Tag Archives: non-violence

Dick Gregory, from the bottom of my heart — THANK YOU.

Oh, how do I begin?

Few people truly shine bright on many levels, & Dick Gregory is one of those people. He has shone inside & out, as well as across the board since the late 1950’s. And even now in 2012, you can see him at almost every major event that speaks on behalf of people’s rights.

His list of achievements is too long to list here. We are talking about almost 80 years of living fully. And when I say living fully, I don’t mean living a full life — I mean putting your life on the line! Living out loud & speaking your mind; doing all you can to find the truth; standing up for yourself & others; experimenting & testing & investigating; being an artist (first black comedian to break the color barrier); being an author (of 13 books, as either writer or co-writer); being an athlete (ran from California to New York City, averaging 50 miles per day for 71 days); being vegetarian since the 1960’s, and in more recent years raw vegan (he chose to not eat animals or animal products, because of his dedication to non-violence); fasting on water for 70 days straight (Dick Gregory is well known for his hunger strikes); running for president in 1968 (garnered 47,097 votes, including one from Hunter S. Thompson); feeding the hungry (shipped 10,000 pounds of beans to feed people in Marks, Mississippi); cancer survivor (cured himself of lymphoma with natural methods); I can go on & on.

Peter Barry Chowka summed it up perfectly when he said, “Gregory’s name, is synonymous with progressive social and political causes. He is that rare combination (like Gandhi) of activist and healer, one whose own life illustrates how real change first must come from within oneself.”

Thank you, Dick Gregory. Thank you for taking a stand. Thank you for having the courage to think for yourself. Thank you for putting yourself on the line. Thank you for looking deeper. Thank you for leading the way. Thank you for teaching others how beautiful & powerful they are. Thank you for reminding us to love & to be fearless. Thank you for showing us how much can be accomplished in one lifetime. Thank you for being you. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

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To Awaken the American Conscience


James Baldwin: “Words like freedom, justice, democracy, are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”

“…there are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.”

“You can only survive so many beatings, so much humiliation, so much despair, so many broken promises, before something gives. Human beings are not by nature non-violent. Those [non-violent protesters & demonstrators] had to pay a terrible price in discipline, in moral discipline — an interior effort of courage which the country cannot imagine…”

“The country is only concerned about non-violence if it seems that I’m going to get violent. It’s not worried about non-violence if it’s some Alabama sheriff.”

Watching James Baldwin speak 50 years ago only brings me closer to today.

I read a quote yesterday. (Not from James Baldwin.)
“Rest does not come from sleeping but from waking.” –ACIM

Until we wake up individually, we will not have peace. Until we wake up as a people, we will not have peace.

The neglect, the fear of the unknown, & the comfort in the familiar has put us in a very compromising place. And what we are compromising is our freedom. I don’t mean our personal rights, I mean our happiness as a birthright. Who we are is love. Who we are is peace. Who we are is awareness. And until we begin to live from that space, we will continue to suffer. Not only that — but we will continue to question ourselves & wonder what life is all about.

I can tell you that life is not about work. It is not about money. It is not about “getting ahead”. It is not about war. It is not about neglect. It is not about lack of accountability. It is not about “well I’ll do something when they do something”. It is not about “when the time comes”. It is not about “one day”. — It is about right here, right now. It is about YOU. It is about your true nature — love! You are love. And the opposite of love is fear. Yet most of us base how we live our lives on fear. We choose from a place of fear instead of love. We do this over & over again, without thinking twice.

James’ comment was so spot on in the video: “The [United States] is for the first time worried about [a movement]. You shouldn’t be worried about [a movement], that’s not the problem. The problem is to eliminate the conditions which breed [a movement].”

Everyone thinks that something will solve a problem — let’s cure the symptoms. — No! Let’s look at the cause! Let’s examine the root! Leave the symptoms be & bear the discomfort. Be accountable & do what it takes to radically correct the root cause. And the fastest way to do this is within each & every one of us individually by taking personal responsibility. And then together as a people, by sharing ourselves & our lives with each other.

If we want to feel well rested, if we want to feel free, if we want to feel secure, if we want to feel peace, if we want to feel love — then it’s time we wake up! It’s time we take off the mask that we have been programmed to wear. It’s time to be ourselves. James said it beautifully in this quote: “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” Love is who we are. Let’s allow love to show us what being human is all about. Let’s let love show us how to live. — With love we can’t lose.

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