Updated: Jun 13
Liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, BLM, TEA, "Trumpers", Hippies, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Texans, Yankees, Rednecks, Country folk, City folk, Southerners, Northerners, Oil Rich, Old Rich, Poor, White, Black, Red, or Yellow People; Spiritual vs Religious.
Who creates these labels? Why do we use them? When we're labeled, do we like it? Do we take it serious? Or laugh it off?
Our nation and globe seem more divided than ever. Angels say: "Labeling separates. Find common ground. Don't nit-pick differences between each other. Know your differences. Honor them. Be thankful for your differences. It expands your awareness and your soul energy. Honoring differences diffuses hate. Shines Light of Love on everything. Listen more. Talk less."
Listen more than talk. That message brought memories from the 1970s. Memories apply today.
When I was 7-9 years old, joined a Brownie Troop. My mom was Troop Leader. Along with 2 other moms. For 2 straight years, every Christmas, we delivered presents to families in a poor Houston neighborhood. Teaching us the value of giving. The same neighborhood every year. Multi-racial neighborhood: Black, Hispanic and White. We loved buying their presents. Then driving to their neighborhood, knocking on everyone's door, visiting with the moms and kids. Watching all their faces light up when we arrived. Watching kids our age open their presents. Playing with them while our moms talked. 12 different families.
During the year, some moms would send us letters, updating us on how everyone was doing. We developed relationships with them. There was real love between us all.
Before the third Christmas, one of the moms sent our Troop a letter. "Please don't bring gifts this year. Your presents are better than I can afford to give. We love your visits. My kids expect your gifts every year now. They compare them to ones I give them. Mine can't compete. You know how kids are. I'm their mother. Need to teach them to appreciate what they have. And not depend on others for good things. If you visit us this year, please just bring goodies that you bake. Not presents. Hope you understand. We love your visits."
As kids, we couldn't understand what she meant. We loved buying them presents. Why couldn't we do that anymore? Our mothers explained: "Respect others' wishes. Give to them in a way they will fully appreciate. Not the way you want. Give based on what they want. We must listen to them. Understand that no matter what a person has or doesn't have, everyone has pride. Honor that."
That year, we brought all 12 families baked goods we made. The kids and moms were still happy to see us all. We played together as usual, while our moms talked to their moms. At each house. No one seemed to mind that we brought them baked goods instead of toys. It wasn't "what" we brought them. It was what our hearts brought them. And how their hearts molded us. How welcoming they were. How much we laughed and enjoyed each other's company.
The fourth year, the same mom who wrote that letter called my mother. "Our neighborhood is not safe for you anymore. Things are changing. Can Mr. Kelley help me find a job? I want my kids to have a better life, better school, better neighborhood. Need to show them the value of working and earning."
My dad helped her. She got a job. Later on, she and her kids moved to a different neighborhood and a better school. My parents stayed in contact with her. She sent us Christmas cards every year. Sometimes she stopped at my dad's shop to update him. Her oldest went to Community College, found a great job, got married, had kids of his own. Before my siblings were killed, her oldest son visited my dad and thanked him for our help. "Finding a job for my mom was the best thing that ever happened to us. Thank you, Mr. Kelley. When Mrs. Kelley listened to mom and brought baked goods that year, we were really disappointed. We wanted toys. Mom cried after they left. We didn't understand. We thought she cried because you didn't bring us toys. When we grew up, mom explained everything. How Mrs. Kelley listened and did as she wanted. Please tell Mrs. Kelley thank you for listening to our mom. White people don't always listen to us. You did. It gave her faith. And restored her self-esteem. That changed our lives forever. For the better. Mom is too proud to tell you this. I speak for all of us. Thank you."
I remember my parents sharing that story. My dad was not boastful. He preferred helping people without fanfare. My mother was the opposite - so she shared it with us. The family was black. We were not. I remember our dad saying: "Never judge someone based on the color of their skin or how they live. Judge them by their character and goodness. Good and bad people exist of all skin colors. When you find good people, hold onto them. Help them if they need it."
When we're kids, we are color-blind. I remain color-blind to this day. Going to that neighborhood for 3 straight Christmases taught me to see people based on their heart; not their skin color or where they lived.
Listen more than talk. Listening to others, and their fears, needs, desires, priorities. If we listen more than talk, we can make a huge difference in someone's life. Sometimes we don't see the result of that ripple effect. Sometimes we do.
When my brother and sister were killed, that entire family came to our double-funeral. The mom and her grown kids. Seemed like hundreds of people attended my siblings' double-funeral. People from all races, creeds and backgrounds. Houston is a multi-racial town. We're all part of one race: the human race.
During that same decade (1970s), forced integration occurred in certain Houston schools. One of my cousins was attacked by a group of minorities who were part of "forced integration." The principal did nothing. My dad showed up at her school, alongside his two brothers - one was my cousin's father. They arrived at the school, as a show of force for the "gang" to see. Plus talk with the principal. No one bothered my cousin after that. While later, she moved to a non-integrated school. Less problems there.
Fast-forward to 1990s. There's a national support group called "Parents of Murdered Children." A support group to help parents who lost their children, adult or younger, to murder. My mother was a member of the Houston chapter. They met once a month. To help each other grieve and support one another through the criminal justice process. I attended a few meetings from 1990-2001. Parents, mothers, fathers, siblings, and spouses of deceased attended. People of many colors, creeds, backgrounds. Another kaleidoscope of colors reflecting multi-racial Houston. I cried with them, bonded with them. Shared tragedies create strong bonds.
One common thread between everyone: losing their Loved One to murder. Another common thread: "We desperately seek justice for our (daughter/son). Thank God for the police. If they arrived sooner, wonder if my (daughter or son) would have been saved. Even so, they found the murderer and enough evidence to put that person away. We wanted justice. We needed it. The police helped us get it. Honoring my child's memory. Honoring us. Justice is necessary."
When I watch the news nowadays, I think back to all these experiences. I'm grateful for them. And all I learned. How important law enforcement is. How important each person is. I wonder why anger motivates people more than love and kindness. I look up at the stars at night and wonder: "why can't we all get along?"
Labels. As kids, we don't see labels. What's in a person's heart is what matters most. What we see most when we're kids. When we grow into adults, labels get formed. One silver lining of attending those POMC meetings: I don't label anyone. Still color-blind. How a person lives, where that person lives, or size of their checkbook - does not matter to me. We're all part of the same race: The Human Race. If you're a good person, that's all that matters to me.
Labels divide us. Remove the labels. Remove the division.
We're all souls on this planet working to create a better world. For ourselves and others. Ultimately, we're all part of the same race: The Human Race.
A good friend recently said: "Live your life. That's your main job. Life is short. Don't waste it worrying about things you cannot change." He is right. Wasting our time watching the news and getting upset: helps no one. We only hurt ourselves. Unless we do something about it. Unless we use the darkness we see - and shed Light on it. Or shine our Light in our daily life.
My parents always said: "When you can, give back. Small gifts and gestures matter most. When helping someone, ask what they need. Listen. Their needs may differ than what you believe. Let people know they are not alone. Either anonymously, privately, or publicly. When you feel stuck, one of the easiest ways to feel better: do something nice for someone."
Maybe these personal stories provide you some wisdom - during these chaotic days.
Your Sedona Spirit Psychic - Robin Amanda