The Gospel According to Shug
by Alice Walker
HELPED are those who are enemies of their own racism; they shall live in harmony with the citizens of this world, and not with those of their ancestors, which has passed away, and which they shall never see again.
HELPED are those born from love: conceived in their father’s tenderness and their mother’s orgasm, for they shall be those – numbers of whom will be called “illegitimate” whose spirits shall know no boundaries, even between heaven and earth, and whose eyes shall reveal the spark of the love that was their own creation. They shall know joy equal to their suffering and they will lead multitudes into dancing and Peace.
HELPED are those too busy living to respond when they are wrongfully attacked: on their walks they shall find mysteries so intriguing as to distract them from every blow.
HELPED are those who find something in Creation to admire each and every hour. Their days will overflow with beauty and the darkest dungeon will offer gifts.
HELPED are those who receive only to give; always in their house will be the circular energy of generosity; and in their hearts a beginning of new age on Earth: when no keys will be needed to unlock the heart and no locks will be needed on the doors.
HELPED are those who love the stranger; in this they reflect the heart of the Creator and that of the Mother.
HELPED are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.
HELPED are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city, or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity.
HELPED are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be full as it is long.
HELPED are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision.
HELPED are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception, and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.
HELPED are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may no die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with trees.
HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the life of an animal or a child.
HELPED are those who risk themselves for others’ sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the world in which no one’s gift is despised or lost.
HELPED are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will be that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or war.
HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world.
HELPED are those who forgive; their reward shall be forgetfulness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth.
HELPED are those who are shown the existence of the Creator’s magic in the Universe, they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing.
HELPED are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous.
HELPED are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.
HELPED are those who love the lesbian, the gay, and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon, and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.
HELPED are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any of themselves shall be despised.
HELPED are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion.
HELPED are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another – plant, animal, river, or other human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid.
HELPED are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass.
HELPED are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differentness.
HELPED are those who know.