“Joy is not an escape from reality’s hard edges, not a privilege of the few or a luxury to be allowed once the hard work is done. It’s a life-giving, resilience-making human birthright.”—Krista Tippett
I loved this essay by a friend of mine who describes himself as “Holder of lots of jobs, author, coach, nice guy.” I asked Dunn (see his bio below) if I could share here on the blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Perspective on All This
Sometimes God gets to call a time out, and while high school coaches get either 30 or 60 seconds, the Man gets as long as He needs, as long as it takes.
Why this? Why now? To me, something had to do it and if not now, when? And if not this, then what? We’ve been crippled before – we survived Ebola and Y2K – and we’ll never forget the days of September 11th.
Still, I recall September 12th, when perfect strangers hugged on the streets, when there were two-minute standing ovations to the National Anthem when the games began again. Now, as I’ve written, some don’t even bother to stand anymore.
For some reason, we were chosen – we were the winning sperm cells – we get to play. We’ve enjoyed piano recitals and 4th of July celebrations, competing win, lose, or draw. We’ve got to cry good tears and bad – fair and unfair – and quite frankly, we get to participate. I have to let that sink in as I write it – for some reason, we GET to participate!
We appreciated all this after 9-11 – for a while – and then we became a phone-staring culture – Screenagers as great writer Tom Greene wrote. We spent all this time doing and doing and doing and waiting for our next email while the world went unappreciated and our souls got corroded in the process.
I sit now in an empty school – not one student in here that needs to get a copy made, or to go to the bathroom, not one kid is flirting with another, there’s that lethal silence where there’s supposed to be slamming lockers, chirping voices, a Smart Board delivering some message.
We are on our knees – it’ll probably get worse before it gets better. Obviously, it’s time we take care of our bodies, though I contend it’s time to take care of our souls. I sit in an empty classroom, waiting in wonderful impatience for the next time 22 kids pile in here – all filled with piss and vinegar and life and dates and agendas.
I write crippled as you are – on my knees and with scabs that are getting worse. But I still write in gratitude. We have survived before. We will survive again. Life is here and for some reason, we were chosen to play.
Okay, so who the hell am I? Do I think I’m God’s gift? Yes, I do. And SO ARE YOU! Damn it, SO ARE YOU!
It’s time we appreciate that fact, take care of it, mentally and physically.
And in closing, I picture the day – not far away – when these halls refill, priceless smiles everywhere, the sounds of laughter replacing this God-awful silence.
I love that thought. And I choose to love this life.
Today, I’ll reboot my spirits instead of my computer. And I can’t wait to see you all again, cellphones be damned…Dunn, James Dunn
Dunn Neugebauer is the author of two books – Funny Conversations with God, and Rock Bottom, Then Up Again (and other spiritual essays). He lives and works in Atlanta as a Sports Information Director, Upper School sub, cross country and track coach, and football announcer. When not at school, he reads, writes, runs, and works crossword puzzles for sanity sakes.
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).
I trust you are well.
That post made me cry and smile and appreciate everything and everyone around me, thanks.
Kind Regards and Stay Safe
Thank you once again, Pam, for the profound light and comfort that you always know how to bring. This is incredible and so very true. Hoping the bright light in this is everyone coming together and connecting as the One we truly are. God bless you always – be well. Wishing you love and peace beyond all understanding.
Absolutely terrific essay, Pam. Many thanks for sharing this. Those are important words for us all to take to heart.
These horrid viruses come from humans eating animals. They are animal viruses. Let that sink in.
If humans want to continue consuming flesh with no regard for the sacrifice those animals have made, then this is the price we will continue to pay. Nature always balances. Always.
Please note, this is no time for vegan point scoring. People are worried enough without you taking a pop at them
It is a shame you see it that way. I was not taking a “pop” at anyone. Simply pointing out facts since the animals are unable to do that themselves.
Pam, many thanks for posting this and Dunn for writing it. I’ve just started re reading your Thanks and Grow Rich book and I’m getting so much more from it. I recommend a re read to everyone at this difficult time. Love to all
Thank you so much 🤩👍
Thank you Pam for being an added light in our day with your sharing❤ I found those yoga classes on tv. Thanks so much. Naturewalks, Prayer, gentle yoga daily.
I’m not on my knees and have never been in this debacle. For some reason, I seem to be walking on water and the Red Sea keeps parting before me. I’m being taken care of and given whatever i need when I need it. Whatever is happening to the rest of the world, for me, life is good and joyful and serene – even if people keep looking at me strangely!!! 🙂
Thank you, again and again. I look forward each day to your reminders that, no matter how the world appears to be, we’re all still connected and we’re all still connected by Love
Pam, I just love you! Thank you for being my inspiration!
This is just what I needed today. Thank you!
Thank you for sending!
Sent from my iPad
Love this! Thank you.
I love this, Dunn and Pam! Thank you!
I love this. Thank you. xx
Hello Pam I really love your posts🙌 My very best Michael
Thankyou Pam. Beautiful words from Dunn Neugebauer giving us hope and encouragement in this upside down time we’re in at the moment. Thanks for sharing his essay with us. We WILL get through this challenge, and the more of us who believe we will, and who know that love is the answer and that we “could see peace instead of this” the easier it will be for everyone around us to believe we will get through it too. Blessings galore to you and to Dunn.
Thanks Jenny and thanks for reading! And hang in there – we’ve got this!
So in summary, if we’ve been taking life for granted, we’ve all received a wake-up call to express gratitude for our blessings, (even toilet paper especially here in Australia!).
Much love, Linda.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Pam! This is freeeeekin awesome 😎
Wow! Tears down my cheeks. Thank you for sharing his beautiful words!! I know in my heart we are all growing in beautiful ways from this change.
Thanks for this. Just yummy
Loved this!! I hope his students all appreciate the evolved soul that he is.
Loved this Pam. Thanks for sharing. You, Dunn and I are on the same page. I am celebrating life, new awarenesses, all of these wake-up calls. I am grateful to still be alive today and able to ride this out, whatever it may turn out to be, to its amazing conclusion. I’m taking responsibility for all of my choices from the time I was born and it is so freeing and uplifting to release all of that blame and guilt and anger and hatred! We are all One. We have co-created this experience, and we get to choose how we respond to it. With fear or with love and awareness. I choose love and awareness. Thank you Pam. Thank you Dunn. What amazing examples of God you are! And I am, too!
On target and I enjoy his sentiments. Time to get back to the basics of why we are here. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what changes take place out of this.
Love you more every day. Thank you. Nancy kellis