But For The Grace of God . . .

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent,
a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.”

—President Abraham Lincoln, opening words to the Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

IT IS TRUE THAT WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL UNDER GOD, but we arrive here on the Earth plane at different points in our spiritual growth. But if these differences are regarded from a material viewpoint, and if we don’t recognize the differences among us as being spiritual differences, we can be tempted to interpret them as some people being “more than” others — more worthy, more talented, more intelligent, more entitled, more valuable, just plain “better” — while others are “less than.” This is a big mistake.
     The truth is, there is no level playing field that we all start our lives from. We are, each one of us, born at different levels of the spiritual evolution of our soul. But we are all in this together and we need to help each other. Humanity is a multi-celled organism and it’s not only a spiritual value but essential for the organism as a whole to be healthy and fully-functional. As we have found out, our society suffers when some of us don’t have enough to eat, or are forced to earn a living in substandard conditions, or have limited access to education and health care, and no hope of upward mobility. It’s conditions like these that create a hotbed of rebellion against the injustices of the system — when the guillotines are rolled out into the streets, metaphorically or not.
     We have learned — but need to keep on remembering — that people in our society need not just political freedom, but also a living wage, safe and humane working conditions, free and effective education, and hope for the future, for themselves and for their children.
     It is because there’s no level playing field — because not everyone is able to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps — that we need to make sure that the more able and the more gifted — and the greedy — do not have the opportunity to take advantage of those who have a different path to take this time around. In the past, there was more of a cultural moral compass, often cited as the Golden Rule —“Do as you would be done by”— but today, it seems to be “every man for himself,” and those who stop to question the system are seen as bleeding-heart liberals gone soft. But spiritual values are still spiritual values, even if they might not be fashionable right now. For every person who seems to have less than others — talents, skills, health, wealth, mental agility — we need to remind ourselves that “there but for the Grace of God go I.” If we are luckier than most, then it’s our moral and spiritual obligation to look out for others who are not.


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