Stronger Together

An excerpt from The Book of Damien Lamar, Chapter 41

Last week, there were reports that a category 4 “Hurricane Irma”, aka a “beast” of a storm was headed to Florida. Once this hurricane, of epic proportions, made landfall, it impacted countless lives through massive destruction and flooding in the Caribbean and the entire state of Florida. Two days before Irma made landfall in Florida, a large tree limb fell in my front yard, giving me a reason to leave the house. Even though I was not in an evacuation zone or flood-prone area, I didn’t feel safe enough to be in a house surrounded by trees with possible winds up to 75 mph. Although I was fortunate enough to be spared from state-wide damage and mass power outages, I, too feel a bit Irma’s effects. A pine tree in my front yard appears to have been twisted as if it were a rag being wrung out. It landed on my neighbor’s house, destroying the roof, parts of the garage and some of the interior of the house. Irma definitely came close to home.

As I write this, I introspectively look at my life, around the inside of my home and see books, records and other THINGS I’ve acquired throughout my years and realize just how EVERYTHING can all be gone at any moment. My heart goes out to all the many lives directly and indirectly affected by these horrible storms and earthquakes. If you’re anywhere near a TV, smartphone or a computer, on any given day you’ll see a world filled with mass hysteria and consumption, chaos, discord, racism, hate, peppered in with comedy, fantasy, eroticism, and suggestive images. America seems to have forgotten the definition of true allegiance, yet many still stand and cross their hearts and verbally recite the Pledge of Allegiance without understanding the words “indivisible and justice for ALL”. They even claim they’d like to live in a country that is “one Nation under God”.

On the internet, people tweet and write comment with satirical-filled memes, mean-spirited comments, and take out the time to compose hateful words to one another in an effort to make their egos feel good. Unbeknownst to them, they’re only accentuating the problem. We live in a time where commercialism feeds us fear and consumption; and where people still don’t know the real meaning of love. Empathy seems lost completely and human goodwill is rarely the topic of the day or covered in the media.

I’ve been very quiet concerning my feelings about local politics, natural disasters, and other things of late. I’m sure you’ll agree…it’s all a bit much. It’s not my intention to be a doomsayer or an over-zealous conspiracy theorist. However, these chaotic times, storms, and signs were written in holy scriptures and foretold by our ancestors. It was predicted and prophesied that the world would be filled with hate, calamity, earthquakes, floods, famine, wars, and rumors of wars… I never thought it would be “quite like this”… and that it would be happening so rapidly — right before all our eyes. There’s no denying it.

Whether we are suffering from our lack of care for the Planet, ourselves or each other, if you’re not feeling what’s happening around you and to fellow human beings — you are sleeping. Wake up! As beautiful and as vast as this world is, it is ever-changing and will not last forever. There is growth and there is stagnation. There is life and there is death. It all changes. What matters most is our interconnectedness: everything and everyone is connected with everything and everyone — The Law is Divine Oneness. We are not separate. We are ONE living, breathing, human organism — each going through own spiritual paths, creating our own realities and sharing this human experience. Regardless whether we admit or not; whether we talk about or not.

At the end of the day, what matters is to live each day to the fullest (and as if it’s my last day on Earth). Sure, there’s no doubt be some days it may be harder than others or easier said than done. I believe this human experience should be led by each of us and strongly hope we learn to do our best to love and have mutual respect for one another. It should be moment-by-moment practice. We all should be focused on doing more GOOD in this world. I share all this with you in hopes that you will realize that being blessed and fortunate enough to enjoy a beautiful life is only so that you may be a blessing to others who are not as fortunate as you.

This is not the end. It’s only the beginning. Some real work needs to be done. It’s soon to be 2018… We should be DETERMINED to create a better world for the rest of our days on this Planet and for the lives of the ones we leave behind. Live your life full of determination: that tangible intangible energy which helps to focus on making continual progress in every area of your life and in those whom you may come in contact with. Determination combined with action creates progress. Progress is good.

Start by creating in a mindset of gratitude.

Be grateful.

In a nutshell, here’s what Hurricane Irma taught me: We should remain prepared. We are all the same. We depend on the same basic necessities some third world countries have yet to experience … power. We all suffer regardless of skin color, class, religious beliefs, etc., we should learn the true meaning of empathy, and most importantly —WE are so much stronger TOGETHER.