As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar! Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke
My friends in the USA, there is so much ugliness being shoved in our faces on a national level at the moment… the ugliness of injustice, murders, racism, etc. (not to mention the social polarity brought on by the current election cycle). Unfortunately, that ugliness is real. It seems overwhelming. Still, it MUST, in its varied forms, be addressed and hopefully corrected, systemically from the top down and from the ground up.
BUT, there is still so much beautiful going on around us. You won’t much see it on the news, you won’t much hear about it on the radio. In this present America, you have to tune your attention to it as an act of will. Just walking around in Indianapolis with my kids yesterday, I saw the beautiful at work in my fellow humans, ordinary humans, on the streets, and we were able to be a part of it. It wasn’t in everyone, but it was in most people. My kids and I also got to be part of an amazing moment between several of us. It wasn’t a planned “event.” Just humans being humans to one another. Friends were made of strangers, and those strangers were not even the same color. Personal stories, help, and hopes were exchanged. No hashtags or clickbait articles were necessary to make it happen. Only beating human hearts and willing minds. It gave me some real hope for humanity in the day to day, at ground level.
That said, this is my admonition, first to myself and then to my friends. Hell, even as I secular person I don’t mind calling it a “prayer”… a prayer that WE will have to answer ourselves: Please don’t let the ugliness that dwells in some places and in some people around you turn YOU ugly in spirit. Yes, stand for the right and against the wrong. Speak and act (peacefully) against it. Yet, never forget that there is more light shining through we who are good than darkness manifesting through those who are bad. Don’t let the darkness of “them” dim the light of “us.” The “us” who are found among all colors, creeds, and countries. If ever we needed to be, we need to be countrymen, fellow citizens, friends, and most of all, lovers of one another in this present day. In the words of my mom to me as a young boy, “Be careful that you do not become what you hate in this world.” One of the hardest things in this life is to have your heart broken, but not let it then turn into fractured stone.
There are some in this country who have the desire to fracture us all like broken glass along the contrived lines of their own selfish agendas. They hope to set us against one another via racial, political, gender, and ideological lines. That makes us weak and them strong. But, we must be countrymen and we must care for one another. We must care about our real flesh and blood fellow citizens above our own subjective ideologies. Please, tune your ears to the frequency of the common humans around you. Their hearts are beating a beautiful song. Let your own heart sing along. -Luke
Thank you for reading and sharing! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar! Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke
Check this one out, peeps! It’s worth your four minutes. I don’t have much to add to Hank’s presentation on this one 🙂
Have a great week! -Luke
My friends, be human. And tell those who mean something to you that they do. -Luke
Not much to say. This is just a very good admonition from Hank Green.
Have a great week! -Luke
I often do some writing and editing at several local coffee shops. There is something about the energy I get from being around other people, mostly strangers, that draws words out of me.
Most of my visits to those diner-style coffee shops are uneventful. Some, more eventful. Others, very profound. (Even if only in a subtle way)
Two days ago, I stopped by my favorite local haunt to spend an hour editing the final draft of my new book, read a bit, and get a few cups of java down in me. The place was nearly empty when I arrived. After 30 minutes, I was the only customer there.
As I edited, I heard the shift manager complaining to the cook about the state of some other employees who call in often, are late, or just no-call/no-shows. The two men commiserated a bit as they swept the floor, rolled utensils tightly in paper napkins, and did other tasks. Also, the manager called some servers on the phone in an attempt to shore-up the schedule for the rest of the week. He was only partially successful it seemed.
Then, a young (maybe 16 or 17 year old) waitress showed up. As she was walking in, the manager met her at the door, motioning with his arms in an “I don’t need you here” fashion. She walked in anyway, asking what the deal was. He explained that she had called in with only minutes notice a few days prior, put the rest of that day’s workers in a bind, and that he was considering firing her. She attempted to smooth the situation over, but wasn’t successful and left. A few minutes later, she came back in with a middle-aged man and both walked toward the manager. I thought to myself, “This may turn into a blow-out,” and readied my camera phone just in case a video-worthy event took place. I have seen too many things get out of hand over the years and I am a bit edgy when I see people possibly heading toward a serious contention. I figured this guy might be “dad” coming in to straighten the boss out on behalf of his daughter.
The man and the manager started talking about the situation… and I was wonderfully surprised. I am a sucker for civil conversation. I absolutely love engaging in respectful discourse, even if the participants don’t agree on a particular matter. Also, I so rarely observe disagreeing parties in person or on social media who are able to succinctly present their case, hear the other’s, discuss both sides, and then achieve an amicable resolution, respectfully disagree, or agree on something that was previously disagreed on. Beyond that, observing a person change his or her mind on a firmly held position in 2015 is nigh to seeing a unicorn at the park.
Due to my persuasions regarding discourse, I was very happy to observe the manager express his concerns about the server’s performance and reliability in a respectful way and with an even temper. Then, the father-figure apologized for the issues on behalf of the girl. He asked for a second chance for the girl and gave credibility to the manager’s concerns. Also, the girl assured the manager of her commitment to do better and genuinely gave heed to his concerns. After some more conversation and consideration, the manager allowed for a write-up rather than firing. He clearly shared his expectations, which were reasonable, and the consequences present if they were not met. All parties ended the conversation respectfully, amicably, having reached a common position, and asserting a common goal. Not one voice had even been raised through the whole parley. I had to pinch myself.
I know that was a boring, everyday type of story. But, there is a great lesson to be gained. That being, our abilities to deal with other people, have conflicts, argue, discourse, and find common ground (or not) are “everyday” skills. They aren’t just for a college debate class, the board room, marriage counseling, or when some aspect of a relationship breaks down. Those abilities are for the coffee shop, for Facebook threads, for our home, for our friends, and even for our enemies.
Witnessing that interaction between three strangers encouraged me. I personally hope to do as well the next time I have some type of disagreement. Fellow humans, we’ve come a long way. We still have a long way to go. Pass the love on! 🙂
Here is a related TED talk by William Ury that I very much enjoy. If you have a spare 20 minutes, it would be worth your time.