“Our willingness to make sacrifices reflects our awareness of interdependency. Writing about the need to bridge the gulf between rich and poor, Martin Luther King, Jr., preached: “All men [and women] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This gulf is bridged by the sharing of resources. Every day, individuals who are not rich but who are materially privileged make the choice to share with others. Some of us share through conscious tithing (regularly giving a portion of one’s income), and others through a daily practice of loving kindness, giving to those in need whom we randomly encounter. Mutual giving strengthens community.
Enjoying the benefits of living and loving in community empowers us to meet strangers without fear and extend to them the gift of openness and recognition. Just by speaking to a stranger, acknowledging their presence on the planet, we make a connection.”
“Cynicism is the greatest barrier to love. It is rooted in doubt and despair. Fear intensifies our doubt. It paralyzes. Faith and hope allow us to let fear go. Fear stands in the way of love. When we take to heart the biblical insistence that there is no fear in love, we understand the necessity of choosing courageous thought and action.”
At the end of that evening, I remember, he said to me: “I can’t get over how passionate you guys are, and yet so absolutely unserious.”
“Everything about life is a joke,” I said. “Don’t you know that?”
“No,” he said.
“I am not a solitary thinker, or solitary learner, or solitary channel of these universal wisdoms and universal truths. I’m constantly learning from other people. I weave. We all weave in different ways. What is the tapestry of lessons and wisdom that are unique for me? Each person ends up with a different tapestry, but you start to see patterns amongst them.”