As I write this editor’s note, two landmark events have just broken open the hearts of Americans. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right, and an unprecedented wave of support for removing the Confederate battle flag from government flagpoles (and retailers’ shelves) followed the massacre of nine people in a historic African-American church in South Carolina. I am struck not only by the weight of these changes and the groundswell of emotion accompanying them, but also by the fact that decades of effort working for change have culminated in what seems like a lightning-quick infusion of social justice and political evolution.
Talk about transformation! Indeed, that’s the theme of this issue’s “Listening in With …,” featuring Neale Donald Walsch, author of the nine-book Conversations With God series. When I read Walsch’s first book, a 1995 classic, many of the ideas resonated deeply with me—even though they went against mainstream thinking. Now, two decades later, Walsch is promoting what he calls a Civil Rights Movement for the Soul—an equally unconventional idea whose time has come.
This movement, Walsch explains, begins with questioning long-held outdated ideas about God. It would eventually liberate humankind from the oppression of the belief in a violent, angry, vindictive deity. The idea favors a God who would, say, celebrate love wherever it’s found as well as embody symbols of equality and inclusion over oppression and exclusion. (After all, ultimately, we are all more alike than we are different.) Achieving this modern-day Renaissance could well happen, he believes, within a generation.
What makes such rapid change attainable, Walsch explains, is the ability of people around the world to instantly share information and ideas through technology. The statistics are stunning: Globally, we send 8.6 trillion text messages and 90 trillion emails every year, not to mention what we post on social media sites or publish online.
The beauty of this is that aside from the inevitable digital dreck, millions of uplifting, positive, good-news stories, videos, quotes, and photos circulate daily—sometimes going viral. This gives each of us the power to share light in a big way that can make a significant difference. (Surely none of us in Unity need to be reminded of the power of positive thought.)
Without denying the problems of the world, we can fuel transformation by becoming a part of this change and highlighting what’s going right. For example, the list of service projects for Humanity’s Team, a global grassroots spiritual movement Walsch launched in 2003, includes animal rescue efforts in the United States, Ebola relief in Africa, women’s empowerment programs in Nigeria, and repairing schools in Bangladesh—to name just a few. Small and powerful victories like these happen every day, even if they don’t make the nightly news.
Yes, we still have a long way to go (cue the statistics for economic disparity). But the dream of unity is no longer light years away. Indeed, it may now be only a few light-filled years away.
Katy Koontz, Editor