Website Welcome Post

Welcome to Concerts 4 Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, its dramatic recovery needs quickly became apparent. We are hoping that our modest efforts, like that of the Brave Little Parrot in the Jataka Tale of that name, will inspire others to host their own fundraising concerts, and build a groundswell of support for our Florida neighbor, as well as embody what Martin Luther King, Jr. described as the “beloved community.”

Concerts 4 Puerto Rico’s inaugural concert at Jacksonville University’s Terry Concert Hall, took place on Sunday, November 26, 2017, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. It was streamed live on Facebook, within 24 hours had been viewed 275 times, and now over 425 times! You may access that recording here     Also, a high quality audio with video has been posted in three parts on YouTube, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3       Flautist Nestor Torres welcome message can be heard in Part 3,  starting around the 6 minute mark!

You can continue to make a donation to benefit recovery for Puerto Rico online via this link to the Cora Lee Cuff Fund, which is serving as donation adminstrator, via the League of Florida Orchestras, for the Jacksonville Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. . After clicking the Donate Now tab, please scroll down past the “giving search” area, and indicate Puerto Rico Recovery in the comment area of the Fund contribution webpage

Also, feel free to leave a comment here.

[The cover photo is of the endangered Puerto Rican Amazon Parrot, found on Wikipedia ]

The “beloved community”

I heard of this concept some years ago, but it wasn’t until I read the book, “America Will Be!”, a dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Vincent Harding, that I had a truer grasp of its meaning.

In the book, Ikeda states: …”Dr King’s thoughtful, impassioned gaze was focused on a more distant horizon for the future of human society: the establishment, as Professor Harding repeatedly refers to it in this dialogue, of the ‘beloved community.” Dr. King’s ultimate goal, I believe, was to build beautiful, loving ties joining all the peoples of the world into a global family, transcending all differences, including race, religion, language and gender, while respecting our rich diversity.” (introduction)

And Harding comments: “One of [King’s] major goals was not simply to establish legal rights for black people but to go beyond to create what he termed “the beloved community,” in which all people could rediscover a sense of our fundamental connectedness as human beings. What King and other spiritually grounded leaders were trying to teach was that our ultimate goal was to create a new America — an America where blacks and whites, as well as people of all colors, could come together to find common ground for the common good. (p. 54)…

“The direction that King began to move in was based on a combination of the beliefs of Gandhi and Jesus Christ.  It clarified the goal of the struggle, even in the midst of injustice and oppression. THat is to say, the goal of the struggle is not simply to eliminate injustice and oppression but to create a new reality.  This is the intent of the principle of nonviolence and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  …King eventually began to speak of these ideas in terms of how we create the ‘beloved community.’ By this, he meant that the ultimate goal of the nonviolent warrior is to create a situation in which enemies can become brothers and sisters, and new relationships are established.” (p. 88)