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Be Like Willie...

I don’t understand how this happened again. I was barely 26 years old, fresh and green, only teaching 3 years - and then Columbine happened. When my kids and I had “real speak” I invited them to ditch their chairs and sit on top of their desks. This new seating assignment held unsaid things: everyone has a right to speak or not, we’re a family, we look out for each other. I started this very difficult conversation by trying to console them. Alas, that was very short lived, as the waterworks began to flow freely.

What is left? A spindle of hope for our collective future. A thread of a belief that things will change. An ache that rolls in with the tide but never recedes.

“An ethical and moral life is about letting go of indifference and learning how to see. It’s about waking up to love ourselves, love our posse, and love our world. Imagine love as our shared spiritual practice, binding us to one another, enabling us to see our connection - that we are kin.”

- Jaqui Lewis

A conservative friend of mine posted that all school staff and teachers should be armed. I chose education, not the police force or the military. With respect, I strongly disagree.

I am unclear on the division. We are losing ourselves as we cling to our far right and far left ways. As we grasp our guns and rainbow flags, each vowing the other is wrong and most certainly, we are right. Ego seems to have hijacked the entire bus of humanity and we are headed towards a cliff that ends in a fiery crash.

I had a very wise friend recently pose an insightful question: what would happen if at the end of the day, we gathered in a comfy space, lit a campfire and really checked in with each other as a community. Like, let’s throw it back all the way to “it takes a village” times.

What would happen if we had respectful conversations sparked with curiosity with folks who hold the same and different values than we do? Where all topics were welcomed and nothing was off limits? What guidelines would need to be in place for us to see each other as souls, and just that?

I’d like to propose that we follow the 3 rules that Willie Nelson instilled in his family and to this day, his sons Lukas and Micah, now grown men, can recite without missing a beat.

Rule Number 1: Don’t be an asshole.

Rule Number 2: Don’t be an asshole.

Rule Number 3: Don’t be a goddamn asshole.

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