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Good morning!  Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.

This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice.  If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.

If you would like to write a diary for the DKos Sangha, please let me know.

If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.

What is the change you wish to see in the world?

The work we do in our political engagement is not so much for ourselves, but for the benefit of others.  We stand to preserve voting rights not so much for ourselves, but for others for whom the simple act of voting would be made more difficult.  We stand to support women whose access to healthcare would be significantly impacted with the closing of clinics even if those closings don't impact our own lives.  But our work is often for the benefit of future generations as well.  We see the impact that climate change will have on future generations; we make changes in our own lifestyles, we work for changes in government policy, and we share what we have learned with others, for the benefit of those to whom we will leave this planet.

When we look at the history of human beings on this earth, we see change.  There is an oft quoted phrase, often attributed to Martin Luther King; the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.  When we look at our history, we do see this arc of history bending towards a more just world.  It is a slow evolution, and it is not linear.  The ways in which peoples have viewed others, who initially appear different from them, have changed over time; but it has been, and continues to be, a slow and painful evolution.  But when we look at the arc of history, it does bend towards social, economic, and environmental justice.

The reason I bring this up this morning is that last night I attended a meeting of folks who share an interest in sustainability and building community; and our discussions last night got me to thinking about another oft quoted phrase; be the change you wish to see in the world.  So, what is the change we wish to see in the world.

Climate change is the type of issue that broadens our thinking beyond current events; we think on how the way we live our lives, individually and as communities, affects the generations that come after us.  We see the destruction that will occur, the suffering that will occur, if the issue is not addressed.  We see the actions that are necessary to bring about the change we wish to see.  And in being the change we wish to see, we seek ways in which we can change the way we live our lives, we implement those changes, and we share what we have learned with others.

But this diary isn't about climate change.

When we look to future generations, when we think of the world that we would like to see for them, when we look at the arc of history and project that bending towards justice into the future, the change we wish to see is peace.

There are many people on this planet today, in this global community, who are working by their example, by the way in which they live their lives, to move this world towards peace.  A global community that lives in peace is not something that will be attained in my lifetime, nor does it seem likely that it will be within the next few generations.  But as we have seen throughout history, change may take a very long time, but it does come; and it comes because others worked for that change for many generations.

There is an old children's song, the first line of which is - let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.  We know what needs to be done.  Hate is not ended by hate; hate is ended by love.

When we look to the world that we wish for future generations, it is a world free from violence; it is a world in which there is no need for weapons to protect ourselves from each other.  It is a world in which all see themselves in each other, and have compassion for each other.

If we wish to be the change that we wish to see in the world, one way we can do this is to begin, to the degree that each of us able, moving away from violence; moving away from a way of being in the world in which the starting point is mistrust and fear, moving away from a way of being in which mistrust and fear govern our actions.

It is not easy.  Ours is a violent world, still, after all of this time on the planet.  We have made much progress, we have evolved; but still there is much violence.

But for change to occur, for the arc of history to bend ever more towards the peace we wish to see in the world, we must do what we can, now, to the degree that we are able.  This is what we as progressives must do in our political engagement; and it is what we who walk a spiritual path must do as we open our hearts to who we are as human beings.

Each of us has walked a unique path through our lives; where each of us is now is unique to us, what we are able to do moving forward from here is unique to us, the changes that each of us are able to make now in our lives are within the context of the flow of our own life's history.  We always start from where we are now.  Being the change you wish to see in the world starts now, and flows from here.

Enjoy your day.  May you find the peace that is within your heart.

Originally posted to DKos Sangha on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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