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Trayvon Martin’s life not in vain

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Something good will come from Trayvon Martin’s life. His sad, lonely death will not be in vain.

A spotlight has been shone on an area that surely needs more light.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the Zimmerman trial, it has stimulated and will continue to stimulate – perhaps for a long time — a deeper, more honest look at the plight of young black men in America, and how we really feel about people whose skin is a different color than our own.

I was heart-broken, like many others, as I followed the trial. Who could not help but feel the pain of Trayvon’s parents over their loss, and the pain of everyone caught up in this tragedy, including George Zimmerman’s parents?

But just as America can emerge stronger and more whole as it confronts its deep, unhealed wounds, so we too can become stronger as we answer life’s call to change and grow.

It’s not hard to have our heart broken these days. Surely the need for compassion has never been greater. Whether we look at the larger world around us or at our own lives, turmoil and pain is never far away.

And yet while I felt much grief during the trial, I also realized again, as the trial came to a close, that the truth of myself remains untouched and untroubled by anything that transpires in me or around me.

There is indeed a source of peace and well-being within each of us that is constant, dependable and unchanging.

It has nothing to do with some mysterious, external deity, and it has nothing to do with outer circumstances.

Just as it is possible to look at a beautiful painting and feel its beauty, so it is possible for us to switch the focus of our attention away from the distressing events of our lives – even if just for a moment — and experience the ever-present peace of our own being.

We are not the flawed creatures we sometimes imagine ourselves to be. We all have our quirks and limitations, of course. But our true nature is a masterpiece unblemished by time and uncorrupted by any of the mishaps of our lives.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above or anything else that is on your mind. Love and blessings to you.

Picture credit: AttributionNo Derivative Works  Some rights reserved by csr02083

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal July 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Chris,
This couldn’t have come at a better time. How did you know I was going through physical and emotional distress regarding this travesty of justice, this whole sordid affair? Have you been reading my mail?

After the verdict was handed down on Saturday my immediate reaction was outrage. I thought to myself while my stomach churned that GZ got away with murder. There was just SO much wrong in the way that trial was handled.

I saw a post from a very wise lady that read: Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder. Syreeta McFadden. That said it all for me, except I would add: And be found guilty.

The whole thing is heartbreaking. I don’t have the charity for Zimmerman that you do, but this case has really gotten to me because I’ve followed it closely. When the verdict was read I reacted physically; my stomach was literally roiling. This is not good. I’ve not been able to weep yet. I will feel healthier after I cry; then the healing can begin.

My eyes welled up when I saw a picture of Trayvon’s dad with tears running down his lovely face, but no tears for me. When I do cry it will be for not only Trayvon and the injustice, but for my country which seems to have lost it’s heart. This does not seem to be the country I grew up in which I once so loved. Our government is for sale, laws are bought, lobbied and paid for. Candidates are bought (Citizen’s United ensures us of that). We have turned into a country run by money, corporations, corruption, and greed.

Sorry to sound so negative; it’ll pass, but this case brought things I was already feeling to the surface. Truth be known, George Zimmerman will never be free from his crime. He will pay for the rest of his life whether in jail or out. It will travel with him like 100-pound weights at his ankles and he will always be looking over his shoulder. So, he isn’t truly free.

Thank you for reminding me to slow down and get centered. I have a new grandson in the house. His name is Izhak (pronounced Issac) Wesley Sinden. He is five days old and a true miracle. He is so perfect in every single way…I don’t need to have my personal life in shambles because I disagree with a verdict. But my heart is with Trayvon and his family too. I don’t care what happens to the Zimmermans. Sounds mean, but I’m angry. Hope it passes soon. I don’t like myself this way.

Best,
Sal

Reply

Christopher Foster July 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Dear Sal,

Thank you for sharing deeply and honestly from your heart. So many layers to this sad, sad story. I wonder a bit if underneath all of the differing views and opinions and emotions the simple truth is that we have not yet healed this gulf between the races in America. We have made progress, for sure. But it seems to me it is a wound that goes back a long way and it is going to take a lot more courage, wisdom, humility, and almost visceral honesty to truly heal it.

On the other hand, perhaps all we really need to do is change our attitude and see each other in a new light….

I’m so happy to hear about your new grandson. Yes. You and I are both heart people, I think. It’s okay to feel what is going on in our country or in our world or in ourselves. I think it’s called compassion. But we also need to set safe limits for our heart, otherwise we can’t really help anyone.

