This past weekend, I had the privilege of participating in the annual “9/11 Unity Walk.” As the event s website describes it: “Jolted by horrific acts of 9/11, discouraged by religious intolerance, yet inspired by the movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, religious leaders and lay people alike have embraced their differences in a dramatic display of unity, the Unity Walk. Since 2005, in Washington, DC, and, now, New York City, every church, synagogue, mosque and temple on Embassy Row and near Ground Zero opens their doors to each other, and symbolically, the world. The Unity Walk seeks to build bridges of understanding and respect in a post September 11th world.
The poet Rumi once said: “Out beyond right and wrong there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” It was very exciting to be among a throng of people of all different faiths and beliefs who were able to meet on that field and put aside our differences and walk hand in hand. As we concluded the walk at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, we were reminded by Arun Gandhi of his grandfather’s plea: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
These are good lessons for us in the gun violence prevention movement. Once in a while, we should lay aside our minor differences of approach and come together for our common overall goal-to make this a safer country for all our people.