"To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour." - Winston Churchill
On a long holiday weekend, it's quite common for my morning classes to be a bit busier than usual. After all, why wake up early to go to a 6am yoga class when you can sleep in and catch a class at 8 or 9:30am? I embrace such days as an opportunity to connect with those early bird students in our yoga community that I might otherwise not meet. One moment of connection stood out in particular, albeit brief in exchange. Bright-eyed and fresh-faced, a lovely young lady met me with a smile, enthusiastically exclaiming, "Happy Memorial Day!" I didn't know what to say back to her. Reflexively regurgitating ones greeting is the norm, but not in this case. Rather than attempting to rephrase her salutation, I just smiled and said, "Good morning". I guess the phrase "Happy Memorial Day" seemed to be a bit of an oxymoron. After all, it is a day a reverence and reflection, honoring those who gave their lives for the sake of protecting our freedom and our own lives. In that, I suppose, there is joy; and mine is owed to those who were willing to forsake their own. It is for this that I am truly grateful for their sacrifice and also inspired by their selflessness. It causes me to call into question my own selflessness, or rather, my lack there of. For the older I get, the more selfishly set in my ways I become. The only thing I doggedly defend on a day-to-day basis is my own comfort! If called upon, could I -- or WOULD I -- make that ultimate sacrifice? I don't know. Perhaps one cannot truly know until the choice is imminent. And perhaps it may never be my lot in life to be faced with such a choice. I do know that I'd make a shitty soldier, as the very sight of blood makes me queasy. And I have to close my eyes even during the most subtlety violent movie scenes to avoid a visceral response. I once fainted watching Twilight. Yyyyyeah. It's like that.
So, again, I don't know...
What I do know, is this: I am kind. I am compassionate. I am loving. I am one who cannot help but to see the good in all, to include those who do not see the same in me. I am inspired to be a light for those who might feel lost in their own shadows. Those are my talents, and therefore, the gifts that I have to share. It is my duty to share them wholeheartedly, yet always acknowledging that I am only able to do so because of those greater sacrifices made by considerably braver beings.
So, today, as you celebrate the holiday with your picnics and parties, I invite you to do so with a deepened sense of appreciation and respect. Enjoy your time with your loved ones, just remember what it's for. And might you look into the eyes of your friends, family members, and even strangers alike, remembering that the blessing that is today is a gift from the heroes of the past.
While I understand that Memorial Day is not Veterans Day, I still believe that one of the greatest ways to honor the deceased, is to care for the living. Bullets2Bandages is a mission-driven, socially conscious apparel and accessories company founded to give thanks to those who continue to fight for our freedom, as well as veterans and their families, as their charitable donations to such causes exceed 50% of the organization's net profits. With Father's Day fast approaching, a personally engraved bullet bottle opener is the perfect gift for your personal hero. You can check out the products and learn more about B2B via their website:
Cheers to you all, and may you have a reverent holiday. Peace be you.
Sommer (aka @thebrewvangelista)