Nothing is bad unless you think its bad. Tuh.
The above statement didn’t come from out of my face. Trust. It came through a talk that minister and spiritual author Mary Morrissey gave at Agape International Spiritual Center one fine Sunday morning. I wasn’t in the mood to hear it, if I’m honest. But it stuck with me. Mary Morrissey didn’t make such things up either. She too had heard it in a talk many moons before she had even thought to begin her journey as a New Thought minister. She said, she too wasn’t in the mood to hear it, when the speaker (his name escapes me) said it to the group he was talking to. His words stuck with her too. I mean sure, there are clearly bad things in the world, right?
War is bad.
Famine is bad.
Rape is bad.
Enduring shitty people is bad.
Locking children up in cages is bad.
There’s a 1000000000000000 page book waiting to be written about all the bad that is this current administration. And there’s more that we could name in our personal arsenal.
And there’s just more. But is it?
I’m asking for a friend.
So, there’s this old Taoist parable I heard in another talk. It goes like this:
The Parable of the Chinese Farmer
Once there was a Chinese farmer who worked his poor farm together with
his son and their horse. When the horse ran off one day, neighbors came
to say, “How unfortunate for you!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
When the horse returned, followed by a herd of wild horses, the neighbors
gathered around and exclaimed, “What good luck for you!”
The farmer stayed calm and replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
While trying to tame one of wild horses, the farmer’s son fell, and broke his
leg. He had to rest up and couldn’t help with the farm chores. “How sad for
you,” the neighbors cried.
“Maybe yes, maybe no,” said the farmer.
Shortly thereafter, a neighboring army threatened the farmer’s village. All
the young men in the village were drafted to fight the invaders. Many died.
But the farmer’s son had been left out of the fighting because of his broken
leg. People said to the farmer, “What a good thing your son couldn’t fight!”
“Maybe yes, maybe no,” was all the farmer said.
We’re wont to say out loud that everything happens for a reason. I know I say it. I believe it. And yet, sometimes in our panic and our fear of being out of control of a situation or circumstance– we’re quick to label what we’re experiencing as bad. Maybe it is. Maybe, it’s not. The current state of our political affairs is really ffffing bad, right? The way people of color are treated in this country (and around the world) can be really fffing bad (take your pick). This shat going on with our immigrant and asylum-seeking brothers and sisters is off the charts. This Neo-Nazi fascist fuchshit? Don’t even get me started. And there are lists of other stuff, but for ease and grace purposes, we’ll just add your own here ___________.
But here’s what I also see.
People all over the country and the world are waking up and raising up and showing up for their fellow humans. In the same spaces where the fuchshit is underway, I see a rainbow of different kinds of people speaking truth to power and standing up for the humanity in each other. There’s a bubbling that’s happening that even the folk who’d rather not make a fuss, are finding it harder and harder to stay silent. All the things we can look at that seem like THE worst possible things, is one more thing that’s shaking folk awake. That’s pushing folk off the fence and into the fight. Is it possible that all of this “bad” is leading us to our greater “good”? Maybe, yes. Maybe, no.
Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith has said about a thrillion times–we learn through pain or through insight. We will often go down the same torturous path fifty-leven times and won’t change course until the pain becomes so unbearable that doing something different is literally all that’s left to do. In this case, pain becomes the path to change. Should it have to be that way? Of course not. And yet, it’s where we are right now. At a defining moment in human history when we can all decide that a profound change of course is the only action worth taking. That, more than any of our other societal ills, what we suffer from the most is a lack of imagination. And it’s really way past time that we got together to begin the work of building a world that works for everyone–“The Beloved Community” as Dr. King once called it.
I ask at the end of every post—what does the world need? To trigger the idea that whatever you’re here to do is exactly what the world needs to get us closer to the bigger vision. A world that works for everyone. Not our fears, biases, prejudices, ideosynchrasies or our need to other each other. We ‘re at a point where we’re being called to see ourselves as a part of the whole. As cells in this body called humanity. And as humans–to see ourselves as cells in this body called Earth. Like it or not, we’re ALL in this together. No soul left behind.
I wanted this week’s post to be about my father and my trip to The Congressional Dialogue Dinner at the Library of Congress earlier this week. I know, swanky. And yet, in a way, it kindof still is. This post is inspired by my revelation that our fears of the people that we elected into policy wielding positions are unfounded. People in power are only powerful because we make them that way. So whose power is it really? And, if those people forget themselves and fuch a whole bunch of sh*t up… Is it bad? Maybe, yes. Maybe no. But maybe a better question to ask is –>Who has the power to rally the troops and decide that a profound change of course is in order?
Asking for a friend.
Also, What does the world need?
LOVE (Living Our Vision Everyday),