This Time It’s Different

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Joseph Chan

By Jo Mooy

Great change happens while in the throes of conflict, not when things are nice and easy.

My heart weeps at the images of suffering and sadness all over the United States. Two hundred and forty-four years ago Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, said that the ideals and values in it were truths that could not be revoked. Those truths proclaimed that “all men” have “inalienable” (or irrevocable) rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That “all men” are created equal. And that individuals have a civic duty to defend those rights for themselves and for others.

Less well known is the fact it declared: “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” (Are we witnessing the formative stages of that new government?) Eleven years later Jefferson wrote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Much blood has been shed fighting for and against those truths. The images of marches and looting, triggered by the horrific acts of a few police officers sworn to uphold the law and to serve and protect, destroyed the “new normal” calm state we held during the coronavirus lockdown. The virus, which was on the front page of the newscycle for three months, quickly moved to page four as citizens took to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd.  

Then something else happened. As the days went by, different images came out. Despite torrential rain, and hot and humid weather, black and white marchers came out together for equality, for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and to defend those rights for themselves and others. The rest of the world saw the images and felt the momentum. They, too, broke quarantines to march in their own cities for the same human values.

In my experience, great change happens while in the throes of conflict, not when things are nice and easy. Nothing happens when you’re reading a book. But when anger is pushed to the boiling point, when frustration with the status quo rips the seams apart, then seeds are propelled outward. Those seeds birth a new way of living and working and being. At its core is a sea-change in consciousness that says what was okay before is no longer okay. And, like all births, it’s a messy thing.

The birth of this new consciousness is coming quickly. It’s not in one city but in many. It’s not restricted to one country but to all countries. It’s birthing one of blended relationships. In five days, protests which were previously marked by looting and fires, gave way to mostly peaceful demonstrations of black, brown and white sitting on the ground together to declare a government by all people, for all people, and of all people.

My heart is still weeping for the images of suffering and anger and hatred. But I’m also hopeful because this time it feels different. It’s different because it’s forcing a deep look into the recesses where secrets hide. It’s different because sitting out is not an option. It’s different because we all share responsibility and accountability for what’s in our hearts. It’s different because this birth can’t be stopped.

I had to pull back from the individual trees to see the forest. From the treetops, eyes confirm the ravages of inequality. From the treetops, emotions are entwined over years of injustice. From the treetops, hands are joining to protect one another. From the treetops, torn apart hearts are coming together. From the treetops, black, white, brown and yellow are declaring they are one people.

A nighttime gathering in Washington DC proved those points. Singer Kenny Sway was on the podium during this massive march. He asked the protesters to turn on their cell phone lights. Thousands of lights filled the streets. He didn’t sing the old standard anthems—We Shall Overcome, or Amazing Grace. This time it was different. He sang a new anthem. It was, Bill Withers’ song Lean on Me. It’s a song of togetherness that’s being played at all the marches. Sway began, “Some times in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow.” Spontaneously, thousands of voices joined together in unity, in pureness, as one people, as one race, in one breathtaking moment.

That song, and that moment, viewed from the treetops, made me realize This Time It is Different. I sensed it was eventually going to be ok. This birth will take time, and the baby being born will have to be nurtured and lovingly tended until it grows up. But we’re all going to be ok. This time, all of us are waking up and saying “enough division—we can do better.” That is the truth of who we really are. We’re all summoned to be at this reckoning together. Because this time it’s different.

Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to or email

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