Belonging

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world-environment-daySitting in a French café in Palma de Mallorca and enjoying a coffee while reading For A Future To Be Possible on the Five Mindfulness Trainings by Thich Nhat Hanh, I am filled with emotion as I read the commentary by Br. David Steindl-Rast, especially these paragraphs that speak of our interrelatedness.

“We have reached a threshold in human history, today.  From now on morality must either be all-inclusive or it becomes immoral.  In our world there is no more room for outsiders.  And our sense of belonging must include not only humans, but animals, plants, and all the inanimate furniture of our Earth Household.  Nothing will do any more, but the widest possible horizon of belonging.

“That is why we see two momentous moral changes happening in our time.  All precept structures based on exclusiveness are breaking down, belonging to the past.  A new appreciation for precepts based on a universal sense of belonging is fast gaining ground, belonging to the future.  Of all our religious precepts only those will survive which are the expression of limitless belonging, but those will indeed survive.  They will be shaping the future if there is to be a future.

“More and more people are beginning to realize that the survival or our planet depends on our sense of belonging—to all other humans, to dolphins caught in dragnets, to chickens and pigs and calves raised in animal concentration camps, to redwoods and rainforests, to kelp beds in our oceans, and to the ozone layer.  More and more people are becoming aware that every act that affirms this belonging is a moral act of worship, the fulfillment of a precept written in every human heart.”

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