I am the Homeless. I am just like you. I suffer, I love. I get lonely and cold at night I am an American.
I am of the First Nations. They took my land, they took my children, they took my freedom. But they could not take my humanity. I am the First American.
I am the Elderly. Some call me useless., but once I had dreams like you. I worked hard to build a life and a home. I am an American.
I am the Mentally Ill. I am a person just like you. I have needs and wants just like you. I am an American.
I am the Racial Minority. Why do you judge me by the color of my skin? Inside I am the same as you. I share the same hopes and dreams. I am an American.
I am the Poor I want a good life for myself and my family. I work two or three jobs to pay our bills. I am not lazy, I am not stupid. I don’t deserve to be treated as trash. I am a human being. I am an American.
I am the American Soldier Some call me welfare in a uniform. I leave my family and home behind to defend yours. I risk my life to keep you safe and secure. I am a human being. I am an American.
I am the Addict. Pain and fear have made me lose everything that makes life worth living. Don’t judge me for my weakness. Help me find my strength again. I am a human being. And I am an American.
I am the Homebound. Even a beloved home can become a prison when no one cares for you anymore. I miss the sound of another voice. I am a human being. I am an American.
I am the Immigrant I seek a better life for myself and my family, just as your ancestors did. I am a human being, not a road hazard. I want to be an American.
I am the Prisoner I may have made mistakes. I may have hurt people. Now my life is a tiny room with bars. Perhaps my punishment is just. But I am still a human being. I am still an American
I am the Religious Minority My beliefs may not be yours, but they teach me to live and let live. They teach me to respect others. Why can’t you respect me? I am a human being. I am an American.
How do we find the road home? How do we learn to walk together? What are the words we need to hear in our hearts?
“I claim that human mind or human society is not divided into watertight compartments called social, political and religious. All act and react upon one another.” – Mohandas Gandhi
“Show mercy to those on earth, the One above the heavens will show mercy upon you.” – Prophet Mohammed
“The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who “disappeared”. That’s what the candle is for.” – Peter Benenson
“When I was hungry you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was sick you comforted me, when I was in prison you visited me…. When you do this to the least of them you do this for me.” – Matthew 25: 31-46
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel
“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” – The Dalai Lama
“On other islands similarly barbed mankind lies self-imprisoned in his fear, and watches through the black sights of a gun the winging flocks of migratory birds, ; who cannot speak of freedom, yet are free”. – Laurie Lee
“We are one with our Mother We are one with the Earth We are one with each other By our lives, by our birth” – Anie Hearthsong-
Let me take the Fool’s Journey Let me be one who dares the risks that lie along the edge. For only in the daring can we be truly open to the lessons that are there to be learned. To be fully human is to risk all.
Let me be one who walks along the Edges. Let me be one who hears the voices of those who see no borders between one human being and another.
Let me reach out in love, love without fear. One human being to another. Let me reach out.
Let me be as the bird that knows no borders. May I be equally blind to what divides us one from the other.
We are all children of this place called Earth. Children of the Mother, and each equally precious in Her sight.