By DENA EAKLES | rural Ontario
As many bow their heads in gratitude for all the good that has been given, perhaps we can add a prayer that our thankfulness may generate seeds of kindness.
As we count our blessings, let us also ask for the courage and strength to become caretakers of the earth and all of her people.
Let us allow our piety to become compassion and ask that our love give way to empathy.
Let us recognize our interconnectedness and put an end to the transgression of separation.
We do this because we can. We can throw off the cloak of our lessor selves, the part that fears the other because we do not know who we are. The self that harbors seeds of hatred — sometimes planted before we were even born. We do not have to be a slave to lesser ideals and beliefs. We can choose to be free of ignorance.
We can choose to know.
We are beings of love. Underneath the facades and the masks we wear, we share the same longings and the same needs. We all need good food, clean water and air. We need to feel safe as we walk through life in our own unique and diverse ways. We need peace.
And so as we bow our heads, let us pray for the innocents throughout the world who are being slaughtered by hatred that is fueled by power and greed. Let us recognize that we as a country have been complicit in creating war machines, funding governments and escalating violence rather than seeking peaceful resolution. Let us ask forgiveness for our ignorance, and, if and when possible, let us take a stand to change course.
Demand a permanent ceasefire now from both sides in Gaza.