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

Moments of No Words

As a writer, I love words, yet I also love it when words stop – those moments in this life when there are no words. For it is in those moments where we see if the words we’ve written, spoken or quoted ever meant anything.

They talked and talked
Until they couldn’t talk anymore
The last words they wrote
were a question:
If we couldn’t speak
for the rest of our life,
what would the rest
of our life speak about us?

Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,

Recently I’ve encountered many people who are and have been doing incredible healing work in their communities. And because of all that’s going on in the world, they’re now questioning if they’ve made or are making any positive difference at all. In my travels and conversations with family and friends, doubt and cynicism seem to be on the rise. This concerns me. God placed this letter on my heart to share love and encouragement with you.

In the past twenty-six years in my calling in youth development I have attended many funerals for young people. I have experienced many grieving parent’s tears shed upon my shoulders as they screamed in agony from losing their child. I’ve been in courtrooms many times as a young person I knew and worked with was given a life sentence. I’ve been in abandoned buildings where children have not had any solid foods for over a week. I’ve been in drug houses and assisted law enforcement in rescuing youth who were being bought and sold for sex. I could go on and on with examples about the evil that is encountered in my work, our society, and around the world, and I am sure you can too.

We can count our scars as the number of times we’ve been wounded and compare tragedies, or we can count our scars as the number of times we’ve been healed and share miracles. It’s not about what you walk into, it’s about what you walk in with. You, my dear friend, walk into the darkest moments of people’s lives delivering light. Can we change what’s already happened in our lives or the lives of others? No. Can we influence what happens next? Absolutely! And sometimes we forget that influencing what happens next is more powerful than what happened before. Inter-generational healing is more powerful than inter-generational trauma. And what an honor it is to be part of a cycle of healing. Thank you for choosing with the Creator of your understanding to be the healing force you’re created to be. I could go on and on with stories of overcoming all odds, fortitude, resilience, healing and miracles that is encountered in my work, our society, and around the world, and I am sure you can too.

A dear friend of mine, who has selflessly served his community for many decades recently described his decades of countless contributions as, “It’s like trying to punch a hole in water. It doesn’t do any good. It’s just a nice illusion.” I reminded him that feeling as if what we’re doing is not making a positive difference is the illusion, not the truth. We all feel like that from time to time, especially after experiencing tragedy. But what is it that we guide our young people to do when they’ve experienced pain, loss and tragedy? We guide them in honoring their feelings. We guide them in expressing their feelings in a manner that is not destructive. We guide them in channeling their pain, loss, and tragedy into healing medicines for themselves, their family, and our communities. We guide them in how to use every stone that life hits them with as a stepping stone to create a better path for themselves and others, instead of using those stones to build a wall around their hearts and give up.  And isn’t that exactly what guided you to the path of service you’re on right now? Now isn’t the time to give up. Now is the time to remember why you started and why you’ve held on so long.

Any reason why we want to give up on our vision, mission, and purpose is also the same place where our vision, mission, and purpose can become even more clear, refueled and restored. The work you do is so important and I thank you for doing it. I honor you for doing it.

Sincerely,

Anthony Goulet