The Louisiana Social Pledge
We pledge our allegiance to Louisiana. We will embrace what makes us and our state unique. Louisiana will be recognized as a leader and innovator of the New South. Many great leaders of the future will come from this state. And we will show both the media and politicians that we are smarter than them. We will no longer have our resources exhausted and our people used and left behind. We will work hard and play hard. We will protect each other. We will support each other. We pledge that we will do whatever we can to get these things in motion right now. We will no longer wait for a path to be cleared for us. We will clear the path ourselves. And we ain’t giving up easily. We will socialize in the real world just as well as we do on the internet…in hopes to organize ourselves effectively.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A Sunday Story (Joseph Michael Benoit - Iowa, LA)
As it happens, it rained, Saturday night. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and was expected. That's why I parked the motorcycle in the parking tower, and arranged for a friend to return me to my hotel room. I knew that I could get another ride, or take a cab. No worries.
After a sound sleep, a hot shower, and a breakfast that someone else cooked, I called a taxi service recommended by a hotel employee.(I like recommendations, and refer to the name of the person that gave it). The person I spoke to told me that it would be at least 45 minutes before they could get to me....
Really though....I was in no hurry. There were no deadlines to meet. The motorcycle was safe, and I could use another cup of coffee, while reading some of the Sunday paper.
Plus....I got to sit in the lobby, and quietly make uncomfortable the property manager...but that's another story.
Anyway, at approximately the exact time that I was told to expect the cab, it arrived. smile emoticon So, honesty first, integrity second, promptness third....which was soon followed by congeniality. Humility came fifth, as the driver apologized for how long it took to get to me.
He told me of having to cover two shifts, which left him no time to get a haircut. Not being able to get a haircut, he felt that he shouldn't go to church; and this dismayed him. unsure emoticon He just felt uncomfortable, going into church, his hair unkempt.
I took a moment, and then told him to think about that...the reason why he hadn't gotten a haircut.
Next, I told him to consider the reason WHY he went to church. I told him to consider WHO gave him THE reason to go to church. And then I told him to seriously think about the sermons that Yeshua would give, to whom Yeshua gave the sermons, and where Yeshua actually met with the multitudes, to give sermons.
He just kept shaking his head, in agreement. I gave him a moment to let things sink in.
After a few moments, I then told him to think about that haircut, and why it interfered with him Sharing Spirit.
It was because of what he thought that others might think of him, and his lack of a haircut.
Then, I reminded him that he went to church for a different reason. I reminded him that those who judged him for his hair, or for wearing work clothes to church, weren't there with Spirit in their hearts. I reminded him that he was there to find Peace and comfort in Sharing Spirit, not to parade before a judge-mental few, who deemed themselves the arbiters of what is Holy, and what is heretical.
I did not admonish him. In fact, I encouraged him to find the time between fares, and go to church, just as he was, which was the best that he could. I encouraged him to walk with his head high, and a smile on his face, because he did in fact have the Spirit necessary to expose the judge-mental, simply by ignoring them, and letting Spirit flow forth from, as well as through him.
"Man," he says. "I feel like I just got a Sermon. Wow. But, you're right!"
"I'm just here to shed a new Light on an old Perspective," I told him. I then began to explain to him the reason behind my alter-id (Youssef ibn Yahweh) and the how and why of that name.
Before we knew it, we were where my motorcycle was, and had gotten to talking about "paying it forward" as a philosophy, and how the movie of that name had changed his way of thinking about Life. He no longer wanted to be a bitter knucklehead. He wanted to see others succeed, and he wanted to help when and if he could. He told me of how he recognized the necessity of being able to accept help from someone when it was offered, and how that it was allowing him to be successful, now.
With great joy, he then told me how he liked to pay it forward, anonymously, if possible. He hoped that those that he helped would then be able to help others, at some point.
I asked him the fare. He said "15 dollars."
I gave him a 20-bill, and said, "Keep the change. A sermon, and a tip for you, today. Not what you were expecting, after telling me how long that it'd be before you could get to me, is it?"
He gave me a sheepish grin, as he shook my hand. "No, no it isn't. Have a great day, and be safe on the motorcycle. Thank you!"