Abraham Jam

Last Saturday night, a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian walked into a Masonic Temple

They proceeded to walk up to the stage and they each picked up an instrument. Each, in his turn, began to play music that they had each written.

It was music that opened the heart, touch the soul, and brought half of a full house to tears.

I’d like to introduce to you Abraham Jam:


Abraham Jam: Billy Jonas, Dawud Wharnsby, David LaMotte Photograph and Copyright Amy Halperin 2017 (used by permission)


These three men, each successful musicians in their own right, have embraced the concept that it takes a village to raise children who are aware, compassionate and kind to others.  They all three are living a life full of diversity, as well as fantastic music.  They do perform together in Abraham Jam, but each have solo careers.  Billy Jonas and David LaMotte are also authors.


Each recognizes the power of the others’ religion, and the validity and value of the diverse paths they walk, side by side.  Together, they represent the three peoples of the book, and walk — and sing — the talk of diversity, inclusion and brotherly love.

Diversity is exactly the concept that world leaders want to push to the back of their agendas, now.  The concept of an exclusionary, ethno-centric government is what is being brought to the forefront.  Exclusionary governments teach millions of people not to care about “the other”.

These three talented, loving men teach the opposite:  caring about each other; learning about and from each other is the goal, purpose and higher order of living.


I’d like to share a very short story:

When the bus driver on Rosa Parks’ bus threatened to call the police, and have her arrested, her exact words in response were, “you may do that.”  There is such power in these few words — claiming her own dignity and acknowledging that each of them had choices to make in that moment, and that those choices would have consequences.  That’s true for all of us.

–from the liner notes of David LaMotte’s album “The Other Way Around”


My belief is that we must have eco-diversity for Mother Earth to survive, because all forms of nature need each other.  Even we need the other forms of life.

As human beings, we also need diversity.  We need each other, despite having different ways to love; different ways to worship; different views on education; living in different locales and environments; living in different countries.  Whatever the differences, how seemingly major, however actually slight,  choosing to have different friends, friends who are different from you, is a powerful choice.  You may do that.  And if you do that, the world will become a better place — more peaceful, more harmonious.  More Whole.

My hope is that you will constantly open your ears, your heart and your mind to the concept of diversity, and that you will seek it in your own life, every day.









Biodiversity is a Universal issue

Color upon Color
Photograph & Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

Scientists will tell you that diversity is not limited to humans. There are more invertebrates on this planet than vertebrates. Shocking, yes, to us lay people. Scientists have known this for quite a while. We believe that the pretty and large mammals are the really important ones on the Mother Earth.

Size doesn’t indicate importance. Science has described at least 990,040 species of invertebrates. The estimate of vertebrates is around 42,580 species. Quite a difference. One of the difference is that invertebrates are smaller and have many small niches to settle into.

In truth, if humans were to disappear tomorrow, scientists and conservationists believe the world would go on without much change. Gaia, the totality of life on Earth, would set about healing itself and return to the rich environmental states of 100,000 years ago. But if invertebrates were to disappear, it is unlikely that humans could last more than a few months. Most of the fish, amphibians, birds and mammals would crash to extinction about the same time. Next would go the bulk of the flowering plants and with them the physical structure of the majority of the forests and the terrestrial habitats of the world. The soil would rot. As dead vegetation piled up and dried out, narrowing and closing the channels of the nutrient cycles, other complex forms of vegetation would die off, and with them the last remaining vertebrates.

The remaining fungi would enjoy a population explosion and then would also perish. Within a few decades the world would return to the state of a billion years ago, composed primarily of bacteria, algae and a few very simple multicellular plants.

All of the life here on Mother Earth is interdependent on each other and even though the human ego and want of power adds blinders to our eyes. In reality, we do not own nature, we are the stewards of Gaia and if we do not follow the basic laws that benefit all, life as we know it will end.

No one owns the World. Not governments or countries. Not the East or the West. Not the scientists or the nay sayers. Not the conservationists or the lay people. Gaia belongs to all, to humans, birds, flowers, trees, ants, frogs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. All of these forms of life form our lives as we know them.



A profusion of orchids Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017