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The Light of Inspiration

4 March 2024

I awoke this morning rather early, at least for me, at 5:45.  The name of a man with whom I’d worked decades ago appeared in my mind.  I’d been thinking of him during the past few months, but was unable to recall his last name.


This morning, at the break of dawn, I recalled his name, and his face, along with his words of encouragement to me during a dark time in my life.  The early 1980s were rough for many Americans; they were probably rough on this dear friend.  He was just passing through the federal agency where I worked, but those several years of his passing through made a difference in my life.  We were separated by about ten years in age, but not in sentiment or outlook on life.

I’ve never been able to properly thank him for believing in me.  It’s possible that he needed no thanks, wanted no thanks, wanted only for me to pursue my goals and achieve them.


“Some people talk about turning their lives around, but you’ve actually done it,” he’d stated to me with amazement and admiration.


“Well,” I quipped, “I had nowhere to go but up.”


And he informed me that for certain persons, that position, of down and out, would represent an excuse not to try anymore, but would instead constitute a means by which to get attention and to not change.

I don’t know if, back then, I was aware of that type of person, but I sure am now!


This personal advocate would have likely been embarrassed by any acknowledgement of his advocacy, a term that has become cheapened, among so many others in more recent times.  I’ve come to learn that his older brother was killed in Vietnam in 1968, dying a hero and returning home, to Sacramento, to be buried in the family plot.


In a nation where Gold Star families are routinely reviled, insulted, and obscenely mimicked, I can only imagine the emotional and moral burdens that my Personal Advocate took upon himself because of that tragedy.


We often meet individuals who carry private, even intimate, missions to fulfill because the light of inspiration has been illuminated by loved ones they have lost.  I suppose my life has progressed because of my having undertaken that type of mission; and that private duty has drawn to me individuals of like mind, and heart.

Only a heart willing to love, beyond loss and grief can move forward, one step at a time, into the future.  My Personal Advocate lived, and lives, that profound truth.  His brother earned a Purple Heart.  This brother of the heart earned so much more than I was able to grant to him during those moments when I spoke to him obliquely of my anguish. My eyes silently filled in the blanks that my words could not express.


Perhaps he went on his way knowing that I was journeying on the right path, toward a destiny he believed I was born to fulfill, a destiny he believed in much more than I did at that time.


The light of inspiration assuredly comes to each and every one of us, if only we can see it through the horrid fog of fear and the dismal smog of doubt.  When that kind of moral pollution clouds the vision of a human being, the light of love in the eyes of a hound can uplift the heart.

The light of inspiration was granted to me by this someone who might have needed a re-charging of his own light of inspiration.  Giving, that is giving from the heart, is a two-way transaction.  The giver receives just as much, if not more, than the receiver of that blessed sentiment that I call a friendship of the heart.


The world is just as cold and cruel and caustic as it used to be, as it will always be.  The rebel act, the duty of rebellion, is to love because of all of that hatred spewed by the putrid souls and vile hearts.  They end up destroying themselves.  You end up not with an ending, but with a beginning, the new beginning that never ends.


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