When the storm is over – we will be free

I remember when I was growing up.  Each year my Mother, sister and I would spend one month in Atlantic City.  It was wonderful.  During those summers I made many friends, one was Wanda Wingate.  She lived in Philly.  From the age of about ten, until I finished high school we would write letters to each other every week.  Each week I would sit and tell her all of my highs and lows.  I share all of the intimate details of my life with only her, and she with me.  We exchanged advice, shared each others happiness and tried to support each other through our sadness.   I loved getting her letters, reading them over and over and placing them in a box.  Through her I met my first great love, Jeffrey Goldson.  He was a few years older than I and when he went off to college we would write to each other a few times a week  I loved to stare at how he formed the letters of each word, I loved the scent of the paper because it carried his scent.  The internet is a wonderful place to share, and to learn – but it came at a great cost.  It cost us those letters, those moments of going off to a quiet place to hold those pages and feel the energy of the person who is writing.  I think that our letters intensified my love for him.  And in his box, I could reach in a pull out the letters and feel again that love whenever I needed.

Then I remember so vividly the first book that moved me, it made me fall in love with reading.  I remember the way that it smelled, I remember the way that each page felt against my fingers – I remember this, but I neither remember the title nor the name of the office, just the feel.  There is no e-book that can compare with the feel of a good book in your hands.

Two of my favorite shows when I was young were “Little House On the Prairie” , and “The Waltons”.  The families in those shows had very little.  Life was hard work, but somewhere in that hard work was a sense of quality of life.  All that they had was the love of family and community, and somehow, life seemed to me so much better then.  They were not plagued by depression – even in the depression.  The wealth of each family was their bonds, bonds created out of necessity and lack of distraction.  But their wealth could not be given a price.  I remember when I was in my own business and making more money than I every imagined that I could make.  I would drop ten thousand dollars in a boutique without blinking an eye, but I have never been so unhappy in my life.  I wore the quality of my life on my back – Escada, Ralph Lauren  my gold rolex, my Fendi purse, wallet and cigarette case.  My life had no other value.  I know now that the ability to feel joy and happiness are what we pay for those things.  The more I bought, the more my soul was being drained out of me.  I did not know it.  A junkie first gets high to feel a little rush, to be taken out of himself for a short time.  This is the same thing that happens when we find ourselves with money.  We buy things that we could not have bought before just to be taken out of the self that we once were.  What we don’t realize is that whether the addiction is to a drug, alcohol, food, or money – we are not taken out of ourselves, instead, our self, is taken out of us.  We don’t realize this, until we kick the habit by choice or by force.  Then we find that ‘living’  feels so much better than anything that we could buy or steal to make us feel like we are living.  If one is born poor, he always looking through windows at the people who have everything.  That experience makes them feel that they are not whole.  So it is their journey to strive to have those things in order to see that nothing in the material world can increase us, to the contrary, it decreases us.  Then there are those who are born with money and the status that it brings.  They do what they have to do because they are raised to feel that who they are is about what they have and how they appear.  Only by losing or giving up what they have, can they learn who they are.

There are two cycles of wealth and both are natural as the cycles of day and night and as much a part of our journey.  These cycles occur to the individual soul as well as to the collective.  There is the cycle of material wealth, where it is our path to gain materially at the cost of the spirit.  This is followed by the cycle of spiritual growth, where it is our path to gain spiritually at the expense of the material.  These are set by God, and we can no more change, extend or redirect them anymore than we can the rotation of the earth around the Sun or the moon around the earth.  We can change these no more than we can change day to night and night to day.  There are many minor cycles within each great cycle, but it is the great cycle that rules through it all.  If you are on the spiritual cycle individually, you may win the lottery – then lose all of the money.  If you are on the material cycle, individually, you may be down to your last dime and come up with an idea that brings you material wealth for the rest of your life.  As a whole, we are so deeply engulfed by our addiction to the things that we don’t need, that we can’t see how life could be better  or even tolerable without them.  We have become enslaved by our material addiction collectively, that we fear losing our chains.  In the Rider Waite Tarot deck the Devil Card has a man and a woman chained to the Devil.

