I'm sure I don't have to ask everyone how they are doing, as I know we all have been impacted to some degree or another by the situation spreading around the world. What I do want to impress upon everyone is the fact that while life changes daily and we may end up with a new norm, that we are survivors and this WILL come to pass.
We have seen mass disasters from floods, hurricanes, heat, shootings, bombings, and diseases all before. It is nothing short of tragedy when lives are lost. In times like that, we somehow manage to pull together, setting aside politics, color, religion, persuasion and other differences, while we embrace humanity and pull each other through as we stand united against the common enemy, be it Mother Nature or some type of terrorism, be it homegrown or otherwise.
The one thing we seem to inevitably do is, to not maintain that compassion for our fellow human beings and over time (a very short time), we drift apart and retreat back to our attacks on one another over petty differences until the next major tragedy strikes.
While this serious and rude interruption of our lives and livelihood has all but stopped us in our tracks (so far), rather than spend our time contemplating further disaster and commiserating over our losses, let's use this time to build relationships with others from all walks of life and think about ways we can maintain these relationships once the disaster is in the rear view mirror. That way in the future, instead of everyone talking about how to flatten the curve, we can celebrate the fact that we are way ahead of the curve the next time disaster strikes.
Stay safe & healthy and look for my new podcast coming soon. I'll be looking for you and wanting to give you a chance to share your brilliant minds.
We may not have seen the worst, but the best is yet to come.
Hang in there,
You want to hear a good one? True story. I have been to 56 different countries on 6 continents, played in 15 foreign countries and played in 49 of our 50 U.S. States.
In between gigs I have spent 30+ years talking with Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis, White Nationalists, White Supremacists, White Separatists, Black Supremacists, Black Separatists, Alt Right members and just about every other group you can imagine with a superiority complex. The purpose of which, is bring some reconciliation amongst different ideological groups to reduce violence and racism and bring about a sense of normalcy and civility among my fellow Americans.
For my efforts, many of which have been successful, I have been called a nigger, a porch monkey, a pavement ape, by racists, an Uncle Tom, an Uncle Ruckus, an Oreo, a race traitor, a sellout, both a pimp and a prostitute, by some of those who look like me and who claim to despise racism. When you add it all up, I've been just about called every name but my own name.
In my 61 years on this Earth, i've seen a lot and I've heard a lot. But a few nights ago I was called something I could not imagine being called in a million years. I was part of a panel in Philadelphia, assembled by the conference organizers to discuss ways to de-escalate racism, antisemitism and violence in our country.
Meanwhile, a group known as Antifa (short for /Anti- Facist), threatened to do violence to the conference organizers and panel speakers and burn down the building where we were to speak. Despite the threats, we had a very successful conference. We celebrated with an after-party in a room filled with people from all walks of life and every political persuasion from MAGA hat wearing Trump supporters to supporters of those at the opposite end of the Make America Great Again people and everyone in between on the spectrum. We ALL got along fantastically.
Meanwhile, the police department shut down the streets surrounding the site of the party as a crowd of about 40 Antifa members gathered outside the building to protest, accusing the the speakers and organizers of being racist
We invited the Antifa members to come in a join the party and have an opportunity to talk with us. They refused. I thought I had seen and heard it all in my 61 years and nothing would surprise me, but I was mistaken. Now are you ready for this? The Antifa people called me a White Supremacist. What??? Are you kidding me??? Wow!!! That's right, you heard me!!! They called ME, a White Supremacist. Now, I KNOW I've heard it all. It's good to be colorblind sometimes, but this is ridiculous!!!
That threw me for a loop. I scratched my head for a second, trying to make sense of this strangely misconceived insult. But all I could do was laugh. I literally even laughed all the way back to DC on my flight the next morning. The plane wasn't crowded and I had a whole row to myself. The other passengers must have thought I was crazy. I hope my sharing this with you allows you to find some humor as well. Next time someone calls you a name, think bout this, and just laugh your ass off. 😀