“I can’t help but think about the world MLK described as a kind of Disney Land — a retreat from reality, a sprawling and idyllic state of mind, nestled in the swampland of the southern American consciousness.”
“I pray that in this age of separation and division and barrier-building and disconnection, that we transcend the lie that our thoughts and actions don’t affect each other. I pray that we put the neighbor back in the neighborhood.”
“We must kill our babies, sometimes in violent and fantastical ways. We must embody the shadow, putting on the hockey mask and becoming the villain until we have laid waste to what doesn’t serve us, our family, or our community.”
“We need to prepare for the fact that the battle against prejudice and injustice may never end, but the fact that we fought it makes us victorious. We need to have each other’s backs (and each other’s phone numbers).”
At a time in my adolescence when religion was unspoken in the small, rural towns of Wisconsin and “monks” were something that existed in another (very ancient) time, the monastery stood as a monolithic symbol of everything I feared about religion. But years later, my mind would change.
The more we distance ourselves from our neighbor, the more we estrange ourselves. The more we unfriend people who disagree with us, the more we create gaps and echo chambers and an inability to engage in meaningful and transformative dialogue.
When we choose not to talk about the diversity that defines us, we experience more repression, more polarity and more intolerance.