The core principle in Unity teachings emphasizes that our thoughts shape our lives. This means that if we harbor unloving and hostile thoughts towards anyone or any group, these thoughts will manifest in our experiences. We are the primary recipients of both loving and unloving thoughts. Bitterness, hatred, and resentments are actively detrimental to our well-being; holding onto resentment is akin to ingesting poison and hoping the other person suffers. This behavior may seem irrational, yet it is unfortunately prevalent in the world.

When we examine the relationships between nations, races, and political parties, we find a long history of bitterness and dysfunction. It’s evident, especially in the light of unimaginable atrocities in Israel this past week, where both sides hold each other accountable for past wrongs, spanning days, years, or even centuries. This bitterness not only obstructs the potential for true and lasting peace but is the cause of further violence and atrocities.

In the US, as our cities erupt in violence after, yet another person of color is unjustly harmed, we tend to retreat to our respective camps – black, white, liberal, conservative – and staunchly cling to the belief that the other side is fundamentally wrong. It’s disheartening to witness how few of us are genuinely willing to listen to each other and to empathize with one another’s experiences. I observe how people in this country abstain from voting due to disillusionment from promises made by political leaders that are quickly abandoned once they assume office. Our disappointment and anger deter us from actively engaging in the system. When the status quo persists, we feel justified in our actions, or more accurately, our inaction. Our resentments and anger paralyze us and the situation.

I am not proposing that we turn a blind eye to the injustices and challenges of the world. Quite the contrary, I am suggesting that we refrain from compounding the problem with further anger and violence – whether it be expressed verbally, mentally, or physically. Truth Students, who seek abundance in all its forms, do not deny that something hurt us, nor do they condone behavior they find unacceptable. Instead, they acknowledge the mistake and look beyond the behavior to the potential for positive change.

I am not naïve; I know that is not how the world will respond. And I will not give up holding the torch of light in the darkness. I will not cease being the voice of peace in the face of anger and violence. I will not waver in knowing that love is always the answer.

I ask you all to join me this Sunday online and in person as we light the candle for hope, hold open the space for love and create a world of peace and forgiveness.