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.

27 comments:

lime said...

that's quite a story, and regardless of one's politics it is nice to know your intentions were well received.

a little story in a similar vein. when my brother was in about 1st grade he was just crazy about snoopy. he and a friend of his drew well over 100 pictures of snoopy and wanted to send them to charles schulz. i went to a teacher at school who did a "write to a famous person" project every year to ask him to help me find the address and once received i passed it on to my brother. he wrote a letter (with my mother's help) and sent all the pictures to charles schulz. imagine this little boy's extreme joy when he received a personal response (with very humble gratitude in knowing "peanuts" brought such happiness to my brother and for the time and effort he knew was involved for my brother to make all those drawings) from the cartoonist himself which included about a half a dozen original drawings of snoopy. i still get all welled up thinking of the joy on my brother's face.

i'm so glad you could listen to that voice when you heard it. and i am glad both my brother and mr. schulz listened.

nitebyrd said...

Thank you, again.

Joni said...

I am proud of you too...for never giving up...for listening, for believing and for making a difference...how could anyone of any stature refuse to soak in the words you so eloquently articulate...I do give partial credit to Lady Muse...*wink.

have a wonderful weekend JM ~

John-Michael said...

Thank you, My Sweet Lime Friend, for this lovely validation of the worth of honest response to our "Better Angels." Your experience obviously touched all who were fortunate to be part of it. And I know that others will now benefit from your sharing of it here. I do enjoy our sharing of Life's best gifts! [smile]

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

To bless you, Dear NiteByrd, blesses me.

With love ...

John-Michael said...

And, my Dear Joni, I am grateful to every aspect of "Lady Muse," that has brought us to this lovely awareness of each other, and so richly enhances my life.

Fondly ...

Anonymous said...

I took from your posting, that inspite of perhaps well meaning advice from others, we look inside ourselves for answers to problems. We become what our family & close friends see in us. "Lady Muse" in your case & "my inner voice" as I refer to it, is our best guide.I noticed when I've not listened or followed directions from "my inner voice" its been a mistake. We only need to trust ourselves above all else. Thank you John-Michael for your insight.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Putting all those responsibilities aside, we are human beings after all. Each and every one of us. With feelings. We do tend to forget this. Thank you for the reminder.

Love, Crystal xx

John-Michael said...

Many times, in the past, I have wondered how I came up with ideas or had thoughts that had no basis in anything from my experience or training. On those occasions, Life whispered to me "It came from Me ... I spoke through your still, quiet, Inner Voice ... your Muse." And I have always found comfort and reassurance in this Presence in every aspect of my life. I am pleased, Dear Anonymous Friend, that you too have recognized ... and appreciate this Truth.

namaste ...

John-Michael said...

How I do appreciate the clarity of sight, that is manifested in seeing Others, through their layers of costuming, positioning, and circumstances, Dear Crystal. The raw and uncluttered Personhood, that lies within us all, is so preferable to those roles and stations, that would disguise and hide us. I cherish, and am ever-grateful for, the genuineness and honesty, that you have elected to embrace. For this choice continues to reveal a lovable You, that I count as one of my life's treasures.

With affection ...

Classic Charm said...

John-Michael,
What a wonderful story. And a truth to lady muse...listen to our inner voices, wow.
Hugs,
Rose

John-Michael said...

Your consistent responses to your Muse, Dearest Rose, are a reliable and trusted source of encouragement and pleasure to my Soul. Your "hugs" are always received with complete confidence in their legitimacy and earnest sincerity.

Lovingly ...

Suldog said...

That is a beautiful and touching story, John-Michael.

Good for you, for following your heart in sharing the wisdom with someone whom you felt was in need of it.

Good for your daughter, of course, for sharing her feelings.

Good for Mrs. Bush, for being gracious and caring.

All around, our world was made a bit richer by all of your actions. Wonderful, wonderful story!

Sandra Ree said...

Your daughter is very wise, John-Michael. What a testament to you!

What I loved about this story, that had conflicting emotions for me, (because of the war) was that even someone as powerful as the President of the United States, and the First Lady, hold standards that are good and kind. And have manners. That always gives me hope.

