I have learned that change is really the only thing we can know for certain. Saying that is one thing, learning to live it is another and means that we must often find ways to let go of the past and present, so we may be free to embrace the future.
In Richard Bach’s bestseller, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” there is a wonderful story that has always stuck with me despite the fact I read the book some thirty years ago. It describes a village of river creatures that struggle with a swift current that is so strong that they must hang on to the bottom of the river for fear of being tossed among the rocks. However, there is one creature that learns to let go of the bottom and ends up flying in the river. Further downstream the flying creature comes upon another village of astonished river creatures who proclaim that this creature is the messiah. The flying creature simply responds by telling them, “I am no more messiah than you, the river delights to lift us free if we only dare let go.”
I tell you this story because it serves as a metaphor for the unacceptable hatred and violence we see from groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. It reminds us that there are those among us who cannot and will not accept the inevitability that the world is changing and they are desperately hanging on to the way things are. But we all must learn to let go and accept one another for all the wonderful and sometimes confusing differences we possess. It isn’t easy. Teaching and learning tolerance and acceptance, understanding that diversity is our true strength, and recognizing that we must stand up for what is right, is how we will find freedom and peace at home, in our communities, and in this lifetime.
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