A diverse, welcoming community of open hearts and minds since 1948
Do we know our neighbor?
I was saddened to hear of another shooting over the weekend in Milwaukee. I was particularly saddened that it happened at a religious institution. This time it was a gurdwara, a holy and scared gathering place of the Sikh religion. 7 people were killed including the person accused of the killing at this time. There are so many reasons for this type of violence and they are too numerous to name. It is too simplistic to name one of them as the specific reason for the violence.
I am reminded of the two events - The film "Divided we Fall which was screened at UUCA twice on the blacklash against Sikhs and Muslims in the aftermath of September 11th and the shooting at the UU Church of Knoxville, TN. While, I am sad there have been positive developments as a result of the September 11th backlash and the Shootings in Knoxville, TN.
The first positive change - The shootings in Knoxville, TN produced the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign which brought about our 1st Justice GA in Phoenix, AZ where we stood on the side of immigrants and people of color as a first step in the struggle for fair, just and compassionate immigration laws in the United States of America.
The second positive change after 9/11 was an interfaith group called Groundswell which is a interfaith group founded in part by Valerie Kaur, writer of the documentary film Divided we Fall working to promote interfaith cooperation and respect. There are many other examples of interfaith cooperation and you probably have seen other instances I may not know about.
The third change for me personally is that I am glad to belong to a faith community of caring people who looked out for each other during the recent blackouts in June. My friend Barbara Johnson came over for air conditioning and to put her groceries in my refrigerator. She spent the day away from her very warm house. We had fun just talking and organizing some old films that I had from my mom who recently passed away. She even helped me clean my house. I am not the most organized person.
While I am heartened that people actually are working together to promote understanding and dialogue, I think each one of us needs to go further by getting to know our neighbors where we live. I don't know my next door neighbors living in my condominium. Living situations seem to change constantly with Renters moving in and out frequently. They don't know my name and I don't know their names.
How can I love my neighbor if I don't know who they are and they don't know me? I will have to make that part of my spiritual practice now.... Do you know your neighbor?