Reading the Chicago Tribune this morning, my heart landed in my throat as I came upon the article on the recent teen suicide at Rutgers University in response to a thoughtless and downright unconscious webcast by two peers.
As we settle into the 21st century, it seems unfathomable that such bias, ridicule and homophobia can still exist in our society.
While we are all on our own individual paths to enlightenment, the primitive behavior exhibited by these two students must be carefully dissected by all of us, for it is indeed the collective consciousness of our culture as a whole that remains accountable for all of its members.
My immediate thought upon first becoming aware of this story was how can we be raising children who can name the quarterback of every professional football team, the latest winner of American Idol, or the top video game on the market, but who do not understand the basic, life-affirming spiritual principles upon which LIFE rests.
I am not talking about religious dogma here, but rather intuitive, universal threads that should need no morality laws to enforce.
All of the above-mentioned aspects of modern culture are valid, but without a deep understanding of who we really are as divine, creative, eternal beings first and foremost, rendered less meaningful as authentic examples of what it means to follow one's true path.
It's time that we teach our own children—If not you, who? If not now, when—beyond the status quo deemed acceptable by society so that our technological advances do not move past our spiritual understandings dooming us to systemic breakdown in all areas.
At an early age, children can come to understand cause and effect, free will and natural consequences.
As parents we can teach that there are millions of right paths up the mountaintop through every religion, sexual orientation, political viewpoint and state of bliss known to man.
We can offer our children a clear example of tolerance and acceptance by releasing our own need to judge while proving others who may disagree with us wrong.
A teen's suicide is often extremely complex, and this case I am sure is no exception. Yet, it is society's monumental loss that one of our own—a gifted violinist inviting others to know themselves more intimately through music—departed in such a way in part due to others' lack of clarity surrounding their own magnificence as human beings.
For once an understanding of one's own true nature is uncovered within the depths of his interior, it becomes impossible not to see and feel the energetic connection that belies the oneness of all living things.
It is my belief that our culture can continue to put band-aids on the recurring issues in our world OR we can feel the truth of our divine heritage and find the courage to create lasting, organic change.
There's a missing piece here that touches every aspect of our society—politics, economics, healthcare, religion, families and individuals. Oneness must move beyond a mental ideal for some, and not even a blip on the radar for others, and become integrated on a conscious, purposeful soul level to all that we think, say, do, prioritize and espouse.
Oneness does not require sameness, but rather a total respect and celebration of differences.
It's time to move gracefully into the new millennium in the space of AND/BOTH in place of EITHER/OR.
Parenting is not about perfection—the parents' or the children's—but it is about accountability.
We are the SOURCE not the effect of our choices. Every choice is either conscious or unconscious. Enlightenment is simply choosing the former…