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The important thing about this image is that the two people chained to the Devil have their hands free and the chains around their necks are more than loose enough to be slipped right off.  The Devil represents money, power, status, all of those things that are our addictions in the material world.  It seems that the Devil has possessed these people, but in fact, they can leave at any time.  They have taken on the horns of the devil because they have become that which they have coveted.  This is the material part of the cycle.  The Major Arcana, or first 22 cards of the Tarot deck depict the “hero’s” journey from fool to wisdom.  We have been the fulfillment of this card.  But we are entering a Spiritual Cycle.  So, since we will not voluntarily remove the chains, we must be shaken at the roots, we must lose what we have allowed to posess us in order to be free, and so, the card that follows the Devil is the Tower.

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If the natural disasters of the past years have shown us anything, they should have shown us that we cannot control life. We do not know when we will be struck by a disaster. Personal safety is an illusion, just as homeland security is an illusion. We are each on our own clock’s and they will each stop ticking at the appointed time, whether we are in the Twin Towers or walking along the desert. All that we have built and held onto can be lost or taken away from us in a moment. How much better would we feel if we gave what we had to those who have nothing rather than just losing it? Once upon a time the world was immense, and one could comfortably live a lifestyle of opulent excess, ignorant of the starvation and suffering that our excesses could ease. Now, it is not the case.

And [Jesus] told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God will say to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Christianity. Luke 12.16-21

Imagine how the earth was created—how the body was created. The earth was given limited resources. The earth could have been created as a garden in which the food and shelter and everything that we could ask for simply grew as quickly as we could harvest it. Or, we could have been given the power to manifest everything we wish to have merely by desiring it to be. But that is not the case. And knowing that the force that guides the Universe is love, we must know that this is not to punish us. No, the earth has limited resources and some men are born with access to those resources while some are born without that access. This is the Divine Design, it places before us the opportunity to choose righteousness, the path must be chosen to have value, one cannot be forced out of fear of punishment or fear of rejection, the path of love must be chosen out of love—the need for love and the desire to give love. It is obvious that in the wild animals do not have this choice. Animals know only one path, and for the lower self in man, the animal way is the natural way. Yet as humans, we are able to reach into our souls and find the strength to rise above the natural choice to the spiritual one.

What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Christianity. James 4.1-3

We are containers with limited space within. We may fill that space with the things of the world or with the things of the spirit or, as it is for most of us – some proportion of both. Everything that the world of flesh has to offer contains an addictive quality. From the moment that we take our first breath – we are engulfed in an addict’s paradise. It is through this addictive garden that we evolve and it is our susceptibility to addiction – not the choice of drug, which marks the level to which a soul has evolved. Addiction is attachment plain and simple, but it is easier for us to raise ourselves above judgment (in our own eyes) if we limit our focus to what one is addicted to rather than that one is addicted. For one to be addicted to cocaine is bad; yet to be addicted to attention – is ok. It is bad to be addicted to alcohol – but power is ok. We become addicted to food, to comfort, to routine, to family, to nation, to form of worship, to race, to position, to war, to being divided or even to being united, to injustice or even to justice. Addiction is attachment.

All of these things that we attach ourselves to will one day be no more. And the extent of our suffering – the intensity of our hellfire, will equal the intensity of our attachment. We are all born within the garden of our own struggle. The lesson is to love your brother as yourself without condition. There is a story of a man who went up to the greatest Jewish religious leader and asked him to condense the entire teachings of all the sacred Wisdom into one sentence and the Rabbi, without hesitation said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. There are innumerable gardens in which to grow that flower and we are each born in one of them. Some learn through greed, some through religious hatred some through bigotry, some through the need for power and some as victims of the powerful. You can learn the lesson by the choice you are faced with while riding in a limo passing a poor child in a ghetto, or a homeless man on the street. You can learn the lesson being the poor child or the homeless man. Both roles are means to the same end and neither one is a punishment or a reward. The awareness of the other on both ends engenders an emotional response, which in turn forces a choice. The choice that we make in those moments will feed the soil that we sow and determine what we will ultimately reap.

