This is the transcript of the speech I gave in La Place, LA. (here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/7WnHE9odz38)
Enjoy and happy new year!
You can focus on the darkness of the sky or you can see the stars.
2016 has been a difficult year for many. We’ve had the most tumultuous election ever. And no matter what side of it you were on you can’t deny the chaos and fear that it raised in many. We saw natural disasters, fires ravaged my area in California, the floods in Louisiana, which is what we gathered to support right now. There were several attacks around the world, close to home in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and with our allies and friends in France, Brussels and Turkey. We could say that there was much darkness this year.
And with the backdrop of that darkness, we’ve gathered here in this place, at this time to celebrate the light. Christmas and the other holidays associated with this time, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice. All of these holidays are about light. I mean the Wise Men even followed the light of the brightest star to find Jesus the Christ. Winter Solstice is that time where the wheel of the year turns and we leave the darkness to welcome back the light of the sun. Sun God, Son of God.
The days get longer and that mystery of night shortens. And in welcoming back that light we can leave the fear and the worry, the hate and the prejudice. Every day the power of that light grows, not just in us, but around us and through us. We all have a powerful light inside us. In lighting our own light we illuminate those around us. The light mingles and grows. It shines on those who feel like they don’t have their own torch. Perhaps it’s just a spark from a match that quickly peters out, but if we join our light with the light of those around us, we get a spotlight that illumines the entire sky.
Darkness cannot exist in the light. Sadness, fear, hatred, anger, cannot exist in the light. That’s what this time of year is about and as I walk through this world I picture dropping sparkles of light that those people around me may feel it when they need it. Maybe it’s a smile, a hug, holding the door for someone, raising money or donating your time. Sometimes we doubt our light, we have a rough time, challenges. We’ve all been there. We can all stand in solidarity to acknowledge that sometimes we are just spent. That’s when we can rely on the light from those around us. There is enough for all.
And that’s what this time of year is for. Gathering in your community, your church or temple, with your family and friends to share yourself and your light. Each and everyone one of you. Look around, see the light in those people, because by acknowledging it in others, it grows, just like the Grinch’s heart. Feel it, let it out. Let your light shine, combine it with others, share your light and glow.
And as I list a few quotes, think about expanding the reach of your inner light, your Godness, your Christ consciousness and your love.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. MLK jr.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. Plato
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. Yogi Bhajan
Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light. Rimpoche
It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. Eleanor Roosevelt
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha
And finally: In him was life and that life was the light of men. I am the light of the world. I have come in to the world as a light, so that no on should remain in darkness. Bible