In utter seriousness, why should I care?
Why should I care about the water in Flint? I'll not be drinking it...
Why should I care if hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are rounded up and sent back to wherever their parents came from? What's the likelihood I'll ever even meet one of them? Why should I care about the poverty and heroin use in West Virginia? I'll not be planning a visit there any time soon. Why should I care about the struggles of folks in Puerto Rico? It isn't like they are real Americans anyway. Why should I care about cuts in Food Stamps, Social Security, or Medicare? I'm doing pretty good. Why should I care about police killing blacks? I obey the law, and besides, I'm not black. Why should I care about the sexual harassment or of women or of domestic violence? Hollywood women make too much money and I haven't hit anyone since seventh grade. Why should I care about Muslims? They ain't Christian so they don't matter to me. Why should I care about climate change? I mean, seriously, when Jesus returns he's gonna burn this whole planet anyway. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. All you folks with your danged political correctness can just go and jump in a lake -- and don't bother coming back.
Is this too simplistic?
Of course it is. But it also articulates a fundamental opportunity: in our every attitude, opinion, choice, and belief we are confronted with challenges and connections. Whether we like it or not, the opportunity we have is that of recognizing that whatever we do to one another, we are in "spiritual fact", doing to ourselves. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is simply profiting from pulling the wool over your eyes. The opportunity that we have, right here and right now, is to snuggle-up with the possibility that "love one another" actually means something!
I'm betting that it does!
I'm betting with the mystics -- and the far-out quantum physicists -- that everything is connected! Everything: from star shine to green algae, from clean water to health care for all: everything is an opportunity to live by a vision! Seriously! If we were to so decide: in five years we could eliminate hunger and poverty on this entire Planet! In five years we could eliminate our dependence upon fossil fuels, employ all those who currently work in oil and coal, and tens of thousands more, in new energy developments! In five years we could eliminate drug abuse and homelessness through an awakening of our capacity for greatness! In five years we could eliminate the threats of terrorism and war by vigorous policies and practices of international respect, dialogue, cooperation, and the construction of justice for all as the foundation of all relations! In five years we could eliminate the fears that facilitate greed and the abuses of power by giving men a hundred-year vacation from economic and political decision-making!
Seriously: mystically-speaking, we could accept the opportunity of this moment in human history, and be and do what we became human for: to serve, to adore, and to love one another as the Door to the Divine: seriously, everything could change in just one hour, if we would but start loving others as our very self... Nothing else would be necessary: we would immediately know how to make miracles happen everywhere...
Seriously! I'm not kidding at all! Why should I care? I should care because I am human, I am alive, and I have the power to live as an agent of compassion! Besides, living like this would be a hell-of-a lot of fun!
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.