On earth, our parents threaten the harshest punishments on actions that will cause us the greatest harm. They do this out of love for us. So it would stand to reason that the Source of all Love would place the greatest admonishment on those things that hurt us personally the most. And to Do unto others what we would have others do unto us is wise because what we do to others we really do to ourselves. When we harbor hatred, resentment, or anger towards another we create an energetic umbilical cord between the other and ourselves which flows from soul to soul feeding each with poisonous energy. When we are told to forgive, we are really being told to release ourselves from the flow of that poison; to forgive is only to release.

All that belongs to us or will ever belong to us is what we can take with us. All that we can take with us is what we can carry in our souls. Unconditional Love is spiritual tender. Those emotions that can only exist in the absence of Unconditional Love are spiritual debts. When we act selflessly from our hearts we are making deposits into our spiritual retirement accounts. When we act selfishly without regard for others, we are making withdrawals. The account must be full in order to retire from the suffering of this world. How many lifetimes it takes us to fill that account is up to us. There is no judgment. But to retire from suffering, it must be full.

We are here to learn to cherish that which is ours to pass through, with love and appreciation, that which is not ours and to know the difference. We are happy when we receive, when we acquire, when we are applauded, we are happy when we are loved. Happiness is contingent on an action that is happening and when it is no longer happening, we are no longer happy. But our being is transformed into the most elevated joy when we give and the more difficult the gift is to release the greater the feeling of sacrifice – the greater joy that fills us. Remember that to sacrifice is to make sacred. Feed your own body, you satisfy your body, but feed the body of another who is in need and you satisfy your soul.

3. I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 4. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; 5. I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 6. I made me pools of water, to water there from the forest where trees were reared; 7. I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 8. I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:3-10

God, Spirit, All-That-Is, placed a certain amount of resources on the earth for all life to share. It is limited, but it is always just enough. Regardless of what we tell ourselves about the greatness of our effort, we cannot earn more than our share, we do not deserve more than our share. And what is our share? It is that which leaves enough for every other person on the planet to have their share. Those of us who have more than we need to live comfortably are hoarding the food, the shelter, and the medication that could save the lives of those who are dying because of their lack. And the blood of those who die because of our greed is on our hands. The difference between life and death for a child in Africa is a few dollars; the difference between a life of poverty and suffering and a life of hope and possibilities is a few dollars. We are not only our brother’s keepers; we are our brothers. We are one body human containing one Spirit immortal, and to tell ourselves that what happens in the Sudan will not effect us, it the same as saying that cancer in the foot, untreated, will never effect the heart.

All children are our children, all lives are our lives, and any life that we are able to save becomes our responsibility to save. To whom much is given, much is expected. It makes no difference what lies we tell ourselves in order to buy our ten thousand dollar bags, and six million dollar homes, a child’s face is embedded in every one of those dollars and a child’s life or death is written into those choices that we make.

Jesus said to [the rich young man], “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will by hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Christianity. Matthew 19.21-24

The depression that sweeps the industrialized nations is the price of our greed. The Bible says that money is the root of all evil, but it is not evil, it is the most addictive of all drugs and so it is the root of the greatest spiritual pain. Money is the key to the material kingdom. Money brings worship, adulation, slaves, all things that feed the ego. Yet, it is not money that is the problem it is the hoarding. The more money one hoards, the emptier one is Spiritually because the energy of material possessions in much denser and weighs down our energy fields leaving little or no room for spiritual joy to permanently root itself within us, not because we make money but because we hoard it for ourselves and do not send it back out to do good works.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25, 2.

Today the Spiritual force of the Universe has made the world one in which we know children are dying needlessly. The world is small enough for us to know where and when men, women and children are being senselessly slaughtered because of the color of their skin or nature of their beliefs. We know, because this has been deemed the time of revelation, when we are revealed for what we are—and what we are is reflected in what we most value, not what we tell others we most value, and not in what we tell ourselves we most value. In this moment, we can stand strong as healthy wheat, wheat that gives nourishment to all, or as weeds nourishing only ourselves at the expense of others. All that we each deserve is enough to live a healthy loving life. All that we have beyond that is what would give that same quality of life to another. I once worked eighteen hours a day and was paid more than generously for that effort; I had a house in the suburbs and three bathrooms in my New York apartment. At the same time a woman sharecropper in Mississippi worked the same eighteen hours a day and could not afford indoor plumbing. I was not being rewarded for being a better person in this life or any past life, what I was being – was tested. It is time for the harvest.

