In Response To Baltimore: Deeper Reflections

In light of the recent protests and riots occurring in Baltimore and now spreading across the country. I am witnessing attention to mainly surface issues that have a source that is much deeper than what most are talking about. Most of humanity tends to dwell on the "seen" and the "surface" level as we are still, despite our current technological abilities, stuck in survival mentality. Before I drop into my thoughts on all of this, I want to start out with this great quote from one of the greatest teachers to our generation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I love that quote from MLK Jr. However, I am immediately drawn to the phrase "intolerable conditions in our society." As these conditions are not merely external forms. They are the manifestation of an internal formless conditions that plagues all of humanity. When working with Arun Gandhi years ago, he mentioned his grandfathers teaching of passive violence. That physical violence would not cease until we, as a people, looked at how we treat ourselves. It is our own internal violence upon ourselves aka "passive violence" that triggers the externalized forms of physical violence. Passive violence looks like self judgement via mental commenting and comparisons. I am not good enough, I am not pretty enough, I am worthless, I suck, I wish I was... We must heal the wound of Core unworthiness, that exists within all of humanity, to truly rise above these externalized forms of violence. This takes each one of us to direct our attention to the question "Do I love myself as I am?" It may seem ethereal or too passive, but this is where all of these externalized forms of violence emerge from. That is where racism comes from, as it is a form of insecurity, a lack of self-love perpetrated and projected externally as hate to another. Everyone, please remember, no matter what your views are on this topic, remember to breathe and create a space around whatever it is you are feeling. Don't let your anger/sadness linger and inflict a wound upon your precious soul. You are all such lights. Feel what you are feeling, but create the space for yourself to do so. Let's use our light to shine into the darkness of our self and find our way out together. We are all just scared little kids who need reassurance that we are loved and safe.

You can find more action steps on how to bring these ideas into real steps you can take in your Life through the links below:

The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Tej Steiner - Individual Transformation Through Group Connection

I AM Mantra - Daily Mantras supporting You, Your Life and Your Awakening

With all of this stated, it is imperative that it is known that the path of non-violence is not PASSIVE. It is ACTIVE. I fully and whole-heartedly support all people of color, and to all those oppressed by a white supremacist, and patriarchal system that for too long has been reaping havoc upon cultures and communities.

It is time we address the full spectrum issues that plague our society. As a caucasian male, who has a microphone, it is imperative that I make my voice heard and stand in solidarity with the communities most affected by this system, through dismantling my own thoughts, words and actions that contribute to the normalization of this system, as well as do all I can in each interaction in the world with my family, friends, and community to stand for and support these communities through intersectional activism.

Now is the time.

All my love…