We hold these truths to be self evident…
Our Father who art in heaven…
A bird in the hand…
A penny saved…
If you found yourself inclined to finish these sentences, you experienced the power of words. Words heard, read and repeated so often they become part of our story. Our story as a nation. Our story as a religious people. Our story of right action on the journey of life.
May all beings have fresh clean water to drink.
May all beings have food to eat.
May all beings have a home.
May all beings have someone to share love with.
May all beings know their true purpose.
May all beings be well and happy.
May all beings be free from suffering.
You may not be as familiar with these words, this Metta, but we are on a mission to change that. The community of my spiritual sisters and brothers is on a mission to have these words become part of the story of how decisions are made at a personal, neighborhood, regional, national and international level. Imagine what might be possible if leaders based their actions on these simple words?
A woman in our spiritual community, a professor at Boise State University, was invited to present three papers and participate on three panels at a recent international peace conference. Her last panel of the day was one on human rights and Chandra was surprised to find herself on the dais with a senior military officer and a representative of a pharmaceutical company. They argued that the only way to ensure human rights was through military might and drugs to help people cope with stress. Then it was Chandra’s turn. She presented on the Metta. When she was finished she looked out on a sea of solemn faces and dead silence. She was devastated and a sense of dread settled over her about attending the upcoming banquet dinner. Eyes followed her as she entered the room that night and conversations got quiet. Then, from the podium, the event organizer started his remarks by recognizing Chandra. She received a standing ovation while the speaker went on to say that we don’t need war and drugs to address human rights. That Chandra has presented the best and most powerful solution of anyone at the conference. And he committed to organizing the university courses he teaches around the Metta.
We are sharing these words, this Metta, through speaking, writing, music, song and stories. And we are praying it for every one of the seven billion people on this planet. Yes, that’s a lot of prayers, but we are already well beyond 12 million…and counting. This coming Wednesday, the Spring Equinox, marks the first annual World Day of Metta when people, between noon and 2:00 in time zones around the world, will lend their voices and their energy to this mission by praying the Metta. We invite you to join us. It can work. It will work. That a new day shall dawn for our people and our planet.