“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” Jesse Jackson
“Let us imagine care of the soul, then, as an application of poetics to everyday life.” Thomas Moore
Hello Monitor readers,
It’s the month of thanksgiving and gratefulness and spending joyful time with family and friends. It’s a time for preparing for the upcoming sacred holidays, reflecting on the good and not good of the current year, and setting our minds for brighter year with less frustrations and disappointments. It goes without saying that 2023 will be remembered as RIP to many artists and celebrities, climate shift devastations, senseless mass shootings, disgraceful and insincere lawmakers, and century-old ongoing, unresolved wars that causes innocent loss of lives on all sides.
2023 will also be remembered for keeping faith in our democracy, hoping for the best in and from each other, standing and marching for economic justice, acknowledging the essential role of first responders, appreciating farmers and gardeners and that healthy food is good medicine, and that self-care is connected to how we care for our beautiful planet and empathize with each other.
THE GLOBAL ETHIC
This month I’m sharing a message from someone who was in search of my late-life sompanion for reconnecting and for assistance. However, I’m starting with insights from my community ally, Valentine:
During our annual fall garlic planting with the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance, the talk turned, as it often does these days, to how on earth we keep ourselves and our communities breathing peace and nonviolence, without feeling like we have to always know what’s right in complex situations. Elder-in-training Valentine shared some of what she’s been learning in her current path of studying chaplain ways. We planted these teachings along with our garlic cloves, to germinate in the cold, and be something we look forward to growing with over the winter:
One wisdom seed was passed along from hearing folk musician and longtime Buddhist peacemaker Hozan Alan Senauke teach this week on the four commitments of the Parliament of World Religions, also called the “Global Ethic.” This meeting place of all religious ethics reinforces a culture of these four commitments to:
• nonviolence and reverence for life,
• solidarity and a just economic order,
• inclusiveness and a life based on truthfulness, and
• equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender, ability, and economic status.
After being adopted in 1993, a fifth was added in 2018: a culture of care for the Earth.
The teaching emphasized how much we need to learn and practice such cultures as ways to figure out how we want to be in relationship to each other and also how we want to settle our conflicts. This leaned heavily into Dr. King’s November 1957 sermon on Loving Your Enemies (at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.). “When he was talking about loving your enemies,” Alan reminded us, “he wasn’t talking about liking your enemies, but what he warns against is the mind of defeating them, rather than, with reverence for life, really wishing that each being can thrive, according to its capacity.” He went on to quote Dr. King’s statement that “Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil, and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.”
Thank you, Valentine for sharing lessons to practice. And, now a memorial blast from the past for me.
In Memory of Mary Salter
Looking for Mary.
For years I looked for Mary Salter and Melvin the Peacemaker! Back in 2005 I saw something on the news about the Animal Ark’s Neuter Commuter and decided to reach out to Mary. Mary was coordinator director at the Animal Ark No Kill Shelter. The Animal Ark had gone with volunteers to Hurricane Katrina to rescue animals who were displaced from Hurricane Katrina. Mary and the Animal Ark team and the Neuter Commuter made the news. Mary coordinated animal rescues and Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) projects to help the feral cat community all around the state of Minnesota.
When I told Mary the number of cats, she managed to get enough live traps and kennels. She got all the volunteers together and all the equipment and supplies. She had two vets and vet techs, as well as others that helped with the cats getting them ready for surgeries and also to help with the recovery when the cats woke up from the anesthesia. Plus, people that would clean the surgical equipment. Plus, others that helped with the kittens. And folks set up traps and got kennels set up and put together and cleaned to get ready for the next batch to go into surgery. Every cat on the property except one elusive female that would allude the traps and refused to be trapped. It was a two-day event. When the cats were released, the ear was tipped so we could figure out what ones had been fixed. We even trapped an opossum that night that my father-in-law Kenny released down at the river the next day. We celebrated the last cats trapped and all accounted for. Melvin had his Peace Poles and bubbles. We would blow bubbles to celebrate our victory for these cats… This is where the story really begins.
BE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE
Have a cheerful Thanksgivings and be the amazing person you want to be for yourself, for all our relations, and for Mother Earth.
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, and Surrounding Communities... May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities… May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!