Sunday, March 12, 2017

YES! and NO!


Humanitariansim is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.—Adolf Hitler

To say a firm “NO!” to that which threatens life and shuts down justice requires a great deal of courage. Schooled to be nice and trust Big Daddy, running the risk of upsetting the illusion of a pleasant situation and offending some one, most of us would rather hide in the back of the room then step up to conflict and confrontation. And so in my work, I hope to bolster up people’s gumption, to model what it means to speak up when one could easily say nothing and just let things go on, to help folks understand that a clear NO! is often the necessary step to a beautiful YES.

But it also takes a great deal of courage—and perhaps more—to say an unequivocal “YES!” to life. To be kind in a cruel world takes a certain kind of ferocity. Sometimes it’s a gentle act with a whisper and sometimes a thunder-rolling oration (think Martin Luther King). I ended yesterday’s workshop with the quiet Estonian song, people’s heads on each other’s back while singing, feeling the musical vibrations that defy all dogma. As always, many tears rolling down cheeks when the last note faded away. The power of intimacy. Then we gathered around the piano and raised the roof with the Gonna Build Me a Mountain song. Two ways to collectively build an resounding YES in the face of the many NO’s the times demand.

So, Adolf, I beg to differ. Humanitarianism is the expression of great intelligence and courage. It is Fascism that is both stupid and cowardly, reducing thought to mindless compliance of childish non-solutions and hiding one’s refusal to embrace life. The battle that’s raging is not between Left and Right, Red and Blue, it’s between purposeful intelligence and purposeful ignorance, between true bravery and shameful cowardice.

Grateful to have the opportunity to use the Orff workshop to both bolster resistance to the disease, to increase our capacity to say NO, and to actively heal with intentional musical vibration, to build our resolve to say YES and to do it together in a connected circle. YES and NO are the two arms working together to build our mountain of hope and happiness. We may feel helpless in the face of Washington’s political carpet-bombing of human decency and just mercy, but we can unleash that soul force and spiritual power that they can’t touch, dance by dance, song by song, one vibration at a time.

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