I saw more deer today. They watched me…and I watched them. They were peaceful and so was I. I considered that our mutual interest and acceptance of each other, was a good lesson for life in the human family. My mom told me, on numerous occasions, that everything that happens…has a reason. When she told me that statement, I thought that her assertion could not be possible. I could not fathom how our hardscrabble life could possibly have any benefit for either of us. I did not understand why I had to eat, split pea soup or drink powdered milk…or take my lunch to school in a brown paper bag, when my classmates consumed a hot lunch in the cafeteria….Lunch was only 20 cents per day.
I heard the wonderful jazz musician, Wynton Marsalis, answer an interviewer on the BBC, that he was not overwhelmed by the many awards that he has earned for his virtuoso musical accomplishments. He went on to state that if when he gives a young person a musical lesson and they thank him and shake his hand…he has received an award. He spoke of his deceased father, Ellis Marsalis a famous Jazz pianist, who felt the same about official awards and that he had taken that lesson from him. Really, we are receiving awards daily by being members of this wonderful life!
So often we forget our shared humanity. We marginalize those with whom we disagree. We speak cutting remarks or we ignore large segments of people who experience this human life that we have been given…differently than we do. Wynton, spoke of the prejudice that he has faced throughout his life, and his determination to not be victimized or pigeon-holed by his race. I have reflected on our insatiable desire to engage in war with each other. Over 58 thousand Americans were lost in the Vietnam war. Did you know that over one million north Vietnamese lost their lives and 741 thousand south Vietnamese were killed during the multi-year conflict?
Our 2020 pandemic is real…and like most facts…magical thinking will not cause it to vanish. I was talking with a friend, recently, and we agreed that many times the humanity, of a person who has offended, is overlooked. Do you see many facebook posts that express the danger that our many incarcerated, fellow human beings, are facing from the Coronavirus? Or what about our grandmothers and grandfathers and moms and dads who are in nursing facilities…
When we disagree with another…in this time of stress and worry and frustration…why not see how we can help the person that we are at odds with? Perhaps they are desperate for money for their rent, or food, or are being forced to live in a home with a domestic abuser… Love is always the answer. I identified with Wynton Marsalis when he said that his awards happened in the every day process of living. I have always felt the same way! If you are nice to me…I am taken aback by your kindness. When I receive a compliment…I am not only grateful…but I seek to be worthy of the kind remarks! When I became the superintendent of Building Services…I told the director of Plant and Service Operations that my goal was to cause our enemies to become our friends…and to cause our friends…to love us!