I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.Martin Luther King, Jr.
The most important thing in the world is family and love.John Wooden
A Father’s Guide to Wisdom
I do not often share about my spiritual life. This is because as a scientist, I am trained extensively to remove inner subjectivities from the objective nature of a study. This is especially true of subjective experiences I can not objectively prove such as core spiritual and/or religious beliefs. I take the responsibility seriously when I work with people. However, what I see happening now has me growing in deep concern for the ecology of the human spirit, or its capacity to grow from the divisive nature of all that surrounds us.
I produced this video last night, because it spoke to me. I oftentimes turn to the wisdom of individuals of old, to make sense of the experiences we go through. That is the power of history: words, quotes, stories of individuals that took brave steps forward, so that they could overcome great obstacles at a personal level; and in their bravery they did nothing less than change the world that surrounded them.
I heard the Dalai Lama say yesterday that in order to change the world, you must first change yourself. That is nothing new from a Buddhist tradition. Psychoanalytic traditions and Western methods of cognitive psychology also understand the profound effect internal change has on the mindset of the individual. For it is within the space of one’s mind that one’s life is created, for better or worst, through hatred or love.
Last night I prayed. I prayed to let go of the animosity I feel present in my country. I asked to be guided through love to find an answer, and a story came to my dreams, one I had nearly forgotten about, even though it happened only one year earlier.
Last year I took my children to Santa Cruz for my youngest son’s birthday. We had an enjoyable time at the Boardwalk, rode wonderful rides, and enjoyed the pleasure of each other’s company. At the end of the day, we went to dip our feet in the Pacific Ocean, a tradition we have to say goodbye to the beach we so love. We ran in and out of the water, nothing too deep, for my son was only turning 6 at the time.
As we turned back to walk back to the shore, my oldest son was in front of me and my youngest son on my side walking less than a foot away. Something started to happen. I large V formed in what was about 1 foot of water, and I had to start stepping high in order to avoid its pull. I could see my wife yelling something, but could not make out what she was saying. To my dismay, what was less than one second in time later, my son had been pulled by a rip tide in less than one foot of water, was on his bottom, and being sucked out into the ocean. I ran…
He was in a seated position being pulled out, and I saw a wave ready to break upon his head… I knew there was only one chance and I took it. I yelled to him to cover and he leaned forward. I dove head first into the wave, grabbed him by his shorts and pulled him into my chest. We both made it… a little scraped up, his shorts in my hand, but his body tucked into my chest. One second, and tragedy can truly strike; luckily, we both lived to retell the story.
The moral of the story: God gives and God can take. Sometimes it may only be a split second between paradise and true loss. What story do you want to leave… What story do you want told about you. For me, family is everything… Why pay attention to everything else that is going on when those that need you most are oftentimes right there with you, sharing along in the journey. Maybe if each and everyone of us focused on changing our homes for the better, instead of focusing on having others do it for us, the world would be a much better place. Don’t you agree.
I hope you enjoyed. With prayers and blessings my friends. Believe… Achieve… Advance Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams.