What a challenge waking up to truth presents. How much more comforting to be lulled asleep by the incessant beat of popular cadences. Our lack of consciousness reassures us with claims such as “The undeserving poor take advantage of our goodness and scam the system. Muslims exist to terrify us and destroy our way of life. Blacks in America fill our prisons because they want to harm us.“
In wakefulness, we realize that life exists in shades of gray. Yes, some people take advantage of the system. We know a few Muslims plan and execute terrifying acts of violence. Many prisoners have black skins and vengeful intentions. However, painting everyone within a group with the same brush distorts truth. One Muslim terrorist does not make all Muslims the enemy. Not all black men create heinous crimes.
According to Marianne Williamson, Bobby Kennedy suggested that until one spends a day living in an inner-city slum, one lacks the right to judge those living in daily desperation. Until we remove the fear that all those within a specific group pose dangers to our freedom, we cannot see them as individual children of God.
With enough repetition, even the most atrocious lie becomes accepted as the truth. Even when facts totally prove the statement to be untrue, people who live in the comfort of open-eyed sleep deny facts and accept a false statement. When we fail to open our eyes to truth, to actual events, we bow to the god of untruth and falsehood.
On the other hand, when we open our hearts and minds, we see our brothers as individuals with inner beauty. Within American society, we hear a new refrain, “Let my people go.” Let my people go from the tyranny of biases and misunderstandings. Let my people go from fear that limits and imprisons. When we view life through lenses of truth, we realize that individuals — all individuals exist as children of God.
If we cannot love all God’s children, we will soon be victims of the few.