Good afternoon, good evening, all. 🙂 It’s so good to see you all hear today. Thank you for coming..for standing tall and being here and being counted with us today. I see many familiar, empowered faces out here in the crowd – so many of us who are actively awakened by various causes in our spirits. Out of curiosity, let’s have a show of hands — how many of us have gathered together for a joint cause before, or marched for solidarity? Oh, great..great. Welcome. 🙂 How many of you are here for your first event today? Ah, I see..well that’s wonderful. Welcome! You’re all important and your commitment to justice and integral nonviolence among all beings is crucial to the success of our continued progress in peace-keeping.
Now, it may not feel like we have achieved “peace,” certainly not when our passions are raging and our hearts are hurting. Now, as many of us are aware of, this moment of pain is not a new moment. Human beings have suffered innumerable losses at the hands of oppressive injustice since the beginning of crime. The beginning of crime…the beginning of time..in my mind, crime hasn’t always existed. Now, no matter what your theory of creation is, or what your personal or spiritual belief is, there are a number of things we have written down over the years about the ongoing cycle of harm onto others and the record of injustices inflicted on our world. I’d like to offer us a very brief version of a timeline for some of the more well known, hard-hitting mass injustices we have been told about in our collective lifetimes. We’ll start from the farthest back we are able and work our way forwards, back to the current moments.
Now, concerning prehistoric times, we can only imagine that any violence that occurred between peoples was due to the desperation of survival and the terrors of starvation, lack of adequate shelter, and competition for comfortable status within hierarchical societies. Until about 10,000 years ago, all human beings are believed to have lived as hunter-gatherers and subsisted off their migratory cultures with the seasons around the land. Although the abundance of resources on this planet seems to have been forever augmented by the conceptions of organized agriculture and settling in static locations, someone somehow always seems to find a reason to justify killing or harming another being. Why is this? We have more than enough shelters to house our people, more than enough healthy and processed foods to feed them, more than enough means for interpersonal connections, creative fulfillment, and entertainment purposes..why do we still feel the need to oppress and impress power over others? Why is it that we want..truly? What do we need that we do not feel we are getting?
After the hunter-gatherers and stone-age farmers of the early periods, we find ourselves looking back at ancient Mesopotamia toward the Sumerians, who were the first human society (WE believe) to make organized use of written language. Yes — they invented writing.. Because of their collaborative efforts and teamwork as a community, the rest of us human beings have been able to follow suit and adapt our own non-verbal, non-physical means with which to share messages and establish other connection with each other. And now, roughly 5,000 years later, we have so many options to keep us more united than ever-! We can share pictures, images, videos, recordings of sound and voices, music, love letters, legal documents, and what often feels like a never-ending slew of other media. We have the ability to link up with people around the world who are different and see our sameness. So why the disconnect? Why the isolation, abandonment, othering, and hurting? The Sumerians made use of irrigation and water storage practices, which we still build upon in our communities today. They established the trade of goods and skills within their communities, creating the wheel and improving the speed at which one could produce works of necessary art such as pottery. These communities were generally self-sustaining and seem to have been largely peace-filled. Basically, each being was too busy doing whatever it is they did — that is, distracted wholeheartedly with whatever they were DOING — to waste precious energy fighting and disagreeing with each other. Then came the beginning of unnecessary interpersonal conflicts. According to current theories, the routine flooding of the lands near the Fertile Crescent caused an increased need for organized labor and cooperation in order to attempt to combat Mother Nature. Why do this instead of moving