I have been out and about exploring all kinds of groups that are of interest to me. So when a friend mentioned she was going to a talk on compassion I jumped at the opportunity to hear what someone else had to say about one of my favorite subjects. While the speaker was amazing there were a couple of other things that really struck me.
First, when this group started introducing it’s board members, I started to get really excited that I was in a room filled with all kinds of different people. These were EXACTLY the type of people that fascinate me and I LOVE to be around. People from all over the world, different religions, cultures, experiences, walks of life, etc. These were very well educated and involved people. I started thinking I want everyone in this room to come to my potlucks. More people I wanted to get to know.
Second, there was a man that had asked a strange question that just didn’t seem to fit in with any of the others (both his question and his demeanor). It’s as if when he asked the question, it/he changed the energy of the room in a negative way. So afterwards while I was wandering around the room trying to decide who to talk to, I naturally chose him. It goes to the Abraham Lincoln quote I love, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” The man explained that he worked with death row inmates as a sort of counselor. After a few minutes my friend that had invited me walked over and joined the conversation. The man was saying he counseled these men who were going to die and they were not happy about it. So his counseling entailed equating what they were going to experience with Willy Wonka and they had gotten the “golden ticket”. He went on to say they were going home to meet their creator. They were going home to be with Jesus and their father. My friend and I started challenging him on that theory and why would they think they’ve gotten the golden ticket? She asked him why HE wouldn’t then go “redeem” his golden ticket if he were so excited about dying? He got very confrontational and was trying to get her to say she didn’t believe what he believed but she never did. So he asked her what she would say to a man that is on death row and is going to die in one week. We both looked at each other and didn’t know what to say other than not that. But it got me thinking. What WOULD I say?
After some time to ponder that question, I realized there was not much I could say to them. So I thought about myself and if I were in that situation. It’s “funny” I have said to so many people lately if I died today, I would be happy. I can say that because I have found my peace and am at peace with whatever happens to me. So as long as I’m here, I’m trying to be the best person I can be and help my fellow human beings as best I can to realize each one of us is love. Part of the way I do that is to just be me so that others can do the same. It’s planting that seed as well as demonstrating that anyone can have peace. How you find it, is up to you. This particular man had found it by believing he was going home, others believe something else, all of our paths in getting there are different. And yet I believe we all have the possibility if we look deep inside. So to the person on death row, I would say know you are love and find your peace.