Exploring the value of diversity and inclusion was our theme for the 2018 Gathering. Following on from our heartfelt time together earlier this month, ripples continue to flow out through the many centers we represent and into the world.
Carol Donahoe, Program Director of Omega and co-host of the Gathering, shares some thoughts that came to her this weekend as we watched the Royal Wedding together early Saturday morning.
Bishop Michael Curry shared this quote in his sermon, ‘We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A young man and woman, from two different worlds came together – in love. And those who love them came together for love.
The world seems to be increasingly polarized by differences these days. People are being targeted, deported, arrested, and killed because of differences in their skin color, ethnicity, and culture. But that afternoon, in that chapel, love won the day. The fusion of different backgrounds a natural and yet incredible expression of diversity and inclusion.
I was reminded of something Rev. angel said to us during the Gathering, in a session focused on this theme. She had asked about our intention, and one of the first responses from the group was “LOVE”. Later she noted for us that never in business meetings, nor in meetings with activists, was love the answer to that question.
For 20 years she has been teaching and writing on Transformative Change. Her publications include Radical Dharma, Being Black and The Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. Trained in Japanese Zen tradition; Rev. angel is one of four black ordained ministers. ‘Love and justice are not two; without inner change, no outer change, without collective change, no change matters.’
Rev. angel reminded us of our unique position on the planet. As centers, around the world, we have the opportunity to influence millions of people and having love as a central tenet is pretty powerful.
Holistic Centers are at the vanguard of what’s possible; they can give people access to worlds they might not know otherwise, permission to try new ways of being. ‘These places are not just yours, they are access to something higher that calls to all of us.’
She encouraged us to ‘Look, analyze, notice, and name what is true about the centers you inhabit?’ Not only do we need to invite diversity, we need to make everyone welcome. To represent this in our staffing and foster cultural humility amongst staff, particularly those in senior leadership.
‘Change has already come; we are past resisting what is true right now. This time is an opportunity to usher in the present moment by bringing more people through these centers. Information, knowledge, awareness and consciousness are the currencies of the future’.
Rev. angel left us with a clear and powerful challenge, guided by love;
What is specific to your center to create conditions to reconnect to greater possibilities?
Do it for as many people as you can.
In the largest televised event of the year, the Royal Wedding of the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Bishop Curry gave a similar call to action. To the millions of people watching, ‘There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it.’
‘There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live.’
It was represented by this young couple, it was also represented in our Gathering, and it was palpable. Each of our centers holds that energy for the people who come. And united by this same energy, we have the opportunity to change the world.
‘We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are part of a worldwide movement in love, may we all embrace the call to our fullest potential.
Read Bishop Michael Curry’s speech in full.