All too often we are bombarded with stories and situations that breed negativity and fear; in fact, many people and business use those very things to make money off of other people, preying on their insecurities. The recent Virginia Tech massacre was an attrocity, yet it happens daily in Iraq...and Africa...and how many of us turn our heads and hearts the other way when it happens to 'somebody else' far away? We do it daily. We all must start realizing that what happens to our Brothers and Sisters around the world is happening to a part of ourselves. We are One.
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
The opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
- Elie Wiesel
And if indifference and complacency hasn't entwined us, some degree of fear and unease probably has. I well imagine another type of "9/11"will happen again on US soil...seems folly to think of ourselves as insular and untouchable, no matter what efforts we put forth. That doesn't mean don't put forth the effort. That also doesn't mean shutting down and living life always afraid of what might happen. As Neale Donald Walsch so appropriately writes, fear is really an acronym for "False Evidence Appearing Real".
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
- Helen Keller
Security is when everything is settled.
When nothing can happen to you.
Security is the denial of life.
- Germaine Greer
Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death.
- James F. Bymes
Things that make you go 'hmmmmm...'
I always get asked about the name of my flutes, "Ugly Boys". I suppose I should show a picture of that first flute, one that I never intended for anyone to see as it is so crude...or shall I say primitive and aboriginal, that it is a flute (actually 'whistle') only because of the way it produces a sound. It's terribly crude, disproportioned...and it plays loud, strong, and fun. I called it "Ugly Boy" that first day, and found the name amusing...as time quickly passed, I realized there was a greater lesson to be given to others by keeping the name...
After any concert or lecture/performance, after all have seen and heard the variety of flutes and voices I create, I pull out Ugly Boy. I expect the laughter and chuckles. I proudly show the string used to hold the block on, the way-oversized fingerholes that I always say spawning salmon could swim through...and last but not least the square of duct tape near the mouthpiece where I accidentally cut into the slow-air chamber. And then I play it. There is not another sound to be heard. Jaws drop. Folks are usually speechless. Here's why the name stuck...
In the silence after I play Ugly Boy...I speak to the rapt attention and remind people to 1) NEVER judge anyone or any thing by what it looks like on the outside, and 2) like that original 24" piece of knotty yellow pine, it had a music inside of it that was released...each of us has a huge box of 'music' inside that screams to be let out into the world. Our responsibility is to go Within and find that inner 'music', what it is that stirs our soul so much we can't wait to wake up and get to it...and let it out wildly and often.
Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.
By the way, I don't write all of this for just your benefit - I write it to myself, as well.