Posts tagged politics
The Seed of a Nation Gala Recap and Testimonies

What a night!  The Seed of a Nation Gala was a success on multiple levels.  Besides raising a nice bit of funds for upcoming projects, it was just plain fun! Inspirational too!  We also made clear the one-thing our non-profit exists to promote:  Love.

The fact that attending guests represented a diverse crowd demonstrated how the “seed” reaches beyond imposed and unnecessary boundaries.  Folks were there from Washington State, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Ireland, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Africa.   Many colors, ages, and different political persuasions too.   Exactly, they represented the beauty of the “seed,” for it reaches beyond imposed and unnecessary boundaries.

As for the message that night, Darrell powerfully narrowed William Penn’s accomplishments to one un-legislate-able act, which allowed us to end our portion of the evening on the strategic power of love.  One guest from Africa said of this, “My country needs this example desperately.”   We all do!  America equally.  It is an enormous task to accept the responsibility of the “seed” – requiring us all to reimagine the world we know.   To make compassion an operating principle immediately shines light on the interest-driven gains that have been legitimized for centuries and dominate politics today.  No longer could one’s calling, position, wealth, military might, or claim of “providence,” legitimize the consolidation of power, the marginalization of people, extreme nationalism, and more.  It places a mirror up to society, making the effect of real love potentially disruptive and risky.  Of course, we spoke to this at the gala.  This topic will be spelled out more in the future and in one of our next books (and maybe in a public meeting or two). 

It was great to hear from entertainment attorney and executive producer, Vinca Jarrett, on the journey to bring Penn to life to screens around the world.  The Seed of a Nation, Inc. and The Seed of a Nation Production Co. has progressed steadily toward this goal.  It was great to share it with friends at the gala! 

Below are a few additional testimonies from that night.

 

“For me, this was the first time I heard the Penn story, I need to read the book.  I was touched by Lorrie’s LOVE message.”  Lancaster PA guest

“Thanks for a life impacting event.” – Southern PA guest

“You changed my mind about fundraisers.” – Harrisburg PA guest

“I felt a gentle rebuke for my ‘opinions’ about people.” – Philly guest

“The Fields are leading a way forward.” – Northern PA guest

“Wow, wow… wow.”  -  Mount Joy, PA guest

“I need to get this book into my nation.” – Ethiopian guest. 

 “We love you. Thanks for your tenacity.” - Florida guest

 

 

 

Beauty Heals
 
Photo by  Laura Skinner  

Photo by Laura Skinner 

 

I know I promised to write a part two from my last post on the vulgarity of our political space but wanted to share a piece I wrote from a challenge a friend of mine proposed -- to share a novel that impacted my life.  It supports my recent argument.

Here it is:  

My first book-impact happened in elementary school.  It was the first time a novel took me out of my own small world, living in Southern California.  And, it was the first time I fell in love with words. The book: "The Secret Garden," by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 

Its message to me then and now:  BEAUTY HEALS!   

So the story goes, in one sentence, that when the orphaned Mary Lennox (wounded in heart) and her newly discovered cousin, Collin (wounded in body), transform an equally broken garden into a place of beauty, they are both restored, body and soul. 

Many times in my life, after the death of my first husband and after a host of devastating losses from a number of causes over my life, finding beauty was key to recovery.  One of those times, Darrell and I were in England, staying at England's top horticulturalist’s home. In his yard, overlooking Wales, there was a flower blooming that grew no where else (since he genetically engineered it). No one else on the planet ever saw it before, EVER, except for us. It literally took our breaths away - it was like this incredible beauty was reserved just for us to enjoy. We felt somehow chosen and humbled. Transcendent. 

Then there was the time when the trajectory of our life abruptly changed. Very scary! Yet, we found ourselves in the beauty of nature and each other, retreating from all the ways the world uses to gather value to itself. It was incredible and profound; and while I will never say, "yippie, yippie" to the causes that led us to this wonderful-terrible place, I am forever grateful for who we became and the beauty that so naturally finds us now. 

My and Darrell's, and Mary Lennox's experiences in the “garden" are such a contrast to the grisly grind of daily life today, where hatefulness underlies the collective conversation and is nearly fitting. It’s common and natural to hit back and be punitive, to be filled with “what-about-isms” to avoid listening or being responsible, to use partial truths, to be susceptible to intrigues and conspiracies, and to justify the end by whatever means. These habits prevent us from finding beauty around us and in each other. These habits are defined in one word, by beauty's opposite: vulgarity. 

The Greeks had a terrific word for vulgarity: apeirokalia, which is the lack of experience in things beautiful.  One hundred years ago Frances Burnett knew this - the Greeks knew this. It must be because humans default to vulgarity when they can no longer see the beauty in others. I know my experiences are my own, but there is something about changing our focus to find beauty that disallows vulgarity and hate. I truly believe that if we spend more time in the "garden" and take as many folks with us as will go, the experience would make it difficult to form those vulgar thoughts. And, if they could form, we'd instantly know they didn't belong. 

-Lorrie