Hope can do mighty things. One of hope's gifts is inspiration. Once people have hope, they can be inspired to action, be it the action of speaking to their neighbors or something larger. Those without hope don't try to change anything, because they do not think they will make a difference.
Seeing the results of actions taken, feeds hope. On the other side, hope left unfed will die. So I suggest, as we share hope, we also are prepared to assist people in getting involved. So many great organizations exist, and are doing great work, but need more help. If we know what work is being done in our communities, we can make suggestions that match the interests, issues, and concerns of our neighbors and help them start to make a difference, and in turn feed their hope.
Hope is thought made divine. Hope, belief and knowing are the tools we use to turn F.E.A.R. - (False Evidence Appearing Real) into the grandest version of the greatest vision we have about ourselves. (Feeling Excited And Ready!) This can only happen when we replace our sponsoring thoughts, words and actions of fear with love. Only if we replace our sponsoring thoughts, words and action with statements of who we really are, which is joy, truth, and love. ~ Paul Jaramillo
I too believe that hope is a powerful tool to be used to bring about change. True change comes when the mind of free of fear, open to new experience and free from the box that we are told to think outside of! There is no box unless we create it and will it to exist.
I also have noticed a huge shift in how the good people of our community are showing subtle signs of trying to trust again, after so many years of fear-filled propaganda.
A few observations:
On Election day, November 2008:
The air seem absolutely charged with anticipation and excitement; it was as if the collective breathe of our entire area was being held in some top-secret and mirthful hope that something big and wonderful was happening. Several little efforts of "stepping outside of old suspicions" and self-centered behavior were in evidence at every turn.
I am one to always seek and observe normally overlooked public behavior; especially body movement and facial changes. On our best day as a nation last year, people were visibly giddy - making eye contact much more than usual as if it were, in effect a group sharing of some, secret "hand shake-squad" and all were innately in the know of this ubiquitous sharing and actively on patrol... for someone to smile at, open a door for, share a "cup of joe" or tea with, open a door or race to pick up the unnoticed fallen or lost object for return to its rightful owner... only everyone seemed to be "in." at Starbucks, I was happy to hear someone yelling, "Miss, [not ma'am for a change] oh, miss! You dropped this." and as I turned it was a fellow who appeared to be in some hard-times but generally feeling good and happy to be alive... and I was greeted with such a huge smile as this fellow rushed pass me waving a $20 bill; then, turning my attention back and I heard another person, who also seemed to be "just ok" in terms of monetary abundance gasp, "Oh My! Thank you so much!" Behold the next thing I saw and hear... she looked in her pocket book and in a flash responded with: "Sir, could you please keep that, please?."
OMG! A collective sign like none other escaped all who were in presence and I could have cried! Impossible as it sounds, true as I sit here with chills as I type, recounting this tremendously heart and soul - baking experience. Weird, but I suddenly heard Lee Greenwood in my head singing, "I proud to be an American..." [I still remember being forced to listen to this little ditty in USN boot camp...but only when we were guilty of some abstract offense to the group think episode of the day...] Sorry, I digress!
What awesome magnificence I beheld, as one of many witnesses to such spontaneous and HUMBLE generosity in that 'flash o'inspiration' of moment, on that most significant day!
There continues to be a rising awareness of small but lovingly courteous deeds being perpetrated daily... at first it was in a shy manner but more so of late, people are opening doors for one another, allowing those with arms full of babies or groceries or books as it goes in a college town, the opportunity to receive repeated exposure to simple bits of essential kindness. And I even notice some, like myself doing so with a jovial and dramatic flair that can only make a smile or laugh rise in response.
Also noticeably on the rise is patience and acts of spontaneous conversation occurring in long check out lines, along with much more gratuitous eye-contact and huge genuine smiles. Knowing that we are all in some way being variously challenged by the current state of the economy and employment issues, has not deterred these signs in the least.
If anything, I am witnessing an amplification patience and some active resonance of concern for others in our public and transitory halls, lanes and byways of Gaiensville, FL, which in the past [6 years of my residence and experience] has typically been more self-contained in the places of typically necessary contact with people and neighbors as the previously distant "other-than-self & family"sort of passing.
