*Alternate* Second Reading: Excerpt from Valerie Kaur’s See No Stranger — A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love

The first teacher of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, had a vision of the oneness of humanity. “I see no stranger”, he said, “I see no enemy.”  He taught that there is a voice inside of us called haumai, the “I” that names itself separate from You.  It resides in the bowl that holds our individual consciousness. But separateness is an illusion.  When we quiet the chatter in our heads, the boundaries begin to disappear.  The bowl breaks.  For a moment we taste the truth, sweet as nectar — we are part of one another.  Wondering about others helps us to wonder about ourselves. What stereotypes have we absorbed?  Where did they come from?  All of us assume that we are good people.  When we set aside the labels “good” and “bad” we can begin to wonder about our effect on the world.  We can begin to let go of the stories that no longer serve us.  Stories that divide the world into “us” and “them” have the singular power to disconnect us.  Stories that expand the collective “we” have the power to return us to one another.

The words of Valerie Kaur

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