It was an honor to facilitate community conflict resolution and leadership development at the Indianapolis University of Purdue with my ciye (older brother) Joseph Brave-Heart. Joseph was a mentor of mine when I was a young adult, and someone I still look to for prayer and guidance.
Years before this photo when I was about twenty years old. I was sitting with Joseph. I was angry about something someone said. Joseph listened to me and let me get some of my anger out. Then he said, “Look,” as he pointed to the sky.
I looked up and saw a beautiful hawk soaring. As the hawk elegantly soared, there were several little birds flying around the hawk and pecking at the hawk. Joseph shared, “If you’re going to soar to the heights of whatever the Creator has for you to do, there will be little birds who come along and try to distract you with pettiness. That hawk isn’t changing its course because of those little birds, the hawk just keeps soaring. Keep soaring, brother.”
Whatever vision, mission, dreams, and purpose the Creator has given you to live, ignore the pettiness and distractions and keep soaring!
~ Walk in beauty by walking in love.
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.
Chit chat, busyness, small talk
Kiddie pools filled with soundbytes,
three minute attention spans,
get rich quick schemes,
that’s always talking
Chit chat and busyness
that makes talk small
where listening doesn’t listen
Chit chat, busyness & small talk
The lion remembered
By sitting sunrise to sunset
With the bumblebees
Who were told by the experts
That they cannot fly
Yet, they do
And their work pollinates
The world with life
The Lion dove back
Into the depths he’s created in
Remembering the life-giving
Nectar he’s made of
And he roared
Reclaiming his voice
Awakening the land
From the endless slumber
Of chit chat, busyness & small talk