Last week I wrote about the remarkable and uplifting story of Gander and the Come From Away musical. If you haven't yet read it, please do. I have also updated it with a few more additions for those who did.

Last Friday this show went global with its Apple+ TV digital premiere so others can be reminded how people once came together in a time of need. A shining example of humanity and compassion. 

It speaks so much for our time, not just 9/11. 9/12 was a time when people collectively mourned, comforted and showed solidarity. But in the twenty years since, we now have so much discord in the face of another calamity, the pandemic. Much of this intolerance, hatred, disunity and misinformation everywhere is now amplified by social media - which didn't exist back in 2001.

The differences between then and now are stark.  For example, in Gander, the local radio station appealed for more donations of toilet paper for the "plane people" - the nearly 7000 unexpected passengers stuck there in the aftermath of 9/11.  A scant 30 minutes later, another announcement came : "For the love of God, stop bringing toilet paper to the Lions' Club!" They had run out of room to store them all.  Contrast that to the widespread hoarding of toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic.

Today, "the cult of me" is pervasive and is hampering a quicker end to pandemic restrictions at least in rich countries with enough vaccines for all.  Experts calculate 90% of the population will have to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity with the highly contagious Delta variant.  

It is devastating to see vaccine education learned the hard way - through personal tragedy. And the protests against the very people who are already exhausted trying to save lives or those sick enough who need to get to hospitals, is beyond comprehension. 

I am sharing here one of the scenes from Come From Away.  You don't have to be religious at all to be moved by the Prayer (audio only), a powerful scene which speaks for our time too. It begins with Hannah, who doesn't yet know the fate of her NY firefighter son.

If such disparate prayers can be put together in such a beautifully harmonious way, it shows what can be possible, as a society, a nation and a world - to come together despite our differences. This is why this musical needs to be seen by as many people as possible.

Peace Prayer of St Francis of Assissi in Full( First part sung by the actor playing Kevin T)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek 
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

Translations from the Youtube comments :

Jewish Prayer 

May the One who makes peace in high places make peace upon us, and on all Israel, and on all who inhabit the earth. And let us say, amen.

Muslim Prayer 

God is great. (said while bending) 
Glory to the most magnificent Lord. (said while bent) 
God is great. (said while prostrating) 
Glory to the highest Lord. (said in prostration) 
God is great. (said while rising from prostration) 
Praise be to God. (said while kneeling) 

Also, for context: Fagir = dawn prayer (before sunrise); Dhuhr = midday prayer

Hindu Prayer 

Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in (the Phenomenal World of) Unreality
But make me go towards the Reality (of Eternal Self)
Keep me not in (the Ignorant State of) Darkness
But make me go towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge)
Keep me not in (the World of) Mortality
but make me go towards the World of Immortality (of Self-Realization),
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

Before You Go : 


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM