Suppose it never, ever comes true, and there is no paradise... well, I'll still go on preaching. And yet how simple a matter it is: in one day, in one hour it could all be brought about at once! The chief thing is to love others as oneself, that's the main thing, and that's it -- absolutely nothing more is necessary: you would immediately discover how to bring it about. -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
How many years ago did I first read Dostoevsky's short story "Dream of a Ridiculous Man"? Everything that I had read before, as it were, had been preparation for that one particular story: a summation of my life, to be sure, but also in a way, the continuing story of humanity upon this precious blue Planet... am I going to tell for you the story? No: you must read it for yourself! But I will say that the above quotation is from that story... near the conclusion, when the "man" accepts his vocation to love, to become love...
Scanning the news, now just a few days before the supposed celebration day of the Baby born the Prince of Peace, and what do we see? Very specifically, if one is in the United States, one sees stories of calls and demonstrations to hold accountable police and their too often use of deadly force -- and stories of the assassination of two police officers by someone wanting to "strike back"... and then the vicious pundit attacks of accusation and blame, particularly against the President, but also against anyone who has ever questioned the use of force in minority communities and the systemic violence which is their daily life experience... Of course, many people in many other places around the world have things far worse: which is no consolation to any person or family anywhere who is suffering the loss of a loved one...
Is there any way forward or out of these tragic events? What do you think? The "Ridiculous Man" says "love one another": but that was said by another "Ridiculous Man" shortly before he was executed as a rabble-rouser... But how about it? Why not? Why not pick a day somewhere down the road, advertise like crazy, write new songs about it, get the endorsements of public figures and governments, and say, on October 4th, 2015 (the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi) everyone will say he / she is sorry to everyone they can... on that day everyone seeks to reconcile with their brothers and sisters and wives and children and parents and co-workers and enemies... on that day everyone agrees there will be no killing: everyone puts down their knives, guns, bombs and drones... on that day we just forgive, party, and forget... Maybe we can, at least, have one annual "Love Day" and see if that might make some little bit of difference: if not for us adults, how about for the children?
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.