There were two significant anniversaries commemorated this week that deserve mention. On August 12, 2017, a white supremacist rally turned deadly as one participant rammed his car through innocent citizens, killing Heather Heyer. That day also marked the beginning of my weekly blog, as our Executive Director at that time, Joel Goldstein, suggested that it would be important that I share a message with the congregation. This is now my third year composing a blog, and for those of you who take the time to read my postings, with some even responding, I thank you for taking the time to engage with me. Far more important than me is the horrific loss of one beautiful human being, a victim of “H”. I mourn the unnecessary loss of her life, and hope that Heather rests in peace.
The second anniversary to note is Woodstock, August 16-18, 1969. Independent of the fantastic music, and the complaints about the mud, lack of food, sanitary conditions, medical needs and traffic, a noteworthy element of the weekend was the love shared amongst all the attendees. While they certainly would be expected to H the conditions, H was not present. Love was. Upon reading reflections from attendees these 50 years later, I notice time and again how more than ¼ million people were able to get along with each other. Alas, in today’s world, that seem incredulous. But not really.
We all need the same things: food; shelter; clothing; good medical care at a reasonable price; access to a good education; equal opportunity for employment; a safe place to raise a family and enjoy activities together; a safe place to pray. We are so much more the same than not, but the “not” keeps getting in the way. Isn’t it time to set aside that part, to stop focusing on the differences? On paper our common humanity and needs unite us. There is strength in unity, and with that unity comes love and peace. There is weakness in dis-unity, and with that comes H. We must bury our differences in the sand box, and play together. Being an adult means sharing for the common benefit of all, not throwing sand, picking up your toys and going home. As children we learn to play in the sandbox. Why can’t we remember that lesson as adults?