January 18, 2010
Happy Monday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Everyone!
This week I wrote about the theme of dreams in the work of Langston Hughes and so it's rather prophetic that this week also marks the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s work in today's day of remembrance and, once again, I am inspired to reflect upon the rich topic of dreams. There are so many fabulous quotes from which to choose when talking about both of these men, but in the case of Martin Luther King, here is one that fosters the kind of emotion we need now and always:
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
We've all been wronged at one time or another, hurt at one time or another, lost our way at one time or another, but as long as we have been loved more than one time or another, I reckon it'll all come out in the "warsh," as my grandmother used to say. It takes the same amount of energy to love as to hate, even when we're right about how we've been wronged. (How's that for oppositional duality logic? I think I've coined a new term.)
Maybe it's the fact that the wind is roaring without and swirling around my cute little country house (as the weather people positively jump up and down with glee), that I am reflecting upon the lack of chaos I feel within. I am always humbled by the journey of other mortals who travel the most perilous of roads and still they retain their strength, dignity and even optimism. I aspire to all of this, but I've fallen short a time or two.
The gift of holidays like today is certainly the time off from our routine, our jobs, our expectations. Holidays are good for those things, no doubt about it, but also, ironically enough, it is this time off that allows us time for reflection and isn't that the best way to traverse the road to personal growth, having reflected upon our own journey? Sometimes we forget to take the time to listen to ourselves...that inner, gut-level, hey-how's-your-now self.
I know this is pretty "heady," philosophical stuff from a gal who is marginally humorous and plies her craft in writings that entertain people. (At least that's the goal. I have certainly had my share of people who have said, "Well, I didn't think that was funny" come at me, particularly when I was engaging in my short career in stand-up, but that's part and parcel of offering yourself up as a humorist. Fortunately, there is no need to also offer up a money-back guarantee.)
There has been more than our fair share of gloom and doom reported by way of the media lately. (At this point, I don't feel as though Barack Obama could give a quarter to a needy kid without someone accusing him of favoritism, pandering, or not doing enough. He's been subjected to that whole, "he just can't win" thing right now and I suppose that's because people are just so scared, that they don't want to be caught "out," believing in anything or anyone again. But I digress.) Some of the depressing reports are due to the real tragedies provided by nature as is the case of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. More often, the negative offerings are provided by the media in a bid for ratings and it is just downright irritating...all rapid-fire, unanswerable questions, character assassinating accusations and personal criticism -- no answers. Not my kind of thing.
Ironically enough, the "real" tragedies bring out the media's humanity, in the form of reporters who are touched by the suffering and so they forget to be angry and proceed directly to compassion instead. That is my dream, you know, that we'll proceed straight from fear to compassion and then jog on over to positive action.
There is so much to think about, so much to ponder, so much to do and it is all possible with that love thing. The "Beatles" had it so right, didn't they? So, I leave off this blog entry with another Martin Luther King Jr. quote that spills hope off the page and into our souls (she said, hopefully) and, let's face it, a person like him should always have the last word, even the final word.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.