For the past few years, I’ve been making a dedication on the anniversary of my revolutions around the planet to all my fellow world travelers out there who could benefit from a simple gift of prayer. It’s one day where I can do what I want and not worry about any other agenda but my own. This year has been a bit harder to bear, the pandemic, economic strife, physical struggles etc., but they are nothing compared to the growing level of anger and hatred that has risen its ugly head in this world . While I know in such difficult times as these, anger is a natural response, it is difficult for me to see history replay itself before my very eyes when hateful acts become justified. Unless you truly live a charmed life, or live with your head in the sand, this kind of hatred isn’t new, and now more than ever, with so much access visually to happenings in the world, we all have to make a decision… will the driving force moving us forward be love, or will it be hate? Personally, I know I am exhausted by those who feel the freedom to spout and act out their anger and hatred in a singular and pointed manner toward a self determined group of sinners who are responsible for all the world’s ills. Whether you are justified or not in your anger, throwing stones won’t solve the problem. Even in the face of my own individual failures at throwing a stone or two along the way, I still have the wherewithal to recognize that its a personal failure to do so and then rectify it by choosing love. I know I may fail again and again, but I will keep getting up, brush myself off, and recommit to love, because despite my imperfections, my faith demands it of me. And for those of you who smirk and roll your eyes at that last statement, today’s set of prayers are dedicated to you, because everyone else on love’s train already receives the benefit of my daily prayers.
To the angry, fearful and hateful men and women out there who really believe the lying liars that lie as they stoke and provoke your anger and fears about people who are different, who may see things differently than you but want the same good things in life you do, I pray that whatever hurt, anger or fear that drives you be removed, like the thorn from the foot of the beast, and that you can see “those” people you are encouraged to judge, be angry with and are afraid of more as children of God than an impediment to your happiness.
To those of you who use words like “woke”, “conservative”, “liberal”, “cancel culture” etc. as epitaphs so you don’t have to listen to a different perspective, I pray you shut off the negative commentary and force yourself to go beyond labels and polarizing attitudes. And for God’s sake shut off the TV, podcasts, YouTube or any other mechanism that fuels anger and fear. Start simple, treat others like you want to be treated and you may be surprised at the results.
I pray for the dismantlement of those companies, groups and individuals who disseminate news and information based on lies and conspiracy theories by stoking peoples’ fears for their own power, and financial gain. I pray for their embarrassment and exposure so people can see they truly are wolves in sheep’s clothing
I pray for our political leaders who bend to the power of lies and hatred for their own survival, that they find the courage necessary to do what’s best for all the people they represent rather than just what’s in their own self interest. I also pray that these leaders be held to account for every word spoken and deed done.
I pray that the democratic structures built around the world can withstand the attacks against freedom and justice by autocracy and authoritarianism and any who participate in these attacks. Let the souls of the many who died for freedom burgeon these structures up and hold them strong.
I pray for those who believe that they are fine and everyone else is the problem, I pray your bubble bursts and you are put to the test.
I pray that those of you who choose hatred over love look in the fucking mirror and see what hate really looks like. You my fellow traveler are the problem, not me. No amount of rhetoric or scripture can justify your hateful and angry words and deeds that are committed in the name of patriotism or religious ideology. And when you see the hate looking back through your own eyes as you think of whomever you determine is “lesser than”, I pray your better angels come through and show you what love looks like instead.
Finally, I remind everyone that freewill comes with responsibility, Each individual choice has a ripple effect. We all independently choose how to respond to any given situation, regardless of its difficulty, and not one of us can avoid responsibility for how we move forward. God or the devil doesn’t make you do anything…you choose, and I pray you choose love.