Connecting in a Disconnected World

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
-Rumi

Hate crimes are defined by Massachusetts general law as crimes motivated by hatred, bias or prejudice based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

On November 18, Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated civil rights activists had been tracking hundreds of “incidents since the contentious general election.” Less than a week later on November 23, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy’s recently established hotline to field reports of hate crimes received more than 400 calls in its first week. Finally, on January 2, the news hit home as our community’s local paper, The Cape Cod Times, reported vandals had defaced a local cemetery with an anti-semitic picture and vulgar symbols. Two headstones had been toppled.

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I sit on a winter beach circled around a fire with two friends. The fire warms us as we listen to the sound of breaking waves and watch the path of light thrown by the full moon from the shore to the sky. We consider the dangerous surge in hate crime, and we ask ourselves: What can we do?

Many people are asking the same question right now, and that night by the fire, we come up with a kind of answer.

The thing underlying hate crime is disconnection.

When we feel connected to the fabric of our societies and our planet, we act in concert. We avoid harming others as harming others harms ourselves.

Hate crimes happen when we feel isolated and disconnected from our societies and our planet.

The power structure encouraging hate crime depends on the separation of everything into tiny, separate boxes, because if you are separate from something, you don’t care enough about it to act in concert with it.

The solution to hate crime is connection.

In my forthcoming book, Minerva’s Owls, (April 2017) Homebound Publications, I propose what I call the Law of Connection. The Law of Connection simply states: No man is an island and nothing happens in isolation.

Sitting around the fire on the beach, it seemed time to put the Law of Connection into practice right here in our community. So we devised a group we call One Community Connected.

One Community Connected intends to move beyond party lines and divisions to find our commonalities. One Community Connected strives to meet in the space beyond politics through the connection of positive action to enact community change for the better of all.

It is hard for a connected people to hate each other.

We all want to be safe. We all want to be healthy. We all want clean drinking water and access to good education for our children. We all want a good future, and the foundation of that good future lays in working together through connection.

These are early days for One Community Connected, and I will report where we go as we go. In the meantime, we have found the solution to hate, and it is us. It is you. It is all of us connecting as one from the bottom up.

How are you connecting to your community?

Connect to the column now by sharing your stories in the comment section.

Check out One Community Connected on Facebook

 

About Mary Petiet

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