By Parlee Jones
Our planet, our Mother Earth has sustained us for many, many moons. All she asks in return is the same thing we all ask for and need, knowledge, wisdom and understanding, freedom, justice and equality, food, clothing and shelter, love, peace and happiness for all of her children. Those that walk on two legs, those that walk on four. Those who live in the water and those that walk on land. Respect for her body. Her land, her water, her valleys and mountains. Her rich resources.
My wish for Mother Earth this holiday season is for her to have a senses cleansing. For what she sees, smells, feels, hears and tastes at times is sweet and good, but much too often, it has been bitter, harsh, hard to swallow. Some folks have been sensing this bitterness for many years.
Mother Earth has seen her babies suffer all over. The United Nations Children’s Fund calls 2014 a devastating year for children, reporting that as many as 15 million young people are caught in conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Ukraine.
There are more than 1.7 million child refugees from the conflict in Syria. In the Central African Republic, as many as 10,000 children are believed to have been recruited by armed groups in the past year.
“Children have been killed while studying in the classroom and while sleeping in their beds,” says UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “They have been orphaned, kidnapped, tortured, recruited, raped and even sold as slaves.” (Statistics from UNICEF report).
Mother Earth has been smelling the fires burning in her forests. The continued stench of polluted waters. The never ending reek of animals killed for sport and to be worn by people who do not respect their furs and skins. Typhoons, earthquakes, floods, snowstorms. Global warming is real and it is serious. The continuous takeover of land that belongs to animals that are disappearing at such a rate that they will be extinct before our grandchildren are old enough to truly see them. This makes our Mother Earth cry.
She is feeling the pain of the continuous loss of life at the hands of those that are supposed to protect and serve. Understanding that all lives matters (yes, we acknowledge that white folks and other people of color are being murdered also), but right now, we’re focused on the Black ones, because it is very apparent that our judicial system doesn’t know that Black Lives Matter
When the entire world watches a murder take place on a Staten Island street corner and the system says no indictment, it’s a problem.
I am gratified that Worcester has started these hard conversations. The protests and rallies against the unjust and unprosecuted murders of men of color at the hands of police officers, namely Michael Brown, Eric Garner and now 12 year old Tamir Rice (and there are many others before and since) have been eye openers for the Worcester Community. Our youth are leading the way. I was humbled and honored to be a witness to the Walk-Out on Monday, 12/1 when we met with students from Clark University, Worcester State University, Holy Cross, UMass Medical and Burncoat at The Mosaic Cultural Complex. Holy Cross came down off the hill! Yes!!!
The conversation called for by the young women of color was honey for my soul.
The hard realization that white privilege is not to be taken personally and we are all needed to point out and change the injustices in all of our Systems (judicial, academic, government, etc.). The enthusiasm and willingness to fight for change among all the attendees, young and old, black and white, reminded me that, we as a people, all of us, have the power to bring about change. It has happened before. It may happen slowly, but it is happening.
She hears families crying out because they are hungry. They are in need of affordable, safe housing. They are homeless. They are unemployed and need help. She hears mother’s weeping because her sons are dying in useless wars. She hears young girls saying no, and not being heard. She hears our prayers, she hears our prayers, she hears our prayers … Our prayers, hopes and wishes for Mother Earth…
Deb Powers ~ Compassionate justice and loving fellowship for all. Everything else grows from these.
Mike Yvanauskas ~ Peace n goodwill
Diamond Wallace ~ Awareness…
Deb Galanos ~ Healing of hearts
Tammie Smith ~ I’m praying for equality. Let everyone be themselves and love them for who they are. Peace. Let’s get together and be alright. Laughter. Cause if you cannot laugh you have to be miserable.
Doreen Samuels ~ Peace, Love and Unity to all mankind. Jamaica Motto. Out of Many One People.
Susan Callahan ~ Peace love and a miracle for all those in need of one.
Audrey White ~ Peace on earth and goodwill toward all humankind.
Jason ‘Iwitness’ Rondeau ~ True democracy and justice. Seek Jah first and everything will come after.
Amy Grassette ~ Kindness.
Keesha LaTulippe ~ Understanding.
Etel Capacchione ~ Fellowship
Jesse Leidel ~ diamonds… all the diamonds in the world. So I can hold them before everyone and shout redemption for their blood soaked dullness and then give control of sale back to the people who harvested them from the earth.
Lisa Johnson ~ No fighting stay positive.
Gizel Hampton ~ Wisdom
Benetta Pearson Kuffour ~ Peace and understanding.
Denischa Lee Briddell ~ Sigh I’ve got many. The heartache of losing my beloved Daddy, to continue to be healed. I want to see the heroin addictions being healed.
Benetta Pearson Kuffour ~ Also, a roof over people’s head and food in their belly. So much in this world is happening that is negative, we are missing the good.
James Martin ~ Truth, because they say the truth shall set you free!
Stephanie Grady ~ Self-awareness and personal growth for everyone. When we are self-aware we can be more aware of what we do to ourselves and others. Peace on Earth would be a reality, not just a slogan or song lyric. Blessed Be.
Mother Earth can taste the change that will come. The change that will come when we realize that we belong to each other. The change that will come when we “eventually come to understand that love heals everything and love is all there is.”
Starting with myself, I have realized that we have to love one another. And I strive every day to do just that. Understanding that at times, I may have to love you from a distance. But when I love you as myself, I know and understand that you need the same things I need. Basic human needs.
So, while you are sharing this holiday season with your families and friends, I ask you please to keep Mother Earth in your prayers and meditations.
I am sending you thoughts of love and light as my gift to you all.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very merry holiday season!
Peace and Blessings to you and yours!