Here is an excerpt from the Introduction to the picture book by Elana Felice Stanger, L.C.S.W. called, My Heart Goes Out to You: The Art of Building Intercultural Unity soon to be available. Please send us an email to be kept up to date.
The diversity designs in this book will hopefully be of some use in stimulating constructive dialogue among individuals and groups and promote the healing of racism in today’s society. As racism and other social oppressions have adversely affected our relationships and impinged on our functioning as one whole and healthy human body, we need to find healing for our world and learn new ways of interacting in our relationships. Hopefully, this special book filled with angels and kings, hearts and stars, and much faith and hope, will inspire us and help us imagine new ways of relating to and with one another. Featuring whimsical artwork and poetry that focuses on the brighter side of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, mental and physical ability, nationality, religion, and other aspects of human diversity, the reader may be guided to imagine a new world, one in which everyone counts, one in which everyone is loved and respected, and in which all differences are honored with dignity, as we see God’s image reflected in every human being.
Social disparity, inequality and injustice have caused us to forget the magnificence of who we truly are and how great we can be as one people: human. We have forgotten our innate connection with every other human on the Planet, and instead wrapped ourselves up in a competition for seemingly scarce resources, pitting ourselves against one another, playing out base impulses of selfishness and greed. First, we might acknowledge the injustices in our world, injustices we have perpetuated, and then grieve together for all we have lost. We might apologize for the disparities and aim to right the wrongs, to fix them together. We might make amends, and ask for forgiveness.
In this book, you will find artwork and writing to inspire you to create a world filled with peace, love and harmony. A world of compassion and kindness. A world that includes everyone and excludes no one. A world of honoring who we are as individuals who are both strong and fragile at once. A world in which we acknowledge that we are one diverse people equally sharing all resources. A world of holiness. A world that nourishes everyone, in which no one is hungry for food or companionship. Where loneliness and isolation are a thing of the past, and everyone’s basic human needs are met. A society that is filled with closeness and connection, where strangers are fast becoming friends. A world where we speak words of lovingkindness and hope to one another, words which soothe our hearts and caress our souls. A world in which we act for justice, for rightness, for wholeness, making all well for all.
Let us live together in peace, harmony and brother-sisterhood. All are welcome and encouraged to read on and be inspired together, to create the community of our fondest hopes and dreams…
Elana F. Stanger