Enlighten Me

I Have a Dream Too

As MLK Day approaches, I’m thinking a lot about ‘why’. This could also be due to the fact that I’m having an extended stay with my 5-year-old granddaughter. Anyone who’s ever been around a 4-5-year-old knows what question adults answer most…”Why?”

At any rate, WHY has been on mind this week.

Dr. King’s ‘why’ was famous…he had a dream that he believed in and in order to make that dream come true, he had to get off his ass to walk the talk, and talk the walk. He believed so strongly in a world where everyone was treated with respect and dignity that he gave his life. I don’t really want to say MLK was like a 20th century Jesus, but he sort of was, wasn’t he?

He was spit on, beat up, murdered for his strong beliefs…but what makes him like Jesus is that they held the same beliefs. Contrary to what popular politics tells us, the New Testament’s message to me was that Jesus loves everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. Maybe much of this isn’t stated implicitly, but it’s implied in the way HE approached everyone, healed anyone, and never made any bones about saying that God, His Father, was no respecter of persons, which to me and Bible scholars everywhere except apparently DC, means that God doesn’t care whether you’re black, white,  red, brown, purple or green. He’s gonna love you like nobody loves you come rain or come shine.

Isn’t that what MLK was not fighting about? What he marched for, got arrested for, and ultimately died for? Before 2016, I would’ve said that as a country, we were almost at the terminal…the MLK Dream Train was coming round the bend just about to arrive. But then… .

So as we approach yet another MLK Day, I wonder about my own dreams…deep, inner dreams that have nothing to do with the kind of car I dream of owning (Tesla), or the  income of my fantasies (A LOT), or vacation destinations of my daydreams (Everywhere!). I’m talking deep inner beliefs that drive my behavior, set my boundaries, inform how I talk, walk, treat others. So, let me list a few, but I don’t think you should hold me to only these…I might want to add to my list, even though it’s difficult enough for me some days to stay in alignment with even these!

I BELIEVE:

  1. in a world where everyone has enough to eat, clean water to drink, a warm place to sleep, and someone who worries about them when they don’t come home for a while.
  2. in the equality of ALL human beings regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, political persuasion, ethnicity.
  3. in a God who loves us all unconditionally and wants us to be good disciples and follow His lead.
  4. that war is evil and futile and should be a thing of history.
  5. that there’s nothing more important than family…and that we’re all family!

 

So, between now and this MLK Day, then to next MLK Day I have a lot of work to do to walk my talk…obviously, I need to go back to volunteering at WARM whose mission it is to feed people in Central Ohio. I need to see ALL people through the eyes of God…(this is so difficult for me…think TRUMP!). I need to have peace in my own heart and welcome everyone I meet into my family where they belong. (Which I do not think means they all live with me!)

How about you?

What do you believe and what are you willing to do for it?

My challenge to you is to think about it…it’s the least we can do to honor the man who gave his life for his dream of an America without all the ‘isms’ that keep us separated.

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Elton John

elton-john-style-gallery-2017-billboard-1548It’s a little bit funny…this feeling inside…I’m not one of those who can easily hide…so when I felt overwhelmed by the amount of talent in that one human being, I didn’t even try to hide it!

I screamed, shouted, raised my hands toward heaven, danced, clapped to the music.

I came close to crying when he sang Believe after a brief little monologue about how mean the world has gotten and that the only thing that can heal us is compassion and kindness because, although I’m not always kind or compassionate to others and even less frequently kind and compassionate to myself, I do believe that Elton John is 100% right about what we need to heal our world…love.

In the famous…or infamous…Milgram Experiments in which participants were asked to deliver an electric shock to another person, the researchers discovered 3 groups of participants: 1) those who obeyed and justified their behavior in some way, 2) those who obeyed and blamed someone else for the results, and 3) those who rebelled and refused to deliver the shocks.

The rebels usually said that there were higher ethical, moral and spiritual imperatives that they followed and that contradicted the needs of the experimenter. I’d say, they believed in love too. This is the group I hope I’d be in when it came time to make a choice about hurting someone else, but sadly, I’ve been in the other two groups more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve stood by silently while someone was bullied; I’ve used insults and hurtful humor to express my anger instead of just expressing my feelings in a straightforward manner; I’ve been in a circle of ‘mean girls’ and participated in hurtful behaviors. I’m not proud…just being open and honest.

Listening to Elton’s words, watching his fingers glide across the keyboard flawlessly, letting the music and the lyrics seep into my heart and soul, I was reminded of who I am at my core and how I want to show up in the world.

I want to show up as someone who accepts others just as they are without judgment because none of us can live up to our higher calling when we’re surrounded by judgment.

I want to show up as someone who listens with compassion, holding space for others while they process through difficult times knowing that I know that I know that everyone can find the right answers if they only have space, time and encouragement to find them. Advice only clutters things up.

I want to show up as someone who helps people smile and laugh and enjoy life.

Elton John rehearses for a full week for just one performance, but life isn’t a performance…it’s life! I can only practice showing up by showing up; I can only practice compassion and kindness by learning from my mistakes when I’m less than compassionate and kind.

Unlike EJ, I’ll play sour notes, make mistakes and once in a while sing off tune, (maybe more than once in a while).

Nobody’s perfect. Not even Elton. Though, after this concert, I really can’t prove that!

download

I attended the concert with friends I have known for over 20 years. We all remember when rock was young, so when Sir Elton pounded out Crocodile Rock on his Yamaha piano we danced.

We were Still Standing, better than we ever did…looking like true survivors, feeling like little kids…

Because that’s what love, friendship, compassion, joy can do for you.

They help you stand, dance, run, celebrate life…which we did…

until he disappeared beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

download-1

Thank you, Sir Elton John for providing a soundtrack for my life.

Thank you, Friends for providing the accompaniment to my life with love, acceptance, kindness and compassion.

Thank you, God for providing the substance of my life, the many blessings that bring me joy…

 

my family

friends

and the ability to go to an Elton John concert

Really an amazing experience.

Namaste, Sir Elton John…
May you know peace;
May you know kindness;
May you be well;
May you experience joy every day for the rest of your life in full repayment for the joy you’ve brought to all of your fans.

images