I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here – it is to ensure that every toxic legacy that I inherited from our culture ends with me – and, ideally, ends with all of us, in our lifetime. The task may be impossible, but I have to help. I have to do it because my true nature wants me to. When I do this work, my heart sings. My inner self rejoices. That is because your happiness is my happiness. Doing the work connects me with what is really true. We are all connected. We are all in relationship.
Focusing on media activism, it is quite easy to get swept up in a thousand different messages, leaving me sometimes feeling like I’ve gotten off track with my core message and purpose. What am I doing here? Why am I here?
The answer is in an old Sufi song I learned as a child, “What are we here for? To love, serve and remember.”
To love, serve and remember.
That we are all family.
That you are because I am.
That what is sacred in me is sacred in you. And that sacredness pervades the cosmos, if we choose.*
Reverence and awe for the world is our choice to make. We can see that beauty, and live that life, or we can choose not to see it, and live without that beauty.
Look at your lover this way today. See the sacred in her. See the sacred in him. When you see it in them, see it in your family and your friends. Then, start looking for it in people you see at the grocery store and on the street. Then see it in all of the animal creatures in your life. See it in the trees and plants that grow outside your house. See life in everything, truly be present to its nature and vibrational energy.
Each person in the world is family – caught with us amid the “splendour and travail of the earth.”
When we see the sacred in every person, we can see that those who cause others to suffer are also suffering and have been deeply wounded by this culture since they were born. Every child is born with love in their hearts. The child does not know that we are not all family until they are taught so. This is how we forget.
Our culture teaches us to forget. Our culture teaches us who to love and who not to love. It is a very small circle of people. But that circle is growing bigger for more and more people each day.
More and more people are remembering that our family is life itself.
That is the core message I am trying to spread with my activism.
From this revolution of the heart flowers every other revolution. Sexism, racism, environmental destruction, poverty and war are not possible when true love is there. True love dissolves illusion. True love shatters prejudice and malice. True love liberates both the child and the adult from centuries of our inherited suffering. It is the revolution we need most desperately to save every 5 year old child from the suffering they will inherit if we do not vow to ensure that every toxic cultural legacy of our culture ends with us.
*I define sacred as something having intrinsic worth and value, so for me the word connects with me on both a secular and spiritual level. In a scientific sense that value may be entirely subjective, but I’m okay with that. For me, it’s a choice to see the sacred in life. I can choose to see that beauty, or not see it.
Tim Hjersted is the director and co-founder of Films For Action. 16 August 2016.
This work is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.