Home of the Brave
That last line of the Star Spangled Banner always got me as a kid and still does is …. I grew up believing it was true. And even though I see us giving up many of our freedoms for a false sense of security I still believe that both freedom and courage are two things most of us guys strive for….being brave and going for freedom.
To do that, to be really free, I believe you have to thinking, feel, be and act radically. You have to be willing to follow your own soul path.
to be nobody but yourself in a world,
which is doing its best
day and night
to make you like everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle
you can ever fight
and never stop fighting
- e.e. commings
The radical movements I’m inviting you undertake are really about freeing your soul. What can you do each day to move more toward freedom, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? The men you most admire probably don’t spend their lives sitting for hours in rush hour traffic each day, or hours watching their giant screen TVs, or constantly checking their smart phones or Facebook pages.
You get what I mean. You can blame or you can be personally accountable. You can keep doing what drains your life force or can risk being radical and be and do what you know is right for you, your relationships and your community. You can numb out or you can wake up. You follow the crowd or you can explore what’s outside the box. You can compare yourself to others or you can go inside and see what’s right for you.
I’m very sad to see us giving up our personal freedoms so we can keep on consuming as usual. I do see courage and bravery displayed by first responders and those who take risks to make this world a better place. I also see cowardice in myself and others when it comes to protecting those basic freedoms and that we hold so dear.
We live in radically challenging times, and in many ways more challenging than humans have experienced before and those challenges are coming much faster now than any time we know of. To stay awake and thrive in these times will require us to be courageous at new levels.
I believe that we come here with the unique gift that we have to offer the world. The only way I can imagine each one of you expressing that genius is to go to the root of your being. And that's what I mean by radical…. going to the root, expressing who you are at the most fundamental levels. What would it be like to fully express your soul’s calling?
A few years ago I joined a men's fraternal organization, the International Order of Odd Fellows. I joined because I found the reason these fellows were called odd is because back in the 17th century their mission was to take care of the widows and orphans of their members if anything were to happen to them. They were a social safety net for other members of their communities. That care seemed odd to others at that time.
What if you could really give yourselves and others the opportunity to live in the land of the free and to allow each person to find their unique gifts. To do that I believe that we will need to be radical and courageous. Letting go of old habits and the attachments of old identities isn't easy.
I believe your soul has a deep understanding of why you’re here and if you can listen deeply within, to your body, to your feelings to your very being, you can transform, your relationships, and the world around you. To do that we have to take the risk to be a little more radical each day.
We live in a world of amazing speed and change and yet what we often want most is predictability. So many of our habits and patterns and addictions are just ways of temporarily keeping us safe and secure and in control. We want to do more and more and forget that so much in life is impossible to control and that we are already enough just as we are.
A sound man’s heart is not shut within itself,
but is open to other people’s hearts:
I find good people good and I find bad people good,
If I am good enough.
I trust men of their word and I trust liars
If I am true enough.
I feel the heart-beats of others above my own
If I am enough of a father,
enough of a son.
- Lao Tzu # 49