Monday, March 28, 2011

Dance For Peace, Step One, then...?

First off, apologies it's been some time since I've written. I promised myself I would blog unless I was passionate about something, or thought good fun could be poked at something.

Yesterday I helped with a fundraiser called "Hope for Japan" down in Venice Beach. Cool location, great people I was working with, all very kind, very loving individuals, helping to collect donations from people to be sent to the Japanese Red Cross.

In that regard I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. As some of you may know, Japan is a country I've been to twice and is very close to my heart. In fact two of the images in the title of my blog are from my time in Japan. Needless to say, it's my home away from home, and I will always have a special place in my heart for all its people.

But this fundraiser we were a part of was actually right next to a larger event going on called "Dance for Peace." Seemed like a cool group of people, probably, throughout the day, thousands of people. But uh...over time...all I seemed to notice coming from the people of Dance for Peace was drug usage and dancing to techno music.

I mean, that's fine. I really don't want to be the kind of guy that harps on an organization that strives to promote peace. But I suppose...I was a little disappointed to see that dancing to techno music for Peace seemed about the extent of the day. I just guess I'm missing the part where people who need to experience peace or learn about peace are receiving that from these people dancing.

The main point is, really, why aren't we out more? Getting together to share peace with one another and do drugs and dance is great, sure. I may refrain from the drugs but I danced with some of those folk, hugged some people, it was good times. But I often wonder, in regards to something like this, is it enough?

There are places in the world where clouds seem to loom perpetually, where peace seems absent, and love is scarce. So...I just suppose that the biggest thing I felt like sharing is...go to those places.

Dancing for Peace, to me, is really step one. Usually, with events like that I ask the people there what's going on, what their prupose is for being there, what peace and love means to them. I don't mean to generalize by saying there were a ot of hippies there but there were a lot of hippies there.

But what I found from a lot of people was kindness (which is key) and then the difficulty of holding a lucid conversation because they were either high or drunk.

If someone needs peace in their life, and they encounter you, what do you want them to walk away with? Not remembering your name but remembering how high you were?

Look, drugs are people's thing, I get it. I'm not one who will go around to tell people to knock it off. You're all big boys and girls. But what I will say is that if you want to preach a higher message such as peace, don't deprive others of hearing that message because you can't put two words together.

What bothers me is the fact that something seeking to spread kindness seemed to be abused by some for personal gain. I met a man who said he was a warrior of peace. He was wearing some sort of fuzzy animal costume. Seemed like a nice guy, but seemed like much of the rest.

Shouldn't warriors of peace be on the battlefield? Is Venich Beach, CA really such a distruaght portion of the state, or the nation, or the world? Should warriors of peace be encouraged to tend to the needy, to hopeless, the homeless, those who have deemed themselves unloveable?

What's hard is the statement you make when you say you stand for something. I think we're living in a world caught up too much in how awesome things sound when we say them to ourselves and to other people.

Without getting to caught up in this, I'd ultimately like to say, Dancing for Peace is good, but it's not nearly enough. You want peace? You want love? You have honestly got to get out there and practice it. Doing drugs and dancing isn't enough.

Yesterday you danced for peace. Good. But that's step one. Today you practice peace. Today you don't just talk about peace, but you let the work of your hands give way to peace.

Step One is always easiest. Saying you'll do something isn't hard at all. Step two is always hardest. Actually doing it takes will and takes the showing of merit of true warriors of peace. The difference that separates talkers and doers is simple. It's better to say nothing, and do what you mean, than to say much and live up to nothing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's All Relative

Been stressing a lot recently. We think about traffic, lateness, not eating one meal, work, homework, yard work, frustration with every tiny little thing in our lives.

Good friend of mine, co-worker, said he was sitting in traffic the other morning, and not happy. I know me, I HATE traffic. It takes me from Green to Red in 10 seconds sometimes, especially if I need to be somewhere, or if I'm grumpy, it just makes it worse.

But the cause of that particular traffic incident, which was cars stopped on the freeway, was two fatalities.

Traffic doesn't seem so bad anymore, especially considering two people won't be going home today.

When those frustrations feel like they're adding up, count your blessings, they truly are all around you. Just as easy as it is to find things wrong with the world, wrong with life, unfortunate with our situations, it's just as easy to find thing beautiful with the world, things good in life, things would she consider ourselves fortunate to have or to be a part of.

Blessings are within each day. It's only a matter of whether or not you're willing to accept the fact that they are there, and that they can be found.

Happiness is a choice. It really is. It's a gift if we pursue the choice, but if you don't want to be happy...you don't have to be.

Just a brief though to remind everyone of the things I have to remind myself every day. Because it helps. You just want to break down, to cry, to pound your fists and say why me, and then you remember we're not living in Libya. Or Egypt. Or the Middle East, and that we have roofs over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our back. Those are three simple things we have without giving it a second thought. Because we don't have to stress about the necessities, we're able to stress about the unnecessary things...like traffic.

It's all relative.

You're alive. It's a beautiful day. You've got it better than half the rest of the world. Honestly? We should be happy to sit in traffic.