We must learn and not forget that it does not matter how healthy, wealthy or wise we are, the time and manner of our death is not within our control. How long we will keep whatever we have is also not within our control, all outcomes are beyond our control. Now is the time when we are to be seen clearly, we cannot hide or pretend. The true measure of the man is not how much he has, and it is not how much he gives, but how much he is willing to give of that which he cannot bear the thought of living without.

We are being tested, and more than this, we are being given an opportunity through the suffering in the world to show the power of the light that we have within us. The world has become small enough for us to see the needs of others, small enough that we must make a conscious choice with every penny that we waste on selfish pleasures. We are no longer only responsible for the consequences of our actions but we are responsible for the consequences of our lack of action as well.

The Universe is not something around us, it is the substance of our being. God is not a separate entity; God is the Great Self, the Great Soul of which each of us is a part. God is Love; to live in God’s image is to live in the image of love and to love in the image of God. No one is empty, we are all full, those who are empty of attachment to the world are full of Spirit, and those who are filled with worldly attachments are empty of Spirit. Some are half full of the world and half full of Spirit, each have our own proportion of both and that is our choice.

Do you not feel this time  different than any other? This time is not a test it is a gift. It is a gift to us from Our Source, a chance to wipe out our karma with good works, to purify our souls with unconditional love. To strengthen our faith and show our love of All-That-Is by giving without fear of not having enough left for ourselves, for the enjoyment of the world is empty, but the joy of Love is a cup that constantly runneth over. What are the fires of hell? They are the tests and temptations that we must go through on this earth to burn away our attachment to the material – to mammon. The fires of hell are no more or less than the suffering that we endure living with the desire for what we do not need, the fear of losing or actual loss of what we do not own, and the blindness that keeps us from knowing that having and losing in this world are both illusions and what is of value to our souls is always a part of them.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity.

Christianity. 2 Corinthians 9.6-11

We must join hands, join resources, and realize that it is not what we have that creates happiness it is what we share.  That is what we will be left with when all is done.  We will have all that we need to live.  Above that we will have the spiritual wealth that is priceless.  We will lose much to gain much more.  We cannot recover we must recreate.  And as hard as it is for many of us to believe, it is in the plan that we will.  We are being shaken from the Devil by the Tower.  But once we have lost all that stands between us and each other, between us and compassion, and between us and God, we become wealthier than we could ever dream because our wealth will flow from an unlimited Source.  It will be spiritual and we will re-birth our humanity – the card in the deck which follows this, tells this story, it is The Star

star

After the tower of all that is false and illusion has crumbled to the ground, we are left with abundance of all that is real and eternal.  The world as we know it is ending, its cycle is over.  The Star represents abundance, a bright future – and most importantly it is a future that one of freedom.  True freedom is owning nothing and being owned by nothing, but being a part of everything.

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Today The World Changed – the inauguration of Barack Obama

The following poem is dedicated to three men who are not here to read it, but were it not for them, I would not be the person that I am today writing it.

It is dedicated to my father Aguinaldo, my brother Alfonso, and my surrogate father Al Wallach.  These three men refused to yield to what they believed to be injustice.  They instilled in me the deep conviction, that if we try to hide from injustice, if we tolerate injustice, or even if we ignore injustice, we are destroying any hope that in this world, there will ever be justice.  They were not here to witness this day – but I think that they planned it that way so that they would have the best seats in Heaven.

Today the World Changed

I did not receive a release of my debts

But still, a debt was paid this day to a people,

To my people

Today the world changed

For one moment

Those men who sat for days to build a foundation

Upon which a more perfect union could be built

And those slaves who gave their blood, sweat and tears

To lay the bricks and mortar that would secure that foundation

And the Red man, from whom all of this was taken

Rose in silent witness

All of those souls – joining hand, and heart

Standing side by side cried tears of Joy

For the resurrection of the Spirit of America

Today the world changed

Not with a bang – but with a whisper

A whisper that resounded throughout the world

And into the Heavens

The sky did not fall

Only that impenetrable ceiling upon which, the words,

“You may rise no further, this club is for “White Men Only”

Came tumbling down like the walls of Jericho.

