Many years ago I gave a talk at a conference themed on “Collective Wisdom –Spiritual Activism” co-organized by AGNT (Association of Global New Thought
) and IONS (Institute of Noetic Science)
. The conference was attended by 3,500 participants spanning from Wednesday to Sunday. Saturday was the climactic day with the theme “Living a Life of a Spiritual Activist.” There were 3 keynote speakers – the opening was by William McDonough – a famous sustainable green architect, I was the middle speaker, and Marianne Williamson–author of 13 books, a recent Democratic Presidential Candidate and personal friend–was the third speaker.
All three of us authentically live life as spiritual activists, but it is my message to share that we are ALL born with a spiritual purpose and were put on our planet to serve the welfare of mother earth and all the sentient beings that populate our beautiful planet. In this current challenge of the Coronavirus what indeed is the collective wisdom of our planet and how best do we discover and act on our spiritual purpose?
There are many positive perspectives that can come out of this global tragedy. My own purpose-driven life transformed in 1995 when my only son Tariq, a handsome, kind, generous promising college student was senselessly murdered in a gang initiation by a 14-year youth. Of course, I was devastated as you would anticipate any parent to be but what saved me was my deeply developed spiritual foundation. I was advised by my spiritual teacher that “the quality of the rest of my life depended on my reaction to Tariq’s death.”
I had to dig deep and discover “that here were victim’s on both ends of the gun” and that the enemy was not the 14-year-old that took Tariq’s life but the societal peer pressure that forces many young men and women to fall through the crack and choose lives of crime, gangs, drugs, alcohol, and weapons. As you know this challenge is pervasive. The question I asked is “how did we create a society where children too young to drive are NOT too young to carry weapons – in the richest nation in the world?”
Life comes down to choices. It is always about one’s perspective and one’s reaction to things that can make a difference. You could take the position that Tony Hicks killed my one and only son and should be hung from the highest pole. But how does that create a better society? Seeing the real enemy, I found my spiritual purpose in the creation of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation
now in its 25th year and successfully keeping youth away from falling prey as Tony did. I forgave Tony and reached out to his grandfather and guardian, Ples Felix, and invited him to join in the work of TKF and 25 years later we are still together equally committed to having our children and youth making better choices. Tony, now 39 recently paroled has joined us in the work of TKF.
So as we ponder the devastating effects of the Coronavirus on our personal lives it is clear to see that we are extremely vulnerable and the virus does not discriminate between age, gender, nationality, race, or religion. No person or country is an island. If the virus exists here it exists everywhere. So where in this challenge can we discover our spiritual purpose and activism?
In my discovery of my purpose-driven life, I have learned that wisdom is so much more important than intellect. I used to think that being smart was all that I needed. But in my deepest crisis, I did not need a fast-working brain, but the wisdom that comes from the heart and the soul. The answer to the question lies within our souls and while it is up to each of us to find our own individual way, one obvious path towards spiritual purpose is in the service of others.
It is clear from the pandemic that our lives are totally dependent on others. All of us can spiritually transform and grow if we find ways to serve others. Never before have we been so obviously linked together through a shared crisis regardless of our social differences. We are all faced with an opportunity to make choices in response to the virus and its effects on the globe. There are many societal ills in our backyard, city, state, nation, and the world – where can you find the opportunity to discover and act on your spiritual purpose? To the right is a quote to further inspire your quest by Albert Schweitzer.
For further inspiration here is the link to my 30-minute presentation at the Collective Wisdom – Spiritual Activism Conference
on how I was able to discover my spiritual purpose and act on it. When you do discover your spiritual purpose and act on it – you will have a perpetual tailwind and the road will rise to meet you. A place where you are excited to get up every morning in the worthy fulfillment of your God-given spiritual purpose. It has for me!
Peace and many blessings.