With this most recent violence of the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the recent killings of children at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown Connecticut, the mall shootings in Oregon & Virginia and even the shooting at Taft High in California are all a cry for help. They are the call to prayer and the shout-out that we need to be more vigilant in the care and attention to our children.

I know there is a great deal of call for the curtailment of guns, and attacks on the NRA for their archaic insistence that we all have the right to bare arms. While I agree with that, it is not the solution to the problem. The greater call is for us as a nation, a people, the human race to shift our consciousness from war and violence, hatred and anger, to one of peace and nonviolence, love and compassion. The greater call is for us to begin living our lives from the vantage point of the deep seated connection of our hearts and souls with all of humanity and all of creation. Trying to focus on limiting or blaming the NRA or limiting guns and ammunition is noble, but is only like putting a bandaid on cancer.

As long as we live in a world where we believe it’s ok to resort to violence for the settling of any problems or disputes, we are only fostering the environment in which senseless violence prevails. As long as we glorify war and condone retaliatory violence as means for solving our human disputes and disagreements, we are only creating an atmosphere in which this type of attitude and behavior flourish.

In our Higher Thought teachings, to snatch an old term of Ernest Holmes, we believe that form follows consciousness. Meaning that when there is a shift in our consciousness, the form is sure to follow. Change your beliefs, thoughts and your conscious attention and there will automatically begin to be a corresponding change in the activity, actions and results in the world. Patti LaBelle said it best in her song where she says we need a “New Attitude.” Or even more succinctly and crudely in the song from a group called Funkadelic/Parliament when they sang “Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow.” These all point to the task that is before us and the primary course of action we must take. Change our consciousness first and then shifts in the activity of the world will begin to follow.

We must begin by teaching our children the value of life, ways to communicate that foster love, kindness, respect, peace and nonviolence. We must equip them with tools for resolving problems and challenges that do not resort to violence and “might makes right.” It means that we must change our own values from celebrating war and violence as ways of life to really advocating for peace and nonviolence. This means we must retrain our own consciousness to be less fascinated with matters of violence and more engaged with matters of peace, love and compassion.

We can’t condone and celebrate war on the larger national or international scale and yet condemn it on the more local scales of gangs, school violence or even terrorism. If we’re going to condemn violence then it must be across the board, otherwise we’re sending a mixed message to our young folk. That old axiom of “do what I say, not what I do,” has never worked with our children. They tend to mimmic what we do, not what we say, particularly if what we say is in contradiction to what we do. So let us be consistent with both our words and actions and even more importantly, the consciousness behind our words and actions.

I look at the proliferation of movies, TV series, the focus of the news, video games so focused on violence and it’s clear we have created a monster. The video games are the most appalling because they are so interactive, it gives our children the sense that they are actually participating in the war and violence. They are in a virtual reality where they are pulling the trigger, running, moving and actively involved with their attention, mind, thoughts, feelings, energy, adrenaline all engaged. And it’s parents who go out and buy this stuff for our children. All of this fosters our tolerance and glamorization of violence.

We must increase the peace by living in peace. Discovering and exploring ways to express ourselves with compassion, understanding, clear & nonviolent communication. We need to begin telling our stories in ways that celebrate peace and nonviolence, that hold in the highest of esteem the arts, music, poetry, beauty and the aesthetics. We need to teach diversity, inclusion and the honoring and values of all peoples, cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations. Anywhere where we are fostering hate, bigotry, fear, separation, stereotyping, non-acceptance, bullying, superiority in our thinking, teaching, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and actions, must cease.

It’s an inside job. There’s a wise & ancient Egyptian truism, “As within, so without. As above, so below!” We must begin and support the process of shifting our inner consciousness, our inner awareness, our inner beliefs and values towards a peaceful, inclusive, loving world. In so doing, we create the groundwork for the creation of a world that truly works for every-1 and honors the great gifts and blessings that all the people of the world bring to the table. Whether those gifts are from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism, African or Native American spirituality, New Thought, Spiritual or Metaphysical traditions or even atheism. We must honor and celebrate all nationalities, races, ethnicities, classes, castes, genders, sexual orientations.

Our consciousness and inclusion of the human family must become so expansive as to include every-1 as the self, every-1 as expressions of us all. As Jesus so aptly pleaded with us, “Love you one another, just as I have loved you.”  Or as it says in Psalms 82:6 of the Holy Bible, “You are Gods! All of you are children of the Most High God!”  Or even as so eloquently phrased by the late Rodney King, “Can’t we just all get along?!”

And so it is!

All my love,

Nirvana Reginald Gayle

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