Thank you for sharing this. I feel blessed and grateful for you. :)

aims said...

Why am I not surprised by any of this JM? You have that wonderful ability to touch us and make us reflect on our lives - deeply and in a different light most often.

How lovely for you that the first lady thought enough of your concerns and your daughter's words.

Bless.

CrazyCath said...

Wow.
That's all I can say to this.
Just Wow.

Just catching up here and there. A good post to stumble on...

John-Michael said...

Sandra, my Darling Friend, I believe that you and I share political views and predispositions. You will notice that I mentioned the fact that I had to rise above my political and ideological convictions in order to give free reign to higher spiritual and human motivations.

The character of Barbara Bush (that was so clear to me in 1992 [when this event occurred]) was what encouraged me to communicate, directly to her, the a copy of the convictions of my Heart ... that I was compelled (by the troubled countenance of her husband on the newscast) to offer. I had a comfortable sense that she would deliver a message that The President's "people" would pass over. (Again, listening to Lady Muse's instruction proved quite right.[smile])

You, My Dearest One, and I are in complete harmony as to our discouragements with what exists in the name of "leadership" today. [sigh]

I am so grateful for your companionship of Spirit!

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

I can easily tell you, my Darling Aims, that all that I did was to respond to guidance and inspiration that was far beyond any generation or creation of my own. As a naturally reclusive and solitary individual, such behavior was (and is) far beyond any natural inclination. I do appreciate and am ever-grateful for your loving words of encouragement and support, nonetheless. (You make me smile! [and feel good!])

Loving You ...

John-Michael said...

I am glad that I could provide a "Wow" moment for you CathDaughter. As you can tell from this account, the words of a daughter have meaning and significance to me. [smile]

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

NOW! (after I observed the old "Ladies First" rule of the Southern Gentleman's guidebook) I am so grateful for all that you, Darlin' SulDog Friend, encourage and elevate my Heart and Spirit with. You do genuinely give me a solid sense of comfort and rest in all that you offer in your unwavering friendship and kindness. And I do thank You Jim.

Gratefully lovin' You ...

Mrs. C said...

Well, that's very sweet, John-Michael. *Sometimes* the truly thoughtfully-written letters not only reach the intended recipient, but have the intended result. :]

The Bushes seem like good people. I rather doubt I'll be jumping from planes at their age, though!! ;]

Suldog said...

Just checking in, John-Michael. Haven't heard from you in a little while, and you're usually a somewhat more prolific poster. Hope all is well!

San said...

Beautiful, inspiring story, John-Michael. It would have been, even if the First Lady had not shown such courtesy. Even the story of your daughter's amazingly wise and kind words would have been an inspiration in itself. But the letter you wrote is the real story. Such a determined following of the heart makes for graceful words.

I too have a similar story--not nearly as powerful as yours--just a bit similar. My dad suffered a heart attack in D.C. while he was attending a municipality convention. He was a city councilman for many years. He was also a lifelong Democrat. Clinton was President. My husband insisted I email the White House and tell them my dad was in the hospital. I did, well aware that no one would visit him in the hospital. They didn't. BUT a few weeks later, I did receive a phone call from one of the "underlings." She inquired about my dad. Then she phoned him. Her voice happened to sound like a local reporter and Daddy thought she was pulling his leg. "How are YOU, Hillary?" was his retort.

John-Michael said...

My "determined following of [my] heart" has long been the source of many blessings ... and considerable anguish ... my Darling San. But it is a choice that I can not turn away from. I am sincerely grateful for your loving encouragement and caring camaraderie in my chosen walk. You continually bless and bring delight to my Being.

I am still smiling with your lovely story. Thank you, Precious Friend, for sharing it with me.

Lovingly ...

Just Joni said...

*tap, tap, tap*...anyone home? Where are you JM...I miss the love you radiate...I hope all is well.

Classic Charm said...

John-Michael,
Just stopping in to check on ya! Hope all is ok. Miss you.
Hugs,
Rose

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