Two Thousand Words

Our words have the power to harm or to heal, words have the power to inspire or to dissuade, words have the power to educate or words can have the power to misinform. 

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They can shine light in dark places and bring joy where there is sadness, they can bring hope, anticipation and aspiration to the forefront when despair pessimism and fear stalk in the shadows of the narrow path of balance and existence that we walk upon in each of our lives.  Words can do all of these things, but there is a condition to all of this, as with all things that make for changes and newly formed thoughts, words must be heard. 

For a long time and in many homilies, sermons addresses and writings that I have thrust upon the world, and to anyone nearby that would listen, I have continually focused and repeatedly advocated the simple but powerful message that we must be kind to each other. 

That message, those words that I spoke of repeatedly on behalf of those beings in higher realms were, heard.  I know this because someone bought a badge for me to wear on my lapel with those words, along with some other choice words of Saxon variety on it, so that I could give my jaw a rest and still advocate that message, or at least that’s what I think she was doing, and not worrying about her ear drums being ruptured under the repeated barrage of the same message, no matter how important it might be. 

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But as we enter another year, that new year brings a new message, a new and hopeful purpose and a bolder, more I hope, beneficial methodology. 

You see, it’s one thing for words to be heard, but in truth, the ultimate impact of words comes not from speaking them, or the impact they can have on the people who hear them, but it is in that they are acted upon. 

Every once in a while, every once in a while there is a shift in the world, in the way we interact, in the way we act, in the way we speak and in the way we think, it is a shift that shakes the world to its core and propels some to lofty heights and new levels of exposure and understanding and adversely leaves some in stunned silence and trembling in fear and trepidation. 

Those days are not nearly as rare as we might think, and sadly they almost always come with a body count, because when the odious and terrible ramblings of well-polished speakers or writers suddenly find a soapbox of the right size and in the right location to allow madness and hatred to become the normal and expected measure of what it is to be human, and the quiet gentle voice of reason finds itself drowned in deafening silence and inaction. 

We live in a world where people dream of a utopia in which we can all live, forgetting that in order for that to happen, some forget or at least set aside what they have and believe, whilst increasingly those who proclaim that a dystopian future is on the horizon cling like falling victims to that concept, not realising they are at least in part adding to the possibility of it coming to pass, with their unwillingness to be swayed by the possibility of others views mattering. 

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A world and society that claims to be and go beyond the animalistic nature of what we were before the spark of enlightened self-interest and mutual accomplishment thrust us forward to create art and literature, and yet there are those who revel and wallow in terms that befit that pack or the pride and the herd, not realising it is those attitudes and actions that kept us from discovering fire and penicillin and creating Mona Lisa and The Great Gatsby. 

We live in a world where increasingly extreme views and more worryingly extreme actions are not only tolerated but anticipated and expected, we live in a world where equality and equity, kindness and justice are demonised as partisan propaganda, by those who invented and nurtured such base concepts, where those who proclaim to be defenders of truth, justice and liberal ideology employ strong-arm militant tactics to achieve their goals. 

Up is down and down is up and the world rolls along blaming human-made concepts and institutions for the problems of the world, offering other human-made concepts and institutions as worthless substitutes and replacements whilst leaving the same people and situations in their places of power and not-so-silent ponderings to continue to lead the charge of removing the free will of the masses, turning bandages into chains, turning songs and sonnets into war cries, turning optimism into foolish pride. 

The world is bleeding, the world is suffocating and the world is learning, not to heal, but to expose those wounds and pour salt and ash into them.  This cannot be the legacy we leave for our inheritors, this cannot be the lesson we teach those who follow us from youth to adulthood and this cannot be the vision we allow those in the higher realms of light, those who went before us, to have of us. 

There comes a time in every civilisation, in every walk of life in every group of people, where we stand at the edge of eternity, looking into a chasm of inaction. 

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A time for those present to change, grow or fall back into an ever-widening and repeating cycle of continual error and failure. 

We as a species, as a single race, have come so far, and still have so much further to proceed and grow, but we have paused at the apex of the road, at the pinnacle of the mountain, at the edge of the precipice.  We risk a stall, a fall, a slide into a future that has been seen by so many generations before us. 

