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Every step we take on our precious Mother Earth is simply profound. It may appear that we journey alone, but this could not be less true.
If each of us only peer back through time a mere 10 generations ago, every human being owes their life to an astounding 2,046 people who have come before us to make our lives possible. These 2,046 people are our relatives, those who passed on the legacy of life that lives within us.
Somehow, it gets even more incredible. If we each look back just 1,000 years, or through 30 generations of our ancestors, the number increases dramatically… from 2,046 to one billion ancestors!
In other words, we are the newest growth on a very ancient very large tree!
If we continue going back through time, we realize that our eyes have played a trick on us: although we appear separate - located in different regions of the world with different skin tones, cultures, spiritual paths and religions - we are actually all related. In fact, we are inter-related. We are each invaluable members of the Human Family, and since we share one Earth and one common ancestry, we too share one common destiny.
Agents, let us use this time together to bring to life the vision of World Interfaith Harmony for all humanity! Let's strengthen our hearts and the ancient bonds that bring us together, so we can actively lean in to the more peaceful, safe, and thriving world we know is possible.
“In my culture it’s a fact, and an understanding of life, that everything is connected, and we were put on this earth to be stewards and caretakers of the environment.” -Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Tla’Amin First Nation
For the Day 1 of World Interfaith Harmony Week, our first mission, Agents, is to honor our ancestors!
Indigenous peoples maintain ancient traditions that recognize the essential importance of honoring one’s ancestors, and sending them thankfulness for our very lives. By honoring our ancestors, we connect more fully to ourselves, to the legacy of life within us, and to those members of the Human Family all around us sharing the gifts of Mother Earth.
Begin today’s mission by simply placing your feet upon the Earth… Feel the Earth come up to knowingly meet you, to hold, support, and ground you. Imagine roots extending from your feet deep into Mother Earth like a tree. This is something I have never done and I feel uneasy just thinking about doing it by myself. I will try it with my toddler grandson.
Now, begin to feel the pulse of your countless ancestors who have each also walked upon the very same good Earth surging through your body. Imagine your ancestors are also holding you, imagine that they have always been there, singing your name. I have difficulty taking this seriously. I do not know how to handle this without sckepticism.
Next, look up to Father Sky. Open your palms, eyes and heart to connect the sky and let all that is up there soak into you. Like leaves absorbing the rejuvenating trickle of sunlight from our Sun, feel the expansiveness of the cosmos pouring into your entire body, illuminating every part of your spirit.
Once you feel connected in this special state of being, do you feel the wells of gratitude for all those who have come before you? Allow this feeling to spread outward, across the planet. Use this energy to wish for peace, safety, and happiness for of all your human relatives who share this great journey of life with you. This part might be a bit easier just because I have connected to nature as a stress releaser. I do not why, but this assignment is very difficult for me. Many people have worked hard providing this opportunity to learn a new way of connecting and I need to be respectful of the human effort that went into creating this activity. It is a very beautiful, cold morning in Chestnut Hill. I am a day late doing this because I could not get into it to begin with. By honoring our ancestors, we celebrate the unseen links that bond us to all people on our beautiful Mother Earth. By connecting to this reality, it becomes natural to want to offer a prayer of gratitude to those spirits who have come before us so that we can live today, and to those around us.
Agents, remember... As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify its power! Your report inspires others, amplifying the power of your compassion and generosity! I wonder what I will write after I actually give it an honest and unsckeptical try.
You can take this honorable experience of connection to Mother Earth and the Sky above into an action to share with another today. Is there an elder in your life - living or passed - that you want to acknowledge and give thanks to? You can take this appreciation and amplify your thoughts by writing a letter to them. Share this completed letter with a friend, or gift it to the elder if possible.
I had several people in mind, but I decided to communicate with a lady who provided an opportunity to a couple of students to make a difference in her life. Their helped allowed this friend to publish her memories in verse of her work of 50 Years Behind the Fitting Room Door. It was nice to take a few minutes to leave a message in her answering machine. I should have know that she is as busy as always.
Share your experience on the Compassion Map to inspire others with your experience!
Each day during World Interfaith Harmony Week the Compassion Torch will be passed to a new Champion of Compassion. With the launch of this coopetition, we are honored to pass the Compassion Torch to the extraordinary David Gershon and the Empowerment Institute. In 1986 David and his team initiated the First Earth Run.
Thank you to our truly remarkable partner in compassion for making this coopetition possible. Learn more about the incredible work, history, and vision of the Fetzer Institute here!
Inspiration for Mission #1:
This mission is inspired by the legacy of Chief Dan George (July 24, 1899 – September 23, 1981), an international leader of interfaith and Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. And we are honored to feature youth Indigenous leader Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Tla’Amin First Nation. In four short years, she has traveled the Earth sharing the voice of her ancestors through her music and powerful message. Watch a video of her singing here.