Today the world changed

The last unyielding, inhumane, bloody chains of oppression gave way,

The spirits of my Hebrew ancestors who escaped Egypt

And had cried that they could not be really free until all mankind was free

Stand, arm in arm with the spirits of all of the slaves that toiled to build this country as the they had once toiled to build the pyramids,

Together their tears of joy rain down on us,

For they are all finally free, and the yokes of slavery and fear

Are removed from their generation

slaves_in_egypt1

0474

Today the world changed

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Millions gathered ,of all ages, races, religions, genders, gay and straight, from all nations and all political ideologies

And above this multitude of men, women and children

Unnoticed, inconspicuous

Flloated  a multitude of Angelic Beings

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All huddled together to bear witness to

the New World of Man,

the resurrection of Hope,

the resurrection of faith,

And the resurrection of Divine Love,

Today the world changed

The President of the most Powerful Nation in the world,

Was  raised up by the hands of the thousands of slaves who laid

The path that he walked , who built the stairs that he climbed,

And with pride and overflowing hearts they placed him in the highest seat.

They were able to work through the pain, the blood, and the exhaustion without giving up,

Without laying down to die,

Fueled and Driven by the faith that

One day, if they built it -

He would come

barack_obama_19

and complete the circle.


Today the world change

Never again can a teacher tell a little black, Hispanic, or native American child,

“You cannot reach for that goal, why even try, just wash dishes, clean houses

Get those foolish notions out of your head”

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Never again, can a teen on the corner selling drugs to other teens

be able to say,

“The White man condemned me to this life, it is not my fault”

Never Again will the Black, Latino or Asian child be able to say that there is nothing more to aspire to

because they are Black, Latino, Chicano, or Asian

except to die in a gang.

Because – this day, if we look to our left, and we look to our right, there

Is the White man -

He is not in front -

He is not in control,

He is one of us – Today, the united States of America had declared this from here on,

Open seating


Today the world changed

No more can a boy or girl, living in a blighted ghetto or an arid dying suburb say,

“I cannot become whatever I want”

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No one can ever, from this day forward say, I can’t.

No excuses left – no justifications left,

There is no greater or more meaningful role-model

Than the President Of The United States.

Today life’s struggles are still overwhelming us,

The tunnel which now darkly surrounds us

Has become neither shorter, nor easier,

And for so many of us – the light at the end of that tunnel,

Has grown no brighter.

Today the roof of my house shelters my family,

Tomorrow, it may be the roof of our car,

But if I have to struggle through the challenges of each day

This is the world that I want to struggle in.

Today the world changed

The dark and spiritless landscape that I stared out at yesterday

Has become a garden with the just  the tiniest buds of hope, of possibility, and of Light.

Whatever lies ahead for me, I have lived the best of my life.

My greatest fear was that my children would not have the chance to know

what the best might be.

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And I know that the best that lies before my children will be much different than mine -

For mine was not real, it was made of glittering dust and ashes of the material world -

like a star we see far off in the distance of the night sky – so beautiful, yet

As soon as we see it, it is dead -

As soon as we obtain that far off material goal – it too is dead,

Ashes to ashes – dust to dust -we search for the next one.

Today the world has changed

The world of my children will not glitter,

It will radiate.

They will remember what being drunk with the world destroyed,

And so they will seek joy – and not intoxication.

History will record that this date ushered in a New Age

This is a great man,

but a great man cannot climb great heights alone

A great man can only accomplish great things by standing on

the shoulders of ordinary men and women,

Today the world changed

It changed because of white, black yellow and red, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Sufi, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindi, Mormon, Atheist,, Agnostic, and all other faiths -

men and women, gay and straight,

and the littlest of children,

the tiniest of Angels,

all raised him up, with their voices, and their prayers

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pledged their toil, their struggles, their nickels, their dimes, their hopes and their dreams.

Because although this man is great

equally great are the people, the nation and  the world that would not let him down.

Today the world changed

Because one man claimed his place in history,

and showed us that we must claim our voices,

We must shout from the rooftops until we are heard,

And never, never be silent again.

