Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Justice through Love

This past Saturday I had the privilege to hear Dr. Lawrence Carter speak at the Christian Theological Seminary Commencement Service in Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Carter is Dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College and the  Honorary Doctor of Divinity, awarded Saturday, for his impact in helping train leaders for the African American Church.

His topic was "Where the Moral Arc Bends" and he spoke on justice through love. I was thrilled to hear someone at his level of influence espouse the same principles I've been reading and writing about. It is people like Dr. Carter who are making possible the more beautiful world we believe is possible.

He reminded us that "Darkness cannot be overcome by darkness. . . and Hate cannot be overcome by hate." Yes, only light can overcome darkness and only love can overcome hate. If we are to change this culture of hate and violence, we must love those who hate.

Certainly not always easy,  it is what Nelson Mandela used to prevent a blood bath in Africa with a program of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is what the family of the victims of the Charleston, S.C.,church shooting did with  Dylan  Roof, the man who murdered their loved ones. When we respond to hate and violence with more hate and violence, no healing can occur. It is what causes war and more bloodshed.

This doesn't mean that there should be no consequences to the haters, only that justice must be gentle, measured out with love. Harsh punishments create more hurt, more anger, more pain, more violence. Working in prisons all those years certainly convinced me of that. Too many of the men came out of prison with more anger and hate than before they went in.

Dr. Carter works diligently to create equality and respect for all living things. There can be no justice, no peace, when one group of people is valued less than another, when the needs of some are ignored or withheld.

And I loved it when he stated that "anyone who disrespects the earth also disrespects all women." Women are more closely connected to earth, to our Mother Earth. And people who disrespect Mother Earth are destroyers of life itself.

Yes, it was gratifying to hear someone with Dr. Carter's influence to promote peace and justice through gentleness and love.

Today's Daily Dozen To-do List:

  • Keep your neighborhood looking its best by promoting a regular neighborhood cleanup day for homeowners.
  • To reduce air polution carpool, take public transportation, bike, or walk.
  • Use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of a dryer.
  • Make sure your car has a tune-up regularly. Unchecked cars can waste fuel and pollute the environment.
  • Use recycled paper. And recycle the paper used in your household.
  • Try not to buy foam packing materials or aerosol products.
  • Make birdhouses and feeders or other wildlife feeding stations. These could even be sold as a fundraiser.
  • Support recycling programs in your school, business, or neighborhood. Analyze the ones already in place and suggest improvementsj.
  • Help maintain park, bicycle, and recreation trails. And never litter.
  • Clean up the yard of a neighbor who is unable to do that task, who is ill, has had surgery recently, or has had a family emergency,
  • Clean up litter on a stretch of road near you. 
  • Donate to an organization that supports a healthy environment.

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