I participated in jury duty and swear it was like one big joking family by the end of the day, when a college student, all of 18 years of life & amazing presence, who I spoke with between sessions, waited for his turn at the beckon call of societal civil duty told the judge, the prosecuting attorney, and the "felon," who was "representing himself" ...uh, yes, that is, "without legal representation;" this quietly reserved and all day silent witness to this bizarre drama we are all at one time or another called upon to serve, said:
"With all due respect to your honor, the accused, the prosecutor, and all others present, I cannot, in all honesty abide by this system of perceived justice, be of service to the courts in this upcoming trial, due to my personal belief and moral code, that it is unethical for any man, especially myself, to act as a judge by virtue of jury proceedings, to any other soul on our planet."
OH MY...! Talk about a high-voltage shock to the civil circuit! It took all of my personal restraint not to jump up and cheer and applaud, which by that time in the day might have initiated a standing ovation! And, I kid you not at all, this room was truly a "virtual-cornucopia" of cultural diversity in the face of potential jurors present on this particular day's selection.
I made it to the last round, of this drama - I think I blew it in the last pick by telling the defendant/self-appointed lawyer, that he must be nervous and that not only did I find his courage admirable, as a fellow citizen who has also represented herself in a court, who had also been told that I was insane, by everyone that felt comfortable in offering me their unsolicited advise, but that I felt that he was doing a good job and to have heart and stay calm. To which, the poor guy could only stare blankly and nod in agreement.
This area has historical relevance in that much of our local past is littered by many cases of shameful behavior, segregation, and volatile reactionary dramas, whose memories have continually ridden the ebbs and flows of time with out failing our collective memory.
"Rosewood" being just one representational documentary as an example. In a prequel event, during Black-History month I had the opportunity to record and edit the 1996 radio narrative, hosted by WMNF, a local public radio station...starring none other, than the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones as the narrator of choice.
What a trip that was, in a very small, still unknown studio in Seminole Heights, a posh suburb with beautiful old Victorian homes that reek of old time episodes featuring a seemingly obedient, stout and middle aged, black woman, who is yet infamous for being the ultimately wise "house - keeper," to that silly, rich, white family...all of richness set perfectly in the uncanny backdrop of Tampa, FL. It was another revealing experience of new-to-me, dichotomies that still give me chills thinking about it.
Where as today, I see joyful and spontaneously generous acts of kindness, conversational sharing and loud laughter between strangers and I believe as mention by our forum host, Paul Jaramillo, that at least from where I live, on the "oh, so scary,..." Northeast side of town, that the campaign efforts for Barack Obama effectively served as the platform necessary to allow the true nature of Gainesville to come out of the closet.
This campaign and election, without doubt, has been one of the most significant acts of paradigm-smashing, - - "RE-Communification" - - that I have personally witnessed in decades; effectively serving our neighborhood by bringing us all together in such a monumental movement that is still vividly projecting, in active and voluntary community service and communication, a kind of showing and sharing that has re-vitalized the public awareness of exactly, how many more similarities exists in our human culture than any previously perceived differences. What a sigh of relief that I still hear echoing among all of us, common beings trying to help with any small gesture possible.
I say: Laugh out loud, as often and in my case, as inappropriately as possible!
That our kindness and commonality continues to grow and shine everyday - - may be the most outstanding point of note. This is an excellent topic to revisit as we continue to dance and sing in a linear fashion despite our truly non-linear nature!
Let's do this one again soon Paul!!!
So, in conclusion of yet another of my well know "nangents," I leave our host with this compliment:
By the way - DUDE! You so, look like a friend of mine from back in the day named Jake; the best sounding and also best looking, friendly and charismatic, steel-guitar player on the bluegrass scene in the 70's! Wow! What a flashing gift of inspiration - I am off to pop in the last "Corbin and Hanner" cd, in recognition of the joy we receive from "good 'ole-timey" honest and shameless sharing!
Nance, your story and flare has just made my week. I have had the flu for 6 days now, and I am back at work, still hacking and coughing. This stuff just seems to move around. But thanks for your kindness, and energy.