Show People That You Care About Them

It happened right there on this road, on the exact spot where the bracelet is. A young person tried to throw herself into traffic. When I pushed her back on the side of the road, I fell onto the highway. I’ll never forget how close a bright blue, Dodge Ram truck came to my head before it swerved out of the way.

I kept her away from the highway until the police arrived. In the few minutes that it took for the police to arrive, she screamed at me, over and over again, “You don‘t give a fuck about me! Why didn’t you just let me die!” The police took her to the adolescent psychiatric hospital to be evaluated and treated, not punished.

A little over a week later she was discharged out of the hospital and back to our emergency shelter. When she handed me the bracelet, she said, “Mr. Tony, I made this for you in the hospital. Thank you. I love you. I don’t remember everything from that moment on the highway, but I remember what I screamed at you. What I meant to say is that I couldn’t believe someone actually gave a fuck about me.”

I wear the bracelet quite often as a reminder that there are many hurting people in the world who think no one cares about them. My life’s calling is to prove them wrong.

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I’m Somewhere

One Important Question 

I spend a lot of time teaching youth peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. Violence isn’t just hitting, stabbing, or shooting someone. Peace isn’t just refraining from hitting, stabbing or shooting someone. Violence and peace are mindsets. Peace and violence are choices. In making the choice of violence, there are many ways to carry it out. In making the choice of peace, there are many ways to carry it out. Once any decision is made, the path becomes clear. Once a commitment is made, the path is walked, and becomes something you know, not just know about.

There are far too many youth who know the path of violence at an early age. And there are too few adults who teach the path of peace by example in thought, speech and action. Peace is not passive, or cowardice. Peace is active and courageous.

There is an old samurai proverb that says, “A warrior can choose to be a pacifist, everyone else is condemned to it.” After being proven in battle in the ring, dojo, and on the streets many times over, I chose peace and then committed myself to its grace. And when I made that commitment, there were few men who supported me in that. But the men who did support me in my commitment to peace were men who’ve experienced the extremes of violence and war, so they understood, better than most, the importance of peace. After enough experience you learn that all violence is senseless.

When I was struggling to commit myself to a path of peace by taking my first steps upon it, the Creator posed a question to me deep within my heart, “Do you think I created you to be a healing force or a destructive force?”

It’s easy to say something negative and mean. It’s easy to throw a punch. It’s easy to use a weapon. In a world that glorifies violence and even rewards it, it takes strength, courage, and trust in the Creator to bless those who curses you, and walk away from those who want to fight you.

My uncle taught me a long time ago that the war is always behind the other person’s eyes – the war is within them, their own mind – their own choice. And so it is with peace. Peace is always behind the other person’s eyes – the peace is within them, their own mind – their own choice. Peace can be behind our own eyes, and in our own mind at any moment we choose.

What’s the reward? Often times I’ve found the reward for choosing peace is simply peace itself. And I have found few, if any rewards greater than peace.

The question the Creator posed to me years ago is a question I’ve asked many youth over the years. Although for most people the answer is obvious, the commitment to being a healing force needs to be obvious now more than ever before. Do you think you’ve been created to be a healing force or a destructive force?

Independence is a Lie

Independence is a lie
In an ever-connected
Uni-Verse and Universes
There’s no such thing
As a self-made man 
or self-made woman
Love has no opposite
other than illusions
Just as a seed
Never stops needing
The Earth
We never stop needing
The Creator, Earth, Love,
our hearts and each other

We are completely dependent
Upon the Creator, Earth,
Love, our hearts,
and each other
Independence is a lie
Separation is a hell
Where we cast ourselves
In the illusion of division
Forgetting that
Just
As
A
Seed
Never
Stops
Needing
The
Earth
We
Never
Stop
Needing
The
Creator,
Earth,
Love,
Our
Hearts
And
Each
Other

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The Divine Dinner Table

Barely being able to see
Over the table
I peeked my head up
And saw I was at a dinner table

There, before me,
are all my favorite foods
drenched in love –
seasoned with compassion,
joy and acceptance
The juice in my cup
Is of the finest nectar
Made from the most
beautiful and nutritious fruits –
sprinkled with lights
from the stars of Heaven
Mixed together by Angels
Who sing as they prepare
Our meal

One of the other children
At the Divine Dinner Table
Began to say a prayer
When a loving, confident,
gentle voice interrupted,
“Everything is already blessed
because you are here.”

I peeked my head up again
To see who said those words
And saw that it’s God
Sitting with all of us – the world
at the Divine Dinner Table

God is as close or as far away
as you want Him to be
Every person, animal,
plant, stone – all of creation
from the past, present, and future
Has a seat
at the Divine Dinner Table

We are all just little children
laughing while eating
delicious food, and knowing
We’re loved, safe,
protected and important
Oh, the Angels sing
When we come together like this!

The only cranky children
Are those who refuse
To take their rightful place
At the Divine Dinner Table
They each have their own reasons
For not sitting in their blessed chair,
but none of their reasons
ever makes them happy

The Divine Dinner Table

The Last Place You Look is the First Place You’ll See

There are no secrets
No unknowns
All the mystics emptied themselves
of God’s wisdom
Every teaching has been shared
Every mystery revealed
All power accessible
And it’s all within
the last place you seek

That beautiful heart of yours
that beats in perfect Unison
with God and the Uni-Verse
will hold nothing back from you

There are no secrets
within the warehouse
of holiness you are –
the storehouse of cosmos
inside you

It scares you to enter
because illusions told & sold
by religiosity says there’s secrets,
and you don’t want to be punished
What greater punishment is there
than being what you seek
and not seeing it?
Having what you need,
and not knowing it?

Free yourself, beloved,
break the rules of illusion
Look inside
So you stop looking
everywhere else
Eventually,
when there’s nowhere
else to look
You’ll see by looking within
And after that
You’ll see it everywhere
The last place you look
Is the first place you’ll see