There is not one of us who is better than the worst we see in others. The immigrant? He is all of us. The criminal? She too. Gay? Jew? Black? Muslim? Christian? Atheist? (the list goes on) We are all them and every one of them is us. With every bit of bashing and bigotry and hiding behind religion and conservative or liberal righteousness and condemnation we kill a piece of ourselves. We close our eyes to a part of our self that we’re too weak to embrace as our own. And that takes the very life out of our soul.

The greatest tragedy? We will never achieve the wholeness of who we are while acting on excuses to deny others. I don’t care what you believe — no circumstance, crime, belief, or lifestyle changes that. No matter who you are or what crime you’ve committed you deserve nothing less than I would give myself.

In the words of the great Persian poet and Sufi Master, Rumi, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” That, in the end, is all that matters.

Thank God, as we approach Independence Day in the US there are still enough of us who embrace others for their humanness and judge them not for their differences or what we think are their shortcomings. Pope Francis got it right, “Who am I to judge?” I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done to me or someone else. If you ask me for something I will do my damnedest to see what I can do to make it happen. And that is what, I hope, earns me the right to say, “I am that, I Am.”

With Blessings and Gratitude,
from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dr Mark Arcuri
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