78 and counting…this morning I woke up singing

This morning I woke up singing, grateful for a new day, a new chance, a new hope and a bright future. I am going to try to never look back on the past four years and dwell there, because, at my advanced age, I have learned that if you drag too much baggage with you, you will miss the train. I much prefer to travel forward.

I am re-inspired and filled with anticipation after yesterday’s monumental Presidential Inauguration celebration here in the United States of America. We needed that! Our favorite leaders gathered in one place, able to smile and even laugh together while the newest among them is sworn into office was a sight for sore eyes. Democracy has revealed her fragility in this first month of our 2021st year. It is not the first time for that nor will it be the last. We have come through a firestorm of hot-tempered violence resulting in death and destruction at the very end of four agonizing years of holding our breath with a dangerously wrong leader at a vulnerable time in history. But we overcame and we learned from it. We have learned volumes of lessons, and the difference between cabbages and Kings.

There are always silver linings that reveal themselves long after a storm. Perspective teaches us.

This time we found one of those silver linings almost immediately.

We have a new poet laureate, seeming far too young for such wisdom and eloquence, but it is often the young who see things most clearly. She will be forever etched in our hearts and minds and when we seek inspiration and the correct words for any spectacular occasion we will look to Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate 2017. She asked us to seek the light, in her speech titled THE HILL WE CLIMB.

See it in its entirety on UTube.

To the rest of the world we have seemed like an immature foolish young nation as we endured the past four dangerous years, and we are. America is a mere adolescent in the overall scheme of things, plodding along at democracy; an awkward, stumbling, inexperienced, gullible rooky at this democratic experience. A poor judge of character, desperate for an insane quick fix is exactly what we have been, in our youthful desire to prove our maturity. It has only been 245 years since we declared our independence from Great Britain. Not even a nano-second in all of time. We are so very young but it nearly cost us our democracy. Thank god for the Constitution of the United States of America as our guiding light and some courageous leaders to follow it.

America’s faults are many but some reside in dreaming big, because that is what youngsters do. We are often impatient to get things right and yet at other times we are far too patient when we should act quickly. We often lose focus on the bigger picture, and we are indeed a huge picture to focus upon with 3 time zones and many regional lifestyles from sea to shining sea. We are proud to be multicultural. We have dialects. Our country is vast and diverse. We have a dense, rich history of immigrants and dreamers and we value that. We are still trying to incorporate all of those components and more into one cohesive whole with liberty and justice for all and for the most part we succeed. Sometimes we stumble, but people do look up to us for our earnest hope to be better, do better, and offer more with our vast opportunities and resources and our warm and welcoming nature. Everyone but the worst of the worst wants America to be successful in doing that. We try to be worthy of the world’s admiration. We seek to succeed at things we have been led to believe are undoable or practically impossible but our hope is to be the shining example. Some of us kid ourselves into believing that we have our problems under control when we certainly do not. We are still very much a work in progress, and we are not afraid of hard work and dedication. We want to mature into the dreams we have for ourselves.

How History judges us will be determined in time, but in my time, and your time here in the USA I hope we remain determined to do our best, the very best we can possibly do, to be part of the solution instead of the problem. We have an admirable new president now, eager to make positive change and bring us all together, but the responsibility cannot be placed on just one man…..let us all do our part and keep the dreams alive. There is no time like NOW.

Jo Ann Brown-Scott, author and artist

Art – http://www.artistjoannbrown-scott.com and ETSY at JoAnnBrownScottART

Instagram at The Creative Epiphany

Novel A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON on amazon and kindle

Non-fiction THE CREATIVE EPIPHANY and YOUR MIRACULOUS, TIMELESS CREATIVITY both on amazon and kindle

FaceBook – Jo Ann (Rossiter) Brown-Scott

Say his name. George Floyd.

Say his name, his family repeats…George Floyd. Say his name. Not even 9 minutes of time that changed the world.

Little did George Floyd know that he was destined to change the world in less than 9 minutes of tragic suffering. He paid the ultimate price; he had no choice in the matter. But he found his place in history through the hatred of a man whose name I choose not to remember. George Floyd is forever the hero of a movement that could easily be the pivotal point, the tipping point, the moment in all time when the history of mankind’s racial hatred toward each other would be forever changed. People have had enough.

Even those of us who proudly claim not to be racist have had our claims put to the test. We still have lessons to learn. We still need to feel the pain of racism on a deeper level. My personal bar of being not a racist is raised considerably higher during this time as I watch night after night of peaceful protesting from people who care enough to put everything else aside and walk for days and days. I feel the pain in the eloquent words from George Floyd’s family as they plea for peace and ask for the violence to stop, because he would not have wanted this. The amazing grace…the deep love….the understanding….the compassion…displayed in their words were like a prayer. Those words were holy.

If you are not asking yourself some questions during this monumental movement then something is missing inside you that needs serious attention. Go deeper. Personalize it. What if George Floyd was your friend, your brother, your child? What if he had done something valuable for you? A simple favor? A big favor? Saved your life? What if he had saved your child’s life?

Maybe he actually has saved your child’s life with his legacy.

Would his blackness make you any less grateful? Would you still feel hatred for him?

Well, George Floyd has done something for you – he has given you a wake up call. An epiphany. A reason to change. He has possibly saved all of our lives with his sacrifice.

In the words of John Lennon  –  IMAGINE all the people.

People are taught to hate by seeing that behavior in the people around them who want them to learn it. Our children and their children must witness a change and be taught to carry the change forward with pride of knowing that the change began with them. For the people who are fiercely carrying the heavy burden of hatred as adults, you need to find help. Open your mind to change, and if you cannot, then the laws of the land will eventually find you.

George Floyd will live in my heart forever. His name will now become a noun that means I am not a racist, I am George Floyd. Say his name.

 

 

 

IMAGINE

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photo courtesy of Jo Ann Brown-Scott, Singapore,  Buddha Tooth Relic Temple…..one of my favorite places on earth

I am having trouble finding words…eloquent words…to express my profound sadness at the world’s malaise. I am just one person, just one voice, and certainly a small one at that. I don’t understand the degree of violence and hatred that is ripping apart families and countries and causing a tidal wave, a tsunami of suffering.

This is the time of year when the word HOPE usually carries extra weight; the word JOY is meant to sound a joyous call of celebration and the phrase brotherhood of all men ought to bring us together as a collective world family here on the big blue dot that is planet earth. If that was the answer I believe we’d have it all figured out by now, but apparently we need much much more.

I keep thinking of the children. I see their faces and I die for them, wondering how they will ever find a place of safety and love upon which they might build a new start in life. So many children. Clothing, food. Jackets, shoes, hats and hot soup. Four walls and a roof. Warmth during winter. The unknown luxury of books and toys. The loving arms of parents and people who will hug them to sleep.

Can you imagine? In the words of John Lennon’s, “Imagine”…

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only skyImagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one
Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/imagine-lyrics-john-lennon.html#GGBowHGpdzw5j16G.99