“Let us not paralyze ourselves for good, by brooding on man’s capacity for evil.” David Sarnoff
The mind, the power of the mind. A short bit of history, if you would…my father was a hillbilly boy from the holler near Panther, West Virginia. He was one of 11 children and for all intents out the door at 12 years of age working on the edges of saw mills and coal mines. In a few years he was off to war. To say he came from a harsh, sometimes violent, world is putting it mildly. He was quiet, he was fearless. He never graduated from 4th grade. He was self-taught, spiritual, philosophical and despite himself often a leader because of his dependable work ethic. He struggled with regrets, alcohol and an inability to show love.
Some where my father discovered The Science of Mind Magazine. A rag of a paperback magazine in the 1950’s. It had an impact on my father and he in turn was hell-bent on planting a seed in me: you have the power of your mind. You can change you, you can heal yourself, you can endure anything. As a boy of 12 or so, all I was hearing were the guys outside playing the sport of the season. I wanted to escape, but that was not the drill.
For a good few years, dinner would be finished and then I would sit upon a chair near my father. He would select a portion of his Science of Mind magazine and hand it to me. I had to read aloud the passage and then explain what it meant. Daunting. Reading aloud. Comprehending what I read.
In retrospect, he was being an amazing teacher and showing love and guidance his way. Out of the resentment I felt, grew those seeds of empowerment. This new age spiritual self awareness stuff that my wise, hillbilly father saw as worth more than sitting on a pew and taking guidance from someone else took hold. To him it was you & God. No church. A bit of the bible, your power of positive thinking and off toward the struggles of life.
How wise my father was. And, as usual, we don’t see that in the moment, but only later as life unfolds, unravels, boils over and we ultimately are faced with that core truth…it is up to you. Not once do I recall my father saying he loved me at any point in our lives. I only said those words to him as he took his final breaths, in his truly final moments of life. ‘I love you dad.” I stroked his grey hair as he chugged out his final breath.
Obviously this was my father’s way of saying ‘I love you.’ Those brooding clouds will come, how you handle the storms is, at least in part, up to you.