Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Daddy on the Edge of The Grace of God

"There but for the grace of God go I."

I'm sure you've heard that saying.  It's paraphrased from John Bradford, an English reformer and martyr from the 1500's.  It's said that when he would see "evil doers" being taken to the place of execution, he knew that could well be him some day.  Eventually, he was right.  Today, it's something we tell ourselves when we see someone else's bad situation and realize how easily it could become our own.  It's a reminder that, no matter the station or circumstance in life, we are all alike.

We are all, deep down inside, the same.  We want what's ours.  We want to be treated fairly.  We want to be happy.  We want to protect our loved ones, and gain justice for those loved ones who have been wronged.  We want to be understood, to be loved, to be rewarded for our good deeds and not punished too harshly for our bad deeds.

Deep down inside, I want what you want.  You want what I want.

We are all the same.

When a private citizen dies, that is a tragedy.  I frankly do not care if he was selling loosies, or was belligerent or had a criminal record - when a private citizen dies, that is a tragedy.

When an officer of the law dies, that is a tragedy.  I don't care what any other person in uniform did or did not do in some other place and in some other time - when an officer of the law dies, that is a tragedy.

When any one of us dies, any human being on this planet, that is a tragedy.

We are all the same.

We used to at least attempt to walk a mile in another's shoes.  We used to at least attempt to not throw rocks if we ourselves lived in glass houses.  We used to at least attempt to not cast stones, as none of us were without sin.

But we forgot.

We got blinded by differences, and lost sight of our similarities.  We got overwhelmed by competition, and looked at each other as opponents to be beaten, rather than teammates that could share success.  We immersed ourselves in conflict, and starved ourselves of comradery.

We got real good at Hate, 
and all but cast Love aside.

Blame whatever you want; in the end, it doesn't matter.  Blame is just another false flag - another senseless diversion that upsets and divides people, but in the end accomplishes nothing.  If you got an STD, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you got it from - what matters is the healing.

And healing begins with realizing 
that we are all the same.

Have you ever wanted a superpower?  I did - I wanted to fly, but today I thought of a new one - a much better power;

I wish I had the power to make people see the face of a loved one 
or themselves on any person they tried to harm.

We've gone down such a road of desensitizing - of seeing anyone who doesn't share our beliefs as someone less than tolerable, as someone to be marginalized to satisfy some mis-perceived "greater good" - maybe seeing our children's faces on those people that we seek to harm could give us pause.  Maybe seeing our mother's faces on those who are suffering would cause us to not turn a blind eye.  Maybe looking deep into our own eyes, and our own hearts, would cause us to realize that we are all the same.  Then maybe we could stop trying so God damned hard to hurt every "other" person around us, and instead try to help, and to heal...and to love.

I tried something today, and I'm going to ask that you try it as well.  It's not going to feel easy - it may  initially feel uncomfortable, but it gets easier and more comfortable the more that you do it; after a while, it can even feel like fun.  So, here's what I did, and I hope you'll try it too -

Today I decided that I would find something 
I liked or loved about every single person I saw.

It could be anything - the way they walk, the shape of their eyeglasses, their hairstyle or their cool jeans; their fashionable scarf or the sparkle in their eyes or the sound of their laughter or a million other random things that make up the people that walk into and out of your life every day.  The only rules are that you must find something good, you can't "skip" anyone, and if you see something that you don't like, you must dismiss it immediately and instead only focus on what you like.

I decided to try this as I was arriving at the mall.  Two days before Christmas.  Trial by fire is what I was expecting.  Well, I have to tell you, I have never smiled as much on a shopping trip as I did today.  There's something that happens, when you seek out and appreciate the positives in the people around you - it shows in your face.  I'm not sure what "it" is - that you appreciate them?  That you enjoy their presence in your life in that moment?  That you make them feel good?  I can't tell you, but whatever it is, I felt it - and the more I did it, the more I felt it - an extra energy, a physiological shift - a connection..  As people, we're generally accustomed to being ignored, or treated coldly and all too often we do the same.  We disconnect.  We self center.  This exercise brought me out of myself and allowed me to reconnect, however briefly,  with those miraculous, beautiful creations with whom I have so much in common.

And if you don't believe Daddy, then listen to Dalai -

We all have the potential. And it's easier than we think.

All My Love, 


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