Friday, December 1, 2017


The Ordinary People
2017 was a year defined by endless and unthinkable catastrophes. Charlottesville was a
watershed moment for the most hideous rants of white supremacists who wanted to turn the country backwards into bigotry and racism. Three record-breaking hurricanes destroyed homes, left residents in despair, and wiped out their jobs in industries ranging from chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Still numb from the daily updates of hurricane news, Las Vegas happened. Stunned silent again by another mass shooting the why and how could not be answered even after 58 deaths. When the fires in northern California erupted the burden of its immensity swamped whatever was left of our ragged emotions.

One morning while sitting in meditation all the calamities of 2017 passed across my vision. Feeling the pain of each event, tears fell from under my closed eyes. I wondered how humans
could continue to rally despite these endless setbacks. In answer a deep voice spoke in my head. The voice said "They continue because of the ordinary people - the ordinary people - the ordinary people." After meditation was over I sat for a while pondering the message of The Ordinary People when the "ah-ha" moment arrived.

Who are The Ordinary People? They're not jet-setters. They're not on the covers of magazines. They didn't invent anything. They hold jobs like firemen, nurses, gardeners, teachers, policemen, sales reps and clerks. They used to be called the "middle class" but many now work two or more jobs to make ends meet. They define themselves as spiritual rather than religious. They are the ones we see in the grocery store checkout lines, or at the car-wash, never giving each other a thought.

But we should! For Ordinary People do extraordinary feats. Without fanfare they rush into the path of danger. Ordinary People go to white supremacist rallies with their own banners supporting diversity or turn their backs on the speakers. Ordinary People is the nurse who stood her ground to protect her unconscious patient from an illegal blood test and got arrested for her efforts. Ordinary People create gatherings to collect clothing and food for the people destroyed by hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Ordinary People drive hundreds of miles towing their boats so they can rescue victims from the flood waters in Houston. Ordinary People are the police officers and rescue workers who rush directly into the path of 90 bullets a second. Ordinary people are terrified concert goers running away from the bullets. Ordinary People is
the man who made 58 crosses for the victims of Las Vegas and placed them on the Strip. And lest the animals be left behind, Ordinary People are those digging through the unstable rubble of an earthquake to rescue a child's puppy.

Ordinary People always say "I'm no hero, anyone would have done it." They're probably right. Ordinary People are the spiritual backbone of humanity. In the face of disasters they truly are "the first responders." When hatred becomes intolerant they hold high a moral compass setting a direction for others to follow. They open their hearts with compassion asking for no reward. They stand as beacons of service to the suffering of others.

This holiday season we remember all who lost their lives to natural disasters and those felled by man-made atrocities. And we honor all the Ordinary People who came to their aid. Like the Samoan Hotshot Firefighters who, after battling the northern California fires for days, came down the mountains singing a Samoan hymn Fa afetai i le Atua
 that roughly translates Thanks to God. Thank you and God Bless The Ordinary People!

Jo Mooy - December 2017

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