So please do enjoy your grandson and all the simple tasks and moments of your day and hey, I’ll do the same. A bit of solidarity here. Love and blessings to you Sal.

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Marisa July 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

As I took my usual long walk today I pondered the lives of all involved in this tragedy. I always greet all I meet on my walks….and treasure each new experience on each walk. Today I walked among beautiful pinecones, met 2 puppies, met 2 neighbors I was thrilled to meet…found a quiet corner to just “be”….and asked the Universe to embrace all of the parties involved with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

If we could all reach out through collective energy to the parents, the victims, and each other, perhaps we can really begin to heal our society,our spirits, and our souls.

I lost a child to violence and it is a long, lonely road back to self. May we always hold hands as we walk through this tragedy together…..
Marisa““““““`

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Christopher Foster July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Thank you for these beautiful words Marisa. Healing at work. Reading your comment, I thought that this is the only way healing can come in our worlds or in ourselves. It begins always in oneself. In the sanctity of our own mind and heart.

I was with you on your walk and I’m with you now in that quiet place abiding in us all where as you say, it is enough just to be. Yes, may we hold hands and walk through this tragedy together.

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David Banner July 16, 2013 at 6:31 am

Chris….I am reminded of Uranda’s word in SEVEN STEPS TO THE TEMPLE OF LIGHT:
something like let not the events of the external world, which are illusory, trouble you at all……….

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Christopher Foster July 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thank you David. I appreciate your comment.

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Simone Richards July 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Christopher,
Thank you so much for reminding me that there are some positives in this whole tragedy. Hopefully one day our America will truly understand the blessings that goes along with being different and embrace it.

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Christopher Foster July 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

Thank you for your comment Simone. I much appreciate your positive input and I certainly join you in your sentiment.

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Elizabeth Nunn July 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I’ve taken some time to think about my comment as I was born and reared in East Texas in the 40s and 50s and know the depth of the roots of this situation. You do not want to know what I know. In the late 60s I made a commitment to work with the black community and have kept it ever since. Early on I experienced the anguish of seeing the terrible effects of prejudice and the deep frustration of not knowing what to do. Civil rights became a way to work with how I felt and I took every opportunity to do so. Great strides were made in the Movement and ever since. Time passed and political correctness became a supportive perspective.
But I am a Southerner and I could see, in areas of the country, hateful resentment repressed in the dark caverns of human subconscious. And now, the fires of change have forced humans to face what lies beneath. Life is demanding it be hidden no more. Some of it will be like this trial. Some will be volcanic. Life is having it’s way.

I think this trial and the supersaturation of opinion by the media are significant in that they are holding the mirror of denial up to humanity. Each participant in the trial is representative of aspects of attitudes in America. We are being forced to look at the open wound called racism. With the Supreme Court’s decision to eviscerate the Voting Rights Act there will be more than we will want to see. But it is all part of the clearing, the cleansing, the healing.
I am grateful to be a Southerner and to know who I am. I am grateful to be able to see what is happening through the lens of my experience but from a much higher perspective. I am grateful to be a part of the healing of humanity.

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Christopher Foster July 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

Elizabeth, thank you for your strong, positive words born of personal experience. I agree with you absolutely. All things are coming to the surface. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. The fires of change are working, just as you say. Surely change is at work everywhere, in every nation, in every individual life, and there is nothing that anyone can do that will stop it.

It can be very hard, agonizing at times, no doubt about it. But healing must come, and I truly believe is coming in each ongoing moment regardless of appearances. Thank you again for your moving, evocative words.

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Nancy Leefe July 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Thanks, Chris for your perspective. I resonate very much so with it! There is so much “injustice” in the world, it would crush me if I let it… Then of what purpose would I be?…

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Christopher Foster July 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

Nancy, I’m so sorry for the delay in responding to your touching and most welcome comment. Things got away on me a bit. You are absolutely right. There has to be a way to feel the injustice that is present, in our own lives or anywhere else, and yet not be crushed by it, just as you say. For me, what works, as soon as I feel that sense of injsutice stirring, is to be still and focus for a moment on the peacefulness that is always present with us wherever we are. Blessings to you Nancy.

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Thanks for your comment and good luck.

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Thanks for your comment. Good luck and be well.

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