A personal note from Marcus Brotherton
It’s after 11 p.m. as I’m writing this, at the end of August 2017, and I feel so heavy sometimes. I can hardly stand to read the news anymore–not about the Houston flooding, but about everything else.
It seems like all of America is crashing on the rocks. White, black, left, right. Charlottesville. Washington, DC. All we read about is anger. Hatred. Divisiveness. Us versus them. US VERSUS THEM!
I’m just so weary of the world right now.
For the past couple of weeks I haven’t wanted to write this blog anymore. I’ve been doing it now for 6 years, and I’ve been writing professionally for 16 years, and I always feel this pressure of meeting deadline after deadline. Don’t get me wrong, I Love what I do. But when June ended and I turned in another manuscript, I was wiped. Normally I take off July and August from blogging, although I never stop working on manuscripts because bills must be paid, yet during these past two months that sneaky insidious feeling came over me and I wondered if anybody ever cared about anything I ever wrote, because that’s how you usually feel when you’re tired.
Well, a couple things happened.
The first is I took a week’s vacation. I highly recommend it. We went as a family to this little cabin by the sea. And we didn’t do anything other than eat ice cream and go go-carting and ride bikes and make puzzles and light campfires at night in the firepit by the water, where we toasted marshmallows and crafted the most delicious S’mores. Every day we slept in, and when the week was over, we wanted to do it all over again, but we wanted to get home too, because suddenly home — and all our regular responsibilities — looked brighter again.
If everything you love to do feels frustrating, then just step back a bit. Either take a break, or stay frustrated. That’s my motto.
The second is I received two emails, out of the blue. On the same day.
The first was from Jeremy Anderberg, the managing editor of Art of Manliness, a larger e-zine that I’ve often written for. He’d come across a piece I wrote five years ago about Joe Toye, from the Band of Brothers, [SEE IT HERE] and Jeremy said the piece really spoke to him again. He’d read it before, but for some reason, on this day, it really stuck.
Jeremy wrote, “So often in our modern world we crave professional success. But I’ve been realizing lately that my foremost—and most important—success in my life may very well be as a husband and father. Thanks for providing some insight to my day and week, even if that insight came from 5 years ago.”
Another email came from a reader I don’t know from Halifax, Nova Scotia, named Patrick. He described how earlier that day they’d found out that his wife had miscarried at 12 weeks. They went to the doctor’s to hear the heartbeat, but they couldn’t find it.
He wrote, “I read your article [SEE IT HERE] and can honestly say that a weight has lifted off my shoulders. Your story, and advice were so helpful and have allowed me to finally begin to accept what has happened.”
I read those two emails, both of them arriving on the same day, and I got choked up. It felt like that Christmasey scene at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where all the townspeople come together in their generosity to help George Bailey.
Never underestimate the number of people your life touches for good.
Because this is what I want to say.
Because you get it.
All along the way, I have basically been saying the same thing. I say it in different ways. In different books, in different blogs. Banging the same gong over and over again.
Life doesn’t make much sense, unless we’re connected to the Source of Life.
And I say,
There is no us versus them. THERE IS NO US VERSUS THEM. We are all in this together. And unless we are receiving this Love from God, and letting this Love flow through us and on to other people, life is hard pressed to work right. We must love other people. We have to empathize with them.
People—you and me—let’s keep going forward. That’s what I want to say.
Let’s start making some different news in America, some different news across the world. Let’s make a new news that lifts weights from shoulders. That sets captives free.
This new news reminds ourselves of our foremost and most important successes in life. This new news heals the brokenhearted. It offers freedom, life, and hope.
That’s what I want to keep doing, here on this blog.
Will you help me?
Let’s keep writing and reading, you and me. Let’s keep doing what we do. Let’s be people who think, feel, and trust. Let’s be people who refuse to lead with rage and hatred. And let’s be people who refuse to look at the world as us versus them.
That’s all for now. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
You get it.