Insights come in odd ways. They arrive at the strangest times, and in the strangest of places.
This morning I was driving to an appointment. My mind was on the upcoming meeting, and my CD player provided soft background music.
Then I had to turn up the volume. It was an old CD – Kenny Rogers singing Reuben James. And, although I find Kenny’s voice soothing while driving, I rarely listen to the words. This morning, however, I found myself returning to that particular track over and over.
Have you ever listened – carefully – to the words of Reuben James? If not, you should. This morning it seemed to me to be an answer. Well, maybe not an answer, exactly; but it did start me thinking about a lot of things – kindness, peace, acceptance, getting along, respect, honesty, love, goodness, and sadness. Most of all, perhaps, it got me thinking seriously about how to stand up for my beliefs.
The next track, also, had a message. So much so, that I had to push the off button and drive on in silence, deep in thought.
Coward of the County. Remember? “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done. Walk away from trouble if you can. It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek; I hope you are old enough to understand. Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man.”
Then, on my way home from the meeting, I turned on AM radio for a traffic and weather check, and once more was surprised. A talk show host was doing his best to describe the way the party system in our country works; actually he accomplished the task quite well.
And then I had to smile at his concluding assessment:
It was something like: “People, if you’re dissatisfied about the current state of affairs in this country, you really ought to READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL.”
As I said, I had to smile. Truly, I almost laughed out loud!
What a concept: That Americans, rather than complaining and being upset by politics, by race relations, by perceived unfairness, by crime and by hunger, by poverty and by low wages and lost opportunities – rather than giving up, we all ought to roll our sleeves up and get to work – together – to make things right. Or at least to try to make things better.
Maybe we ought to read the owner’s manual of humanity and of our Republic, study the basics, learn how to make changes, and then get busy working for the changes we want to see!
Now, that’s a revolutionary concept, one that I could definitely get behind.
It’s too easy these days to complain, point fingers and blame; We have learned to expect others to do the heavy lifting of building a better union.
I was told as a child that life isn’t necessarily fair. I believed it then and I believe it now. I also believe that it can be better for us all, if we only work together to make it so.
What say you?