If Walls Could Speak

By Senan

In this age of constant media exposure, it is easy to feel like the world has never been worse.  It is easy to get caught up in the negativity.  It is easy to see violence and hate and believe there is little left to be hopeful about.

At times when the future seems bleak, it helps to remember that we are not the first to face such trying times.  Generations before us have endured famine, poverty, religious strife and persecution, social and economic struggle, and countless wars.  Men and women, like you and I, were able to find hope in a hopeless place.  

 As Jedi, we recognize the importance of wisdom.  It is our third Tenet.  The wisdom of those who have walked the path before us is sometimes lost or forgotten, but not always.  Sometimes it is recorded on paper, on tape, on video, or hard drive.  Sometimes it is written on walls.

At the Lincoln Memorial you’ll find words from the Gettysburg Address delivered November 19th, 1863 by Abraham Lincoln to dedicate the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania just four months after the famously brutal Civil War battle that claimed nearly 50,000 casualties in just 3 days.

 “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”

I am also reminded of a quote from Admiral Chester W. Nimitz found on the wall of the National WWII Memorial in Washington DC.

 “They fought together as brothers-in-arms.  They died together and now they sleep side by side.  We have a solemn obligation.”

The wisdom of Mohandas Gandhi on a memorial wall in San Francisco…

 “Non-Violence is the greatest force at the disposal of Mankind.  It is the supreme law.  By it alone can mankind be saved.”

The words of Anne Frank inscribed in stone at the Idaho Human Rights Memorial…

 “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are truly good at heart.”

And at that same memorial the words of President Jimmy Carter…

 "We become not a melting pot, but a beautiful mosaic.  Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams."

From the wall of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial…

 “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

The words of George Santayana etched into the base of the Holocaust Memorial in Baltimore, Maryland…

 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

On a wall of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial are these words from F.D.R. himself…

 “We have faith that future generations will know that here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.”

A quote from John F. Kennedy in stone at Arlington National Cemetery…

  “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.  My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

And on the wall of the Iowa Holocaust Memorial we find the words of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel…

 “One person of integrity can make a difference.”

I’ve mentioned a few I’m familiar with, but many other walls, statues and plaques like these exist throughout the world.  They exist not only to honor the dead.  They are not simply slabs of granite or bronze plaques or pedestals.  These walls, they speak to us.  They speak not only of past heroes and horrors to be remembered, but also of future mistakes to be avoided. 

These walls speak to us as Jedi, instruments of peace.  They speak of ignorance, yet knowledge.  They remind us that in darkness, we can bring light; that where there is despair, we can bring hope.  These walls stand witness to our action, or inaction.    

There is wisdom on these walls.  They speak to us.  It is up to us as Jedi to listen…

The Force is with us, friends.

 

Comments (10)

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Thank you Senan

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What a fantastically timely sermon, thank you brother. The walls are crying out to us to listen. I hope some of us will.

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:-) :-)

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An excellent reminder towards the human condition at it's best, thank you!

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Thank you, that'll be one to come back to when I feel I'm being dragged down by the negativity that often surrounds us.

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The walls speak to us, but also stand witness to whether we listen. Beautiful. :)<br /><br />Thank you for this, brother.

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All I can say is, Wow.

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Thank you.

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I'm glad we have...I have you in this Temple! Thank you for this! Keep your light shining! I can feel it... here where I am too!

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Thank you!

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