February 11: After 27 years in prison for his activism against the white apartheid government of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was finally freed on this date in 1990, at the age of 71. A wasted life, you say? Hardly. Every day that Nelson Mandela sat in a government jail cell, the world outside of that cell was fired by his conviction and his courage. Unable to do a thing because he was in prison, Mandela began an entire movement that could not be stopped. Mandela turned frozen hearts into burning heat. What fires are we lighting for the next generation?
I read this from an email I received from Sr. Joan Chittister and benevision.org on Monday morning. It was poignant for me as I remember clearly where I was when he was being released from prison in 1990. It was a Sunday morning, and I was preparing to go to Unity on Columbia Road. I was mesmerized watching it on the television. Do you remember where you were?
This is a reminder that we are in the Season for Nonviolence and Mandela is a prominent figure in the nonviolent movement. Each week going forward, I will be highlighting a person who embodies the principles of nonviolence.
Valentine’s potluck is this Sunday. What a special way to celebrate LOVE with friendship and food. If possible, get some kids’ packets of valentines and have them ready to hand out on Sunday.
I am hearing from many that this new series I am doing featuring the book Ethics For A New Millennium written by the Dalai Lama is resonating with you. I am grateful when what I choose is received with enthusiasm from the community. It reinforces that I am getting guidance from my Higher Self.
This week the focus was on what are natural causes that we have no control over and those of human origin that we do have control over.
It is the problems of human origin that we are responsible for, and, because they are essentially ethical problems, they can be overcome. However, they cannot be overcome by external methods such as legal systems or rules to address every ethical dilemma, but only by inner discipline and ethical restraint.
This is just a tad bit of what the message carried on Sunday; to view it in its entirety watch here.
Next Sunday will be Redefining the Goal and the Supreme Emotion. See you then!
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey