Saturday, August 09, 2008
A Single Voice
He was, arguably, the most powerful man in the world. Yet, when I saw his face, on the televised newscast, I saw a man beset with unresolved conflict and uncertainty. I saw pain. Although I was not a registered member of his political party, and did not subscribe to the core mantra of his politics … he was, in that moment, a Fellow Human Being … and he was hurting. And Lady Muse whispered “Help him!” So, from this tiny one-room cottage that constitutes one end of an old garage, I took out my trusty Waterman fountain pen … and I wrote a letter to him … the President of The United States.
I related a story that I knew would illustrate the simple message that would erase all of the consternation and doubt shown on in his eyes in that brief newscast. I told him of driving down a local avenue in an old Volkswagen with my son next to me in the front seat … and my daughter leaning up, between her brother and her Dad, as she delivered a message from her heart to mine. “I am proud of you Dad.” she said. “Why, Darling?” I asked, incredulously. “Because you haven’t given up. Since the divorce, you don’t have anything. You don’t have a home, or a career, or anything that you did have … but you keep trying and haven’t quit. And you haven’t committed suicide. So I am proud of you.”
Now, if you, Dear Reader, are amazed at such a statement from the mind of an eleven year old girl … I can guarantee you that I, as her Daddy, was completely blown away! And it is the power of this affirmation by my child that I communicated to the President of these United States in my letter of encouragement. I urged him to put aside the voices of Advisors, Political Influencers, Staff and Administrative Colleagues … and weigh his decisions and choices on the scales of the esteem and honour of his family. For, I offered, after the passing of all of those transient and altogether-temporary circumstances that constitute Office and Position, what his family knew him to be, would be the singular Standard, that overshadowed all other considerations, in eternal merit and worth.
I pointed out the fact that I was, of all possible people, the very least in influential status, social and/or community position, economic worth, or political power. But, I made clear, in the eyes of one eleven year-old girl, I was worthy of pride and satisfaction. And that, above all considerations, was the very best of lasting rewards.
Now, I know what you are thinking, Dear friend. For I too had known a previous experience in trying to communicate with the “Powerful and Influential.” On that occasion, I wrote a letter to a sitting President. And all that was accomplished was my receipt of a letter soliciting a cash contribution to that President’s political party. But, you see, on this occasion, I was writing in response to the direction of that certain, quiet, but altogether insistent whisper of my Lady Muse’s speaking to my Inner Self. So, I made a copy of the letter to the President … attached it to a very short note that said something on the order of:
“My Dear Mrs Barbara Bush,
I just sent the attached letter to your husband. Because I am simultaneously aware of the massive deluge of mail he receives; a sense of personal urgency and conviction in the worth and timeliness of my message; and lastly, your intimate and committed influence on him; I am hoping that you find enough merit in the message to feel it worthy of mentioning to him personally. I leave it in your trust.”
And I sent that cover note with the copy of the letter to the President of The United States, to the White House in our nations Capitol. Surely enough, I did receive (a couple of weeks later) a form letter from one of the President’s vast network of Underlings with its expected and altogether predictable collection of “Yada, Yada, Yada.” Then, to my complete surprise, (a short while later) I received a hardboard-reinforced, letter sized envelope with admonishments to “Do Not Fold” from the White House. Upon opening it I found a smaller sized note on elegant, personalized, and embossed note paper, a short note from the First Lady. She thanked me for my concern, my interest, and my commitment to the best interests of her husband.
She told me that she had discussed the content of my letter with “George,” … and that they both appreciated my efforts and kindness. And THEN! (if all of that was not enough) I received a note card from The First Lady’s Personal Assistant some days later. She asked that I mail a note to her with telephone numbers that would allow Mrs. Bush to get in touch with me … for she wanted to express her appreciation “in person.” And, yes, I did receive a telephone call, at my office, during work. (Our receptionist was completely blown away! You should have heard her voice on the intercom when she told me that I had a call from the White House, on hold. [grin] And, no, I didn‘t tell her that I was too busy to take the call. [smile])
I took the call, and had a short conversation, with The First Lady’s Personal Assistant, who expressed apologies, from Mrs. Bush, for her inability to call, due to a very hectic schedule “on the campaign trail with The President.” But, I was told, they did not want to fail to follow up my letter with a prompt and sincere effort. I received expressions of gratitude, once again, and best wishes from The First Lady.
I cannot share direct quotations from either my letter, or the note from The First Lady, for those are now the property of my daughter … the One whose encouragement and stirring words provided the core of my message to The President. I gave them to her … custom-framed in an elegant frame appropriate to the significance of and accommodating to the prestigiously embossed Seal of The White House … on her attaining her eighteenth birthday (her age of becoming a voter and participant in the processes of governance of our nation.) I pointed out, to her, the Truth that lies in the power of the very Least of us … when we elect to follow, with committed and diligent effort, the leading of our individual Inner Voice of conviction. I told her that the Note from the Greatest … sent to One of the Least … would remind her of what Life can do with any Individual’s efforts when those efforts are motivated and directed by the noblest of unselfish intentions.
And that is the Message that I would use this Story … to illustrate, and make real … for You, my Darling Reader. I whole-heartedly encourage your following of your own personal convictions and yearnings. That you may know the ultimate satisfaction of Being all that you have a core desire to Be. I have no reservation in telling You, that You, and You alone, have a special and unique place in this life … that can not be satisfied by any other Being. This I am certain of. I can assure You that your fearless response to that inner Leading, will result in a rewarding sense of completeness and satisfaction. How can I be so sure, you ask. Because I know how I am touched and moved by your individual influence on me. And I am so very blessed … and grateful … by, and for, You.
As I remain … as always … your most loving of Friends, and (though the Least of the most Insignificant), your most happily devoted of Servants.
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