Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorial Day Reflection

Today in America we take a day of reflection to celebrate the fallen heroes of the United States Military. Memorial Day reminds us of the great sacrifice of our brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces. Since America's founding days the price of the freedom we enjoy has cost over one million American lives.

Many more lives have been lost over the course of human history due to war and genocide. As we celebrate our fellow Americans who have laid their lives down so that we may free, let us not forget all of our fallen brothers and sisters across the globe. It hard to know exactly, but estimates show that close to one billion human beings have lost their lives due to human conflict since the beginning of recorded history.

That is almost one billion hearts that no longer beat. There are almost one billion fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, lovers and friends who never again in their lifetime tasted the sweet joy of love, or the simple bliss of a sunny afternoon. How many children weren't born, how many widows slept in half filled beds, how many great business, insights, discoveries and yet to be told love stories died with each fallen soul? It is such a large number that it's hard to fathom the magnitude of the total loss. Each life was a flame that was prematurely extinguished. Who knows what great and wonderful things could have been brought through the lives of those we have lost. These are gifts that our world shall never know.

We are all born knowing that love and communion with our creator are our natural birthrights. But we have forgotten that no one can take these away from us. All war is rooted with the thought forms that there is not enough, more must be acquired, there is a separation between "us" and "them" and that the name of "our" right to love and communion is the only real name and "their" name for it wrong. So in the quest for more, the illusion of separation and the argument over the name of Love and Divinity, all wars are brought forth.

But our fallen remind us that in our quest for security, love, communion and annihilation of "them", that it is only "us" who get hurt. Since, in reality there are no borders and we are all one expression of human life living in many forms, our wars are a fight against our own inner shadow. We seek to destroy in others that which we fear most about our own self. And our fallen heroes are our legacy of acting on this fear.

One billion lives, one billion human beings who all bleed the same crimson blood as we do have died because we are afraid of ourselves. Their sacrifice is not in vein, instead they show us though their absence the price of our fear. And this loss transcends all human definitions, borders and semantics. Perhaps our fellow humans did not die prematurely and instead they have all fallen to show the rest of us our common humanity. No matter what race, religion, nation or tribe we belong to we all share the same pain of the loss of a loved one. No matter our differences, we can all agree that in our heart of hearts all we want is a chance to be happy and to love.

If love is what we truly seek, then we must boldly say no to our fear and instead embrace that which we are afraid of with the understanding that everything we fear is a mirror to the fear we have of our own shadow. It's impossible to blame "them" because in reality there is only "us".

Let the lives of the one million fallen Americans and almost one billion fallen human beings remind us of what happens when we choose fear over love. Let us bow and send thanks to them and honor their sacrifice by choosing love over fear. Every time we decide to point the finger of blame at another, let us first point this finger at our own shadow. The peace that we seek can only be brought forth by shining the light of love on the dark side of our fears and knowing we must do the same for anyone we consider an enemy. In this way we will come to find that the only enemy was fear.

Have a great day!

In love,


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