL means ALL!
This lack of awareness of our global personhood as a “normal” part of life is where all of our problems, calamities, misfortunes, devastations begin … and can end.
I am not suggesting we do not find ways to solve our problems by enacting laws and regulations. Neither am I suggesting that offenders go free. I am saying that those “fixes” are only temporary.
But how do we get to an awakened knowledge of our interdependence?
By unraveling deeply held beliefs, by pulling at the threads of our conditioning, by untangling our theology, by seeing our lies, by dissolving our illusions, by disarming our egos … the result?
… a very different and collectively shared human journey where systems that once seemed necessary in the beliefs of separation would naturally disassemble and we could truly begin to see and realize what has always been true …
… all means all …