What is Beloved Community?
Beloved Community is an ancient story already alive in our hearts and bones when we are born. It is passed down to us through our ancestors. It is not a story we “make up” but a story we “re-member.” It is the story of our brilliance, our beauty, our power, our giftedness. Ours and each others. Ours and other earth creatures. Ours and the elements. This brilliance, this beauty, this power, this giftedness is alive in everything.
Beloved Community is honored and lived into when:
- we participate with each other through experiences of loss, longing, pain, joy and wonder;
- we share the truth about our lives and know that our truth is heard and understood;
- we receive each person as a gift from Spirit and make a place for them;
- we give expression to our feelings and gratefully receive others’ expression of theirs;
- we assume wholeness even in the midst of brokenness;
- we carefully work through knots of confusion and disagreement in order to learn what we can never know alone;
- we make covenant together and live that covenant faithfully and joyfully.
Beloved Community is not some future we may never see.
It is already here. Now.
Beloved Community is what happens when we engage our love and our power in a dynamic dance. Navigating the tension between our power and our love is the lifework and the soulwork that every individual, every group, every culture, and every generation must choose in order to live lives of connection, creativity, joyfulness, vitality and deep engagement with Life. When we are engaged in this work, we experience Beloved Community.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it Beloved Community. Others call it by other names:
- for Charles Eisenstein, it is The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible;
- for Joanna Macy, The Great Turning;
- it is Thandeka’s Love Beyond Belief;
- Thich Nhat Hanh calls it Interbeing; and
- Jesus of Nazareth called it the Kingdom of Heaven.
We experience Beloved Community whenever and wherever individuals, groups and institutions choose connection, individuality, creativity and mindfulness over separation, individualism, destruction and denial. Beloved Community rests in the awareness that – all evidence to the contrary – we belong to one another.