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Season of Creation

posted Mar 22, 2015, 10:10 AM by Melissa Navratil
I used this poem with the Children this morning. Some churches around the world are using September as "The Season of Creation" to celebrate the gift of creation and rethink our place within creation. With a poem you can break the rules of grammar, I have done this by playing with the personal pronouns and the past, present and future tenses. I hope you enjoy it.

To See a Tree

 

i saw the Tree and the Tree saw me.

What could we say after i stayed there for the day

The tree said to me I am older than thee

i said to the tree i am stronger in my way

 

The Tree said to me I would share my life with you

i said to the Tree there is no need for you to

i look round and saw the trees were too few

Yet i was the one who could decide what to do

 

So i cut down the Tree because there was nothing it could do

i continued to use them even though they were too few

i cut them and shape them and use them as i will

Until i heard the tree wiper “until”

 

Until we live together

Until we care for each other

You will not see

That I live within you and you live within meWe: An Ethic for a Human Family

 Part 1

Collapsing Bridges and Building Brides

We build physical bridges that bring people together, throughout history different materials have been used for building and updating those bridges. Ethics is the moral bridge that brings us together and it also needs to be updated with new material that can bring us together rather than separate us. Socially and culturally too much of ethics serves to divide us rather than unit us. In a world that in so many ways is becoming smaller and smaller today we need an ethic that can unite the whole human family.

In the past our ethical systems have been based on religion and reinforced by religious institutions. With the rise of nation states ethical systems could also be based on a common national life that encompass the kinship, economic, political, and cultural ties of a nation or nations that shared basic social institutions like democracy and a capitalist economy. These two different ethical systems have often have been in tension with each other or engaged in direct conflict.

We are communicating at the speed of light. When I am done writing this I will be able to “cut” and “paste” this onto a blog and BOOM anyone in the world with computing capability will be able to see it almost instantaneously. Individuals will be able to reply to it or delete it, agree or disagree with it, like it or share it. The ethical bridges we have built in the past to bring us together have collapsed or are collapsing. There is a need to be in conversation about using all the resources at our disposal, both new and old to build new ethical bridges that can united us as one human family.

Basic Building Materials

An ethic for the whole human family will need to draw on all possible resources; diverse religious, economic, political, and cultural traditions from around the world. Yet it must also be something individuals can practice in their everyday reality of life. It must embrace with fundamentally affirms the common life of humanity that can be practice by individuals.

Let me suggest a few basic affirmations for our common life together:

Commitment, trust and loyalty in a common cause; also known as faith. In 2012 the Dalia Lama wrote and book called Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World. Yet if individuals and local communities do not committed or do not trust it is possible or do not have a sense of loyalty to carry out a new global ethic it doesn’t matter how many books are written are how many blogs there are – a new global ethic for the whole human family will never be possible. If we don’t want it bad enough it will not happen. But simply we need to have faith in ourselves and one another if an ethic for the whole human family is possible.

Within a religious tradition faith in centered on a set of beliefs in a god or gods. From a national perspective we have faith in our government or we do not, in our economic system or not. In an ethic for the whole global family we need to decide if we can have faith in one another that transcends religion and nation, or should we have faith beyond religion or nation?

You must decide if such an ethic will help you be the person you want to be or not. Can I act so that my ethical decisions take into account not only my children, but children in China and India and Africa as well?

 Hearing and acknowledging my own pain and that of others so we may be happy; also known as compassion. Compassion is what changes us as individuals and has the power to transform our world. When we are born we are helpless, we depend on our parents and others to provide for all our needs. Our very lives depend on receiving care from others, it is part of what fundamentally makes us human. Compassion is engineered into our very beings. Our happiness is a process of interdependent with each other. Any ethic for the human family must nurture the depth and breadth of compassion as the primary virtue to be effective.

The common good, and therefore what is best for me and those I love, cannot be accomplished until we acknowledge we must continually expand and deepen our circles of compassion. Compassion may begin when we are an infant between us and our parents, but it needs to expand. It may expand to other family members and friends, but that is not enough. It may expand to school mates and coworkers, but that is not enough. It may include a desire to help aleve the pain of the poor and hungry, but compassion becomes a reality when the poor person is acknowledge and known by name. Life always involves some element of pain, compassion is what transforms the suffering caused by pain into happiness.

Faith and compassion are the two basic building materials for building a global ethic for the human family.

A global ethic cannot be taught in a classroom, secular or religious. It can only be taught were people feel at home, where people feel safe and cared for, where basic needs are met, and creativity and freedom of thought our nourished.

A global ethic for the whole human family begins with you. In your home and among your friends and neighbors. It can expand to the communities that you are part of, both secular and spiritual. I hope it will because our very future as a human family may count on it.

Grace from Gary

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