There was a time when we knew without question that to free the imprisoned we should tear down walls, that to unite the separated we should demolish borders, and that to bring forward change, equality, and equity we should nullify and make meaningless labels. 

But now, more than ever, walls, borders and labels grow, solidify and increase in power and magnitude.  Words can have the power to heal, to bring forward action. 

But only if they are acted upon. 

The world is bleeding.  Can words truly help?  Only if those words can summon to the wound someone trained to fix it, then yes, they can.  Not everyone has training in first aid, even less a degree in medical science, but we can all bring attention to the damage with our words, and if enough calls attention then someone with the right preparation will undoubtedly heed the call and answer it. 

Words will have played the part as they should, and the actions they inspire will finish the job. As we stand in the dawnlight of a new year, I stand here, committed to shining a light in dark places, to engage in the practice of joy where there is sadness, to encourage aspiration, anticipation and hope ahead of fear pessimism and despair. 

I will continue to fulfil my commitment to speak, act and encourage in the name of those beings I call friends and guides, in those unending luminous realms.  But now more than ever, words need to heal, inspire, educate, and encourage, and they need to be heard, and we must all do our part. 

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The world is bleeding, the world is suffocating, the world is bursting open its wounds.  Let us go find someone with bandages, let us go breathe air into her lungs, let us go find the people with salt and stay their hands, and let us go break down walls, demolish borders, and let us go expunge labels. 

Together, from our places of gathering, from our homes and in our streets, and out into the world, let us go forward and remind people that content and context matter, let us leave a legacy to be proud of and a lesson that shines brighter than any star for a thousand years to come, and that optimism, hope and kindness are not, and never will be foolish, are not and never will be the tools of darkness and despair, that to aspire and anticipate a world free from tyranny, suffering and heftily-offered shaming, is not false prophesy but as nature intended. 

If we stand far from the madding crowd’s ignoble discord, with its’ never learned sombre wishes not once straying along a cold isolated valley of life keeping the noiseless tenor their way; when those who proclaim to walk the path of justice turn their eyes coldly away from injustice; when those who declare that it is just and noble to follow and serve, seek only to lead and control, by limiting the immeasurable, by interpreting condition-less compassion as restricted, and by preaching to expose our jowls to those that would strike them, only to cleave silently and patiently in the darkness to a weapon of suffering, that has been forged from an apparatus of peace, equipped to strike rather than shadow their own fables obligated upon us by hands and voices that know their reasoned impassioned truth not, we know that we must take a stance and rise to the challenges before us. 

But every time we face a challenge we must remember that our magnitude for strength and our capacity for courage is not measured in times of stillness and delight, but when the need calls for us to rise to the occasion, and history has shown us that those dimensions may well be limitless. 

My friends, we cannot change the world overnight, we cannot soothe her suffering and free the oppressed in seven days, and we most certainly cannot do any of these things on our own. 

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But we must, with our words and deeds, our thoughts and actions with our personal doctrines and our private Gods, stand as a beacon of light in the very depths of darkness, bring the noise to the silence and bring joy to the sadness, because there needs to be a shift in this world, in the way we interact, in the way we act, in the way we speak and in the way we think, a shift that shakes the world to its core and propels all to those lofty heights and new levels of exposure and empathy and never leave, not once leave anyone in stunned silence and trembling in fear and trepidation. 

My friends, all this and more can be achieved and must be achieved, when words of kindness unity and compassion are spoken, when teachers and poets, parents and children, siblings and friends are truly heard and when heroes and healers stand not to be measured but because it is the just and right and noble thing to do, and act upon the voices of conscience and compassion in our hearts, to ennoble the meek, educate by example the lost, and comfort the victims of life’s many difficulties and struggles. 

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This year as with every year before it, we are reminded at this time of all the things and all the people we have lost, but we must not let the final loss of this year be kindness and understanding, so we will do what is hard, achieve what is great, and we will reach for the stars, to bless and honour the memory of those that have gone before, we will aid and comfort and give voice to those with whom we walk the earth, to defend the hope for prosperity for those that will follow us.  

My friends, we cannot change the world overnight, but we can ill afford to wait for one more dusk and dawn to pass before beginning that task and rising to that challenge. 

May Your Personal Gods Bless you, and thank you.

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