Words on Wellness
My Response to President Obama’s Newtown Speech: “What’s Thai Massage got to do with it?”
It may be about 3 weeks old already, but there are some things in life that are timeless and to me one of those is the speech president Obama gave at the vigil right after the Newtown shootings. I have been sitting with his words every day for weeks. It is not my intention to wade into a political discussion, and I don’t think the portion of his speech compelling me to write does that. It was a moment most called one of his finest and it’s because for a few minutes he talked about something greater than politics, he talked about our meaning in life. And if you haven’t seen it yet you can watch it below.
I feel compelled to offer my thoughts because of this portion of his speech (which starts just after the 13 minute mark):
All of the world’s religions… start with a simple question: why are we here, what gives our life meaning, what gives our ax purpose? We know our time on this earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain and even after we chase after some earthly goal –whether it’s wealth or power or fame or simple comfort- we will in some fashion fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions we’ll all stumble sometimes in some way. We’ll make mistakes, we’ll experience hardships. And even when we’re trying to do the right thing we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness… There’s only one thing we can be sure of and that is the love that we have: for our children, for our families, for each other.
The warmth of a small child’s embrace: that is true. The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring and the wonder we see through their eyes. That fierce and boundless love we feel for them. A love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger; we know that’s what matters. We know we are always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that. That’s what we can be sure of. That’s what you the people of Newtown have reminded us. That’s how you’ve inspired us. You remind us what matters. And that’s what should drive us forward in everything we do.
This speech leaves me wanting to shout from the rooftops: metta! What the president described so well is this word that refers to the spirit of loving kindness that is in each of us to want to help each other out. And the people of Newtown showed us how it is all in us- to our core. Certainly we feel it when we help our children, but as he said so well it is the love we have for each other and that binds us to something larger. That’s what matters.
We lead lives of greater purpose when metta drives us forward in everything that we do. And we are conscious that this is what’s driving us. And to that end I must also shout out Thai Massage! It is one of those earthly things, to give it, to receive it, to learn it, to make a part of one’s life that is such an amazing way to bring this kind of meaning and experience to one’s life and to have a most incredible gift and talent to share with others.
Those of you who have studied with us know this all too well… It’s probably at the core of what drew you to this. These words get straight to the heart of the matter of why we do what we do and why we love it so much. In the simple activity of loving touch there is so much purpose and a constant reminder of what matters.
For those of you still wondering what it is all about, or who have come to short courses, tried it, loved it and have moved on to the next thing, I ask you to stop and pause. Ask yourself if you could help your loved ones, show them with more than words how you care and develop a skill that will help you to help them, while you help yourself to feel stronger and healthier. What could be better? And if this skill could help strengthen your resolve, and help bring greater clarity and purpose to all that you take up in life, wouldn’t that be one heck of a bonus?
And that is why I am here to tell anyone who is interested that the more you study and use this skill, the greater the rewards. And if it’s the financial aspect that is stopping you, then please let that be the least of your concerns. Whatever you can reasonably pay, or in whatever framework of time available we will work together to make that part happen. But if you are looking to do something that matters, that keeps love at the core of all you do, then I hope you’ll reach out and find out how.
I am not writing this to sell you something. I am writing this because I feel compelled to let you know about something that does offer meaning to so many who learn it and use it. Thai Massage is a gift and we have been gifted many times over every time we get to share it and see the impact it has on countless lives.