Lightly child, lightly.

This question is addressed not to Muslims, not to Arabs, but to all the children of Adam and Eve. […] There is no need to “acquire” religious knowledge. There’s only the need to let it go: let go of the egoism, the sexism, the nationalism, the tribalism. Then the inner jewel of our hearts will shine. […] Let us also answer yes. Let us also recover these jewels in our hearts and in our traditions. Here’s the challenge we find ourselves in. All of us have to drink from waters that run deep. And we have to also engage and purify the very fountains that we are drinking from. Let us dedicate ourselves to cleansing these ancient fountains.

Yes, there are real jewels in each of our traditions. And they are all covered in filth and junk that is centuries old. In some ways, the jewels shine today as they have always shone. There is a light that’s too bright to be put out. At the very same time, the filth and shit of racism, tribalism, nationalism, colonialism, classism continues to cover the jewels. There is a jewel inside our own hearts. That jewel, the inner divine knowledge, also shines so bright. It too has to be purified from the filth of egoism, sexism, and greed.

Let us wash these jewels,
you and I.

Let us rinse these jewels,
you and I.

Let us polish these jewels,
you and I.

Let us be in awe of our own inner light,
you and I.

We dive, and keep diving, into these oceans, picking out dirty jewels.

We curate these jewels and think about which jewels, which stories, which teachings, which practices are worth passing on to our children. So many are. Not all of them are.

There will be a polishing that our own children will have to do. We may be too deeply immersed in some of the filth to see it.

Let us be divers after pearls, friends.

Let us cleanse the fountains we drink from.

And then we will be able to sing together:

This little light of mine,
I am gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I am gonna let it shine.

~ Omid Safi, from Our Traditions Are Gems Covered in Centuries of Junk (, June 14, 2017)


  • Photo: gosia janik (Madrid, Spain) with “I co teraz?” via mennyfox55
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”


  1. It is Omid Safi. Now I understand why he started by saying Muslims and Arabs. He’s wonderful.

    Love the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharing this one. Thanks, David. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazingly simple. Amazingly truthful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen.Amen.
    I am humming…this little light…
    I am also in tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful inner jewels 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christie says:

    Within each of us is the ability to Love Unconditionally….Omid Safi words to all people encourages each individual to shine the glowing light of Love,understanding, compassion, forgiveness, paving a way towards hope and unity … gaining & igniting Love… /// Shining a Light Illuminates . exposing that, covered in Dark///: Abolishing Evil is my hope /// I often tell a friend to keep shining bright,..and that his heart ability to Love is boundless…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The song echoes in my head…the powerful encouragement to polish our jewels and scrape away all that dull their shine. So much beauty and love to be found under the muck. Beautiful and yet, so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. always look for the jewels.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Back to the basics. Back to cherishing that which is good and kind, no matter from whence it comes.

    “It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.”
    ― Anatole France

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Indira's Blog and commented:
    What a wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. christinesat says:

    Everybody should read this. Every politician, every priest from every church, every teacher, every parent, everyone who thinks that he or she ownes “The truth”, should read this.

    Liked by 1 person


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