Together!

Last week I saw a message posted on Facebook claiming that Muslim parents at a Maryborough School in Australia (unclear whether in Queensland or Victoria) had demanded that pork be removed from the schools’ menu along with a strident response from a council official.  It was a hoax, originally perpetuated in Belgium, then re-phrased in various countries to reflect the local circumstances.

I saw people up in arms and indignant about this so-called demand, with no effort made to check whether it was true or not. I saw something similar a while back which claimed to have been written by the Prime Minister of Canada/Australian Prime Minster Rudd and Prime Minister Gillard. So easy to believe the worst of those of Islamic faith without bothering to check the truth.

These circulars are written by hateful people trying to stir discord and prejudice, which is disgraceful in itself. But just as sad is the fact that people rise to the bait and circulate these hoaxes without even bothering to check facts, because it appeals to their prejudices. Even worse, when it’s pointed out that these messages are hoaxes, too many people say it accords with their beliefs and won’t delete what are basically lies – just like the lies peddled every day by Trump in the United States.

At a time when all too many are trying to foment divisions between various sections of society, the reality is that together – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people with different sexual choices, the poor, the marginalised, the disadvantaged, the middle classes – we are far more powerful than the forces which try to divide and rule.

This sort of hatred and division led to the horrors of the Third Reich, World War 2 and concentration camps. I believe that those of us with good faith, embracing  love, compassion, tolerance and truth can do far better than the hate-mongers. We can speak truth and love, we can hear truth and love, we can live truth and love.

 

The Soul’s Song

 

This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people…
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

(Excert from Preface to 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass)

 

Celebrating Marriage and Love for All in Australia.

I created this to celebrate the result of a postal plebiscite in Australia on marriage for all – and not just confined to a man and woman as has been the case until now.

The results today were 61% in favour of the plebiscite against just under 40% against. There are huge celebrations in Australia at the result and with the knowledge that legislation will soon be introduced into Parliament to legalise love and marriage for all.

Congratulations, Australia!

Not knowing

I may not know my original face
but I know how to smile.
I may not know the recipe for the diameter
of a circle but I know how to cut a slice
for a friend.  I may not be Mary or the Buddha
but I can be kind.  I may not be a diamond
cutter but I still long for rays of light
that reach the heart.
I may not be standing on the hill of skulls
but I know love when I see it.

~ Stephen Levine ~

(Breaking the Drought)

Love is All Around

Look to this day
for it is life
the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory
of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day….
 
~ ancient Sanskrit poem ~