In his book, More Together Than Alone, Mark Nepo writes, “We’re always capable of both: of destroying the world out of vengeance and creating a new world out of loss.” He goes on to tell the story of the Medici Circle. It goes something like this…
Lorenzo and Guiliano de Medici were brothers from a rich banking family in Florence at the beginning of the Renaissance. A rival group of bankers, supported by the pope at that time, walked into a cathedral at high mass and brutally murdered Guiliano in front of 10,000 people. Lorenzo was gravely wounded, but escaped.
After this horrific loss of family, Lorenzo reflected on his life and what he wanted to do with his wealth. Well, there were many artists in Florence, as the Renaissance was beginning to bloom. There were also many who did not support the arts and a new way of thinking. Lorenzo de Medici decided to put his energy there, giving his support to what he hoped would be building a better world.
In 1488 the Medici Circle was created, becoming the first art school in Europe, a place of innovation and dialogues. Artists were invited to come and learn, work and live. The great artists: Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo were only a few that were born because of the Medici’s Circle, leading Europe out of the middle ages. In fact, more than likely these great artists would never have thrived had it not been for Medici.
What a beautiful story of turning a tragedy into good work and healing the world. We can see similar stories in our world like “MADD” Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and “The Sandy Hook Promise,” those parents who lost their children at the Sandy Hook Massacre.
It is possible to turn tragedy to love. It takes tremendous strength of Spirit to not give into hatred and vengeance. In fact, what could be better vengeance than giving a great amount of love to burn out hatred. This is what is meant by “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
History still repeats itself, and we find ourselves at a similar turning point to Lorenzo de Medici’s. What can we do in the way of renovation to assist now? I think that is what we should all be asking ourselves. We can do what Lorenzo did and reflect on our individual losses and fears and see what we can do, and where we can put our energy and talents. There must be many ways we can bring more love into the world. Who can we reach out to? What can we do with what we have as individuals? Can we create a Medici Circle of our own?
I am fortunate to see many of my colleagues in ministry doing just this. I am also noticing many artists who are creating projects to benefit the larger world. There is a lot of good happening. Let’s focus on that and make it grow by assisting.
Spirit leads the way when we tune in. I know that as we are in the middle of this great turning point in our world, and that we will swing the pendulum back to love with such a force that any opposite force will not be able to withstand it. This will be our vengeance. Let’s get creative. Let’s open up to the new renaissance that is being born. There is much hope for transformation if we get busy. We cannot fail.
Love and Aloha,