By now our eyes have witnessed thousands of such images – to the point where we can feel removed, untouched by what it might mean in the deepest way to this woman, this man captured in the moment. Dignity, freedom…these are human rights we all desire, even if we take them for granted or have become dulled to what they actually mean or demand of us.
But if we look deeper here – this could be more than just another protest. The storyline of global unrest and all the “what if’s” around which way it will go, is saturated. We are tired of it; we no longer feel connected to it. We search, desperately, for a more hopeful storyline – one that reconnects us – with our selves and with those we share the world with. The Middle East and Arab struggle is not that different from our Western and Christian struggle. Muslims, Christians, Jews – we all want to live in a world that makes room for freedom of belief and of worship. It is our most intimate way of making sense of who we are and why we are here.
What if we were to “See” this woman, this man, as a spiritual sister and brother who is reaching for their RIGHT TO KNOW AND TO LIVE their connection to the Divine? Seeing dignity as a spiritual right, understanding freedom as a spiritual quest – we will no longer treat those in our spiritual family with prejudice, with hatred. There is no need to fear their quest when we See that it resembles our own. We will not want to further burden a world with what we have yet to face in ourselves; the world is already a heavy place to live in.
The RIGHT TO KNOW AND TO LIVE ONE’S LIFE is, I suggest, the deeper storyline that we are gathering around now. There is an innocence and a tenderness about that story that touches us – the children of Sandy Hook are teaching us this. Let us listen and open ourselves to how this story of the Right to Live is giving us new hope, a renewed reverence for the intrinsic value of a life, and of Life. It matters to where we go from here.
Notice the universal outpouring every time this innocent drive in us, to Live, is oppressed, abused, taken from us. “The Right to Live” is a primal need, a movement that defines us commonly, even as we individually and culturally sense and discern it.