Over the years and through my travels, I have had many opportunities to meet and know a large diverse group of people. When I lived on a reservation in British Columbia, I learned about the Native American culture and their spirituality, and they became my family. When I moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, I met so many amazing people in and out of the entertainment business and found them to be decent and caring human beings. Before I moved to L.A., I was told by several people, including my minister, that I was going to go straight to hell for moving there and that all people in ‘Hollywood’ were evil. Except I had a different experience in that most everyone I met and got to know were really wonderful human beings! I learned a great lesson in that you’ll find what you’re looking for and I found the good in people.
Since then, I’ve lived in numerous states, and have enjoyed expanding on my diverse friendships. I continue to meet and make friends with such a variety of human beings, and those include all colors, races, religions, cultures, LBGT’s, and so many more. As you know, I love diversity! My life has been so blessed and enriched because of all the people I’ve met and known in my life, and it doesn’t matter where they come from or what they believe.
I was fortunate in that I had these experiences, as there are many who don’t have the opportunities to meet and know so many. There are also those who refuse to get to know others because of any perceived differences. It’s so easy for fear and hate to dictate who we meet and know, and then people are fighting, arguing, and going to war just because of their differences in beliefs.
Once people start dehumanizing and demonizing an individual or groups of people (races, religions, etc.), it becomes very dangerous and we’re seeing a lot of this in our current religious and political realms. When the oppressors treat people as sub-humans, this can lead to horrific atrocities because people will justify their fear, hate, bigotry, and ignorance by believing that since these people are sub-humans, then they have no right to the same rights as the rest of us, or in its extreme, to even have the right to live.
After arriving on this continent, early Europeans committed genocide on millions of Native Americans and moved thousands to reservations.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over 100,000 Japanese men, women, and children, most who were American citizens, were forced into internment camps on the American west coast.
In Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler believed that Germans were racially superior and soon committed genocide on millions of Jews, Gypsies, disabled, religious dissidents, mentally ill, homosexuals, and others he didn’t agree with.
In 1994 in Rwanda, Africa, the Hutu’s committed genocide against the Tutsi’s and as many as 800,000 people were slaughtered because of ethnic hostility.
These are just a few examples of the atrocities committed against man-kind all because of a difference in beliefs. Haven’t we learned anything from our history? Today, we’re seeing political and religious leaders demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims, Hispanics, immigrants, LGBT’s, disabled, homeless, mentally ill, women, and many more. When you get enough people riled up in hate, bigotry, ignorance, and violence, anything can happen. We’re already seeing many of these groups being oppressed, harmed, murdered, and laws being made against them. It’s not a far stretch to think that another genocide could occur in our future if we don’t do everything we can to prevent it. My heart goes out to all those who are experiencing this brand of hate and discrimination and I hold them all in the collective consciousness of unconditional love.
The other side of this is that there are billions of people out there who are not steeped in hate. We’re following the teachings of the spiritual masters of our religions in that we are to love one another (no exceptions), we’re showing kindness and compassion to each other, helping those in need, and are working to bring peace to our world! We’re raising the consciousness of all human beings as well as to our planet! We can either join the collective consciousness of fear and darkness, or we can choose the collective consciousness of love and light. It’s our choice.
Eckhart Tolle said, “The awakening of consciousness is the next evolutionary step for mankind.” And Neale Donald Walsch stated, “We’re seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are.”
“If you knew how many hearts are healed and how many lives are transformed throughout the patterns created in every choice, you’d follow your heart in every breath and bless the world wherever you go.” Matt Kahn
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper May 27, 2016.