He reminded us, and the world that this is our country -

and in the greatest sense – it is the country of the world -

there is no nation that does not have its own seeds planted in this garden.

And Today the World Is Proud to Be An American

And I am proud to have my country back

Today the world changed

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I have my Statue of Liberty back,

This Lady was given to us as a reminder of who we are,

and why we are,

As clearly etched eternally on her foundation:

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I have taken my faith back,

Knowing in my heart and soul that this moment has sealed it

forever.

Whatever happens, for better or for worse cannot erase,

cannot tarnish,

cannot touch in any way the undeniable fact,

That Today Happened

And it happened to every man woman and child in the world,

And with that faith – I have a reason to go on.

Today the world changed

The Last Great door opened wide today

whites-only no-jews

The Last “Whites Only” sign

Has come down,

And with it, the last excuse for not trying,

or forever yielding the fight Before it’s begun

The White Man has not surrendered -

better than this,

He has realized that we are all in it together

And to stand, we must stand together

Today the world changed

All because one man, foolhardy enough to think that he could,

Promised millions of people around the world, that,Yes We Can,”

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And yes, together we did,

Today The World Changed

This is for every little child of every race, religion, and national origin,

you can dream even bigger,  reach for that far off star

even farther,

And for every man or woman who sees -Nothing

Whose lost -Everything,

You!  Find that dream, dust it off,

And dream it like you’ve never dreamed before,

Search for that star

You long ago lost track of,

And MOVE!

RUN!

REACH !

Everything is possible so long as we

Can hold our dreams

and keep our eyes on our stars,

T oday the world changed

Today, with brown hand placed on the Bible, this man said, “I accept”

swearing-in


And we heard his heart say to us,

I accept your trust, I accept your faith,

I accept your dreams and your hopes.

I accept your need to believe

and I will honor them,

and I will honor you

with every breath in every day.

Today the world changed

On this cold, clouded winter afternoon

We were warmed, united in sacred ceremony

That at last

Meant something

in a place within each of us that we no longer dared go,

Under a common shining light

As One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice For All

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It matters not what tomorrow brings -

whatever it brings will pass

Only this moment will shine forever

Through whatever darkness lies ahead

It will shine

It will shine until the last hungry child is fed,

It will shine until the last sick child is healed,

And it will shine until the last guns have been beaten into plowshares,

And until the missiles have been beaten into pruning hooks:

and nation no longer lifts up a sword against nation,

And  neither shall we learn war any more.

Today, The world changed

And nothing again as long as we live will ever be deemed, impossible.

Sarah Palin – The Republican’s Magic Trick

Lately, as I listen to undecided voters speaking about how Senator McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin convinced them that they should vote McCain, I feel as though I am trapped by a magician in a magic show on the Twilight Zone.

There are voters who will vote party lines regardless of the candidate or the issues.  Then there are voters who will not vote for a Black man to be the President of the United States, regardless of the issues or the position and qualifications of the candidate.  These voters would publicly give politically correct reasons for not choosing Obama, but the bottom line would be race, plain and simple.  I don’t really know what percentage of voters these are, but my feeling is that the both of the above groups of voters are more Republican than Democrat. Then there are those voters who only care that the country continues its movement away from the First Amendment and towards a more Fundamentalist Christian rule; guiding the country back to Biblical Science and away from evolution while limiting our freedoms regarding homosexuality, religious practice, and the right to choose.  In this group too, the Republicans have an edge.  Then there are those voters who want to see a woman President regardless of what she stands for or what her vision of this country is.  And last, there is the group of voters who want more than anything for the country to be free of this war in Iraq, avoid any other unnecessary wars, and search for Osama Bin Laden where he has always been. This group is mostly Democratic but with a small number of Republicans who see the financial waste.  These are not the groups who will win the election.  These are the groups who are already, and have been from the beginning, reflected in the polls.

There are many young people not counted in the polls who will vote for a change, vote for an economy where they can find work and remain in this country, vote for a country where they will have an opportunity to find better or any health care for themselves and the children that they have or intend to have.  Many of these voters are rational thinkers and realize that if the Republicans were going to make any of the changes that they are promising today, some of them would have been reflected over the past eight years.  These voters are not listed in the undecided, they are decided, but just not counted, as in the many surprise primaries for Obama and Ron Paul, and they will show up at the polls and cast the vote that they have already decided upon.

