My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...
All Wednesdays are unique and very special. Last week was the last Wednesday for our beloved siblings Pavi and Viral who will be in some part of the Planet (Gandhi's, Vinoba's and Vimala Takar's homeland) sharing their light and inspiration with other communities. Until their back, Wednesdays at 7PM Santa Clara Time will be a way to connect in that other dimension. These are the 3 point I shared last Wednesday:
1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature.
2. Humans learning from Mother Nature.
3. The Best Revenge.
1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature. The first thoughts and feelings that came thorough me after reading the passage, were a couple of incredible stories about the resilience of Mother Nature and how she "forgive us" when we hold the space for healing, even when we have been abusing of her generosity for centuries. The first story is called Hope in a Changing Climate (a 22 minute video I watched on a recent DailyGood). Once the cradle of civilization, parts of the Loess Plateau in China faced environmental ruin just 15 years ago as hundreds of years of over-farming took its toll on the ecosystem, making this once lush terrain a degraded landscape. This video documents the uplifting story of how ecosystem restoration helps stabilize climate, reduce poverty, and support sustainable agriculture. Proven to work in China, these visionary people didn't stop there and left to Rwanda and Ethiopia, to facilitate the restoration there too.
Another extraordinary example of how Mother Nature does her work if we leave her, is the willingness of a man who helped to restore an entire rainforest... that's right, an entire Rain Forest! This titan found a way to facilitate the re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems. The 20 minute thrilling TED talk can be seen here.
In our own little way in San Francisco, we started an urbiculture project and in just a couple of weeks, we have facilitated the "forgiveness" of Mother Nature and from an abandoned empty lot full of needles, syringes and plastic, now I witnessed the first green sprouts coming up from the soil in just 4 days! We are calling it the Free Farm.
2. The Forgiveness of Humans. As incredible as the forgiveness of Mother Nature is the forgiveness of human beings. One of my favorite examples of the emerging paradigm is the story of Azim Khamiza. Azim Khamisa's only son Tariq was murdered in a gang-related incident while delivering a pizza in San Diego by Tony, a 14 year old. Kids killing kids. Losing his 20 year old child upended Azim's life. Formerly an investment banker, Azim faced questions with no easy answers: why was his son taken away? Why do children join gangs? Why do they act with violence? Why me?
But many times it is not possible to rationalize a problem, the intellectual explanations have been exhausted and our heart is so broken that it is hard to hold any positive emotions. That's when Azim sat in meditation sometimes as many as 5 hours a day, until he connected at the SOULlularlevel with himself to be embedded in the Universe of Love. Beingin receptive silence always helps because it nourishes and awakens the divine nature.
"I saw victims in both sides of the gun" he said. The physical violence that killed Tariq, and the structural violence of our society who pushed Tony to join a gang. Now Azim treats Tony (his son's killer) as his own son. "The forgiveness wasn't only for Tony, it was for me, I needed to forgive myself." As brother Birju shared in the circle: "this [to forgive oneself] is the hardest thing to do."
In the end, Azim came together with the guardian of Tony and together they founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. It is dedicated to breaking the cycle of youth violence by empowering kids, saving lives, and teaching peace. Azim is actively advocating for Tony's release and Tony has became an inspiring example in the prison. Here a touching 12 minute video of this story.
3. The Best Revenge.
After all, everybody is a cell who forms part of the body of the Grand Human Family. We are all interconnected. To not forgive someone, is to not forgive ourselves. We forgive but not forget.
For these reasons and more, the best revenge is forgiveness.
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.