“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Golden Rule was imprinted on a picture of Blacks, Mexicans, Indians, Jews, Whites, Asians, Middle Easterners, all ethnicities, all religions, all ages, in my dad’s office growing up. It was a print of a painting by Norman Rockwell, and I saw it every single day. It was the first thing you noticed when you walked into his office; you couldn’t miss it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
My dad was the principal of my elementary school in Dallas. For 9 years, I went to his school as a student, and so did my older brother. My dad was, and still is, my hero. But that painting, those words, they have been in my heart my entire life. I have not always lived by that painting, but I have tried to. And I’ve always held it dear.
Last week, I started this post with the two paragraphs above, and the rest of the post was a very raw description of my sadness with our new potential Trump world. I showed the post to my husband and he advised me to think it over before publishing it, and I trust his advice more than anyone, and so I held off. And I’m glad I did.
So the rest of this post, it is new. And it is way, way less hateful.
My dad is a counselor in Dallas. He was also, as described above, the principal of an elementary school in Farmers Branch, a little city just north of Dallas, for over 25 years. If you grew up in Dallas, there’s a good chance that you had my dad as your principle or my mom as your teacher. She taught kindergarten for more than 20 years, or maybe even 30 years, and still teaches first and second grade, to this day, in Dallas. I can’t tell you the number of people I meet today who have been affected by those two humans, and that fills my heart with so much joy. I can’t think of too many other human beings who are as grounded, loving, nurturing, accepting, creative, and open as those two. I think of the number of children who came into their lives over their 40+ years of teaching, counseling, and helping others, and I am absolutely amazed. These two have made our world such a stronger, more connected, more loving, more accepting place. I am lucky to be their daughter, but if you’re from Dallas and were raised with them around, you got to have them as your parent as well. Because that’s how the world works: we are one big community, loving and helping and encouraging others. And that’s pretty damn incredible.
And here’s what is neat, here’s how we are all connected in this big, vast world: my dad also has an email newsletter. And he’s incredibly profound, uplifting, loving. You can sign up for it here, and I suggest you do. But back to the cool thing; his last newsletter, it came out two days after I was going to send mine. And it was about the Golden Rule. He didn’t mention the above quote, but he referred to it, and how we need to treat each other with respect during these trying times.
And that, that is how we are all connected.
I get that I’m related to him; I get that his spirit is my spirit. But it’s more than that. We’re all in this world together. He had no idea I was writing my words, and I had no idea he was writing his, and we’re both saying the same thing. And that, that is love.
That is magic and spirit and that is the essence of why we as humans have to continue working for the life we want: because we can never, ever forget that there is magic all around us.
And here’s something else I know: I am lucky enough to teach yoga at a little school here in Fort Worth and I cannot begin to explain how teaching yoga to children has completed my life, has filled me with wonder, has connected me to the great spirit around us.
In the class of 8th graders, there’s a few little black girls, and they all go to mats to practice next to each other, so they can be connected. And in savasana, at the end of class, all the kids lie with their eyes closed, and I encourage them to soak up everything they just experienced. And these little girls, they hold hands. The whole time. They don’t let go. They hold on to each other. They are family in the greater sense of the word. They connect and share and give love.
And each and every time, I have to hold back tears. Because that is love. That is why we are here. That is how we grow. We have to love, we have to share, and with that, we become open, we become vulnerable, we connect fully and wholly to this world.
Our world; it is so much bigger than a 4-year term of a president of a country. Our world will always be love. We might not always see that, but we can choose to look for it. We just have to change our perspective at times. We can choose to live by The Golden Rule. We can choose to look for and to live by love.
A Whole Foods opened up near my house, and for the first month it was here, I barely made any food. They have such a good selection of to-go meals that I’d just stop by Whole Foods every few days and stock up. And then I started looking at the ingredients, and realized, holy crap, there’s a ton of stuff in here that I don’t want to be eating. So, I made a copycat version of my favorite of their soups, and it’s below, without the sugar and the words no one can pronounce. It’s a bit different than theirs, but very good, and I hope you enjoy.