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In memory of our best selves

Happy Memorial Day...seems like an odd salutation to me. Memorial Day began as a post Civil War springtime tribute to the fallen soldiers of that most profane national conflict.

We have been at war for a very long time. Everywhere on this planet, in every time period, in nearly every culture, we have battled each other over resources and over beliefs. (Please write to me to correct me if I am wrong on this account.) My father and uncle served honorably and bravely in World War II and my nephew does the same right now. I pray for his safety and well-being every day.

But I have to wonder if this will ever end? As our planet has become more fully populated and our communication methods have brought us closer and closer to each other, the need for peaceful co-existence has become more urgent than ever in history.

I recently signed the Charter for Compassion, and I urge you to go to their website and read about their work. Very simply, one of the foundational principles of the charter is what you know as the Golden Rule.

I got an email from them today outlining events that have happened in just the past week:

  • May 20: Over 50 people killed in a string of suicide car bombs in Baghdad, Iraq

  • May 22: 23 killed and 116 injured following a concert in Manchester, UK

  • May 23: 21 killed as Isis -linked militants rampage through Marawi, Philippines

  • May 25: 5 civilians killed and 6 wounded in Yemen following a U.S. raid

  • May 26: 28 Coptic Christians killed and 25 injured in central Egypt

  • May 27: 13 people killed in a suicide car bombing in Khost, Afghanistan

They go on to say this: Our hearts are heavy, our sorrow confused and deep, we weep for those who are gone. We are left with the task of forgiveness and finding the multiple paths to peace.

Our sorrow confused and deep. We are left with the task of forgiveness.

The task of forgiveness. While our sorrow is confused and deep.

May your week ahead include treating others as you wish to be treated, and not treating others as you do not wish to be treated. This can be a task, indeed. But, I think it is worthy of your effort.

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