The voters still to be convinced are the undecided.  Some are hesitant about Barack Obama because they believe that given the situation that the country is in here and abroad, perhaps more foreign policy experience would be of value, perhaps just more experience on the ticket.  If we are willing to face the elephant in the room (no pun intended), considering the issue of Obama’s race, and his very John F. Kennedy like vision for this country and its people – there is an underlying fear of assassination.  Many people fear that if he isn’t too good to be true, as some would like us to believe, then he is too good, for those whose power depends on exploitation, to be allowed to serve the people of this country.  In regards to the concern over experience, his running mate would either help satisfy the question of experience by adding that to the ticket, or, solidify the concern by choosing someone who is equally or less experienced that Obama.  The same would be an issue if the fear was of assassination.  The Vice President would have to share Obama’s vision of positive change for the majority of the people and at the same time satisfy the question of experience.  In these two areas Joe Biden was the most appropriate choice to assuage the doubts and satisfy many of the undecided voters.

Those who would want to consider John McCain but remain undecided feeling that his lack of economic experience and overall foreign policy and national security experience, beyond having served in a war, needed to be considered.  There is also the issue of mortality when the person running for President could be elected to his first term at the age of 72 with a history of Cancer and other health problems.  So, here too, the Vice President that he would choose would have to be more experienced in dealing with the economy foreign affairs and national security.  If we are going for a change in the running of the government, then it would have to be someone who did not vote with Bush 90% of the time but voted for the people.

The thing that utterly amazes me is that I am hearing people who say that they were undecided, now stating that after the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate, they have decided to vote for him.  If the prior hesitation was that he needed more experience in areas that would help our economy or foreign policy, what does she bring to the table that turns him into the perfect President for our country?  If it is a question of mortality, which in McCain’s case is much more viable a question than in Obama’s, what makes Sarah Palin the right candidate for the office of President of the United States?  Is this country really ready to go from President GW Bush to President Sarah Palin?  I don’t understand what, of the little that we know of her, could give people the sense that she would be so capable of leading the free world that without so much as a single debate or an unscripted reply to a single question, they were suddenly able to decide?  Was the hesitation that McCain was not a woman?  Was it that she is a mother who did not abandon her pregnant teenager?  Was it that she takes great joy in killing defenseless animals for sport and supports the NRA?  I am sure that McCain, if not an avid killer of animals, does at least support the NRA.  So I am at a loss to understand the logic behind the choice of a woman that we have yet to really know anything about, swaying the undecided now, before any debates, before any open interviews – before she is even permitted to answer questions from reporters.

What does this say about what this country stands for in the twenty-first century?  What does this say about this country and its place in the world?  As of today, with what we know about Joseph Biden, and Sarah Palin, I am at a totally unable to understand how anyone could be in doubt as to who would better represent the nation and its people in the world today.  I am not saying that there is something wrong with believing that Sarah Palin is the best candidate after knowing enough about her to be adequately informed as to her capabilities and her intentions as Vice President and President, should she have to step in and ascend to that Office.  At least, then, credit must be given for a choice made based on being adequately informed, and on the world’s stage in which we live, we can stand up for a decision made, whether we like it or not, that engaged the mind and heart.

But the truth is that all of the e-mails that I am receiving that push the Republican ticket because of Sarah Palin, either begin with, “She has truly been sent by God to the Kingdom”, or, “Finally a woman who is just like us.”  My first problem is with selling her as an average mother, many mothers with children who have disabilities do not have a choice between being there for their children, or working to support them.  The mothers that I know, who have the choice as she does, would overwhelmingly choose to be a mother first to a child with special needs, even if it meant temporarily putting ambition aside.  And as to God sending her to the Kingdom, I believe that God sends everything that happens and everyone who is born – to this kingdom.  The question which remains to be answered, in my very humble opinion, is whether or not this package from on High will have been sent to our nation as a reward, or as a lesson that we have yet, been unwilling to learn.