My Tribe

My tribe is not the rich and famous

But the poor and challenged

My people are not the up and comers

But the down and outers

The hurt and hurting, lost and confused

Confessing instead of posturing or pretending

Comfortable with their failings; no image to protect

Here is my tribe, my place, the home I claim

With legions of servant heroes; lights of the world 

I wrote this because I’ve recently noticed that my shoulders cease to ache when I sit with patients in a mental health waiting room, or how relaxed I am a Special Olympics event with my nephew, or how much fun I have eating in a restaurant with messy, Autistic, Downs, or otherwise challenged adults who are just happy to be there.

Two Minute Tune-up 8.28.11 Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!

Character is power. – Booker T. Washington

On the days when I have beaten down by circumstances or by
someone else’s malice or carelessness, it sure helps me to remember that many
of my heroes have been imprisoned, abused or worse.

In Nelson Mandela’s Long Road to Freedom he attests to the truth of Booker T. Washington’s quote and
honors his 27 (!) years of imprisonment as the needed crucible of his character.

I’m not saying that we should be happy about pain and abuse.
I’m just sayin’ that the character we develop in difficulties will often prove
to be worth the inconvenience.

There is a purity in pain that a noble heart will embrace and honor and treat as friend not foe.