“Row, Row, Row Your Boat . . .”



Happy Hump Day, All!

How many of “you” remember the childhood song … at least from my childhood … “Row, Row, Row your boat …”?  Do you ever feel like that sometimes?  I mean, you’re rowing in a boat … you’re all merry and stuff … trying to accomplish things that matter in your life … just to find out that life … perhaps YOUR life … is just a dream?!?

I remember when I ran for student government office in grade school, then in boarding school … and I was able to win a few.  Friends that I had made, folks who had a certain affinity with me either regarding ethnicity or just the fact that I appeared as a natural leader with the interest of ALL in mind, voted for me.  It feels so good when someone wants you to represent them; and it doesn’t turn out to be a “war” based on political party or economic station in life in regards to “the other” candidate!!  I can only tell you that while I have always considered my life as more than “just a dream”, sometimes … it does feel like I am powerless over some of the outcomes of MY life, no matter how hard I try to attain certain goals!  Keep in mind, that I don’t give up … I keep pushing … towards my OWN goals of peace and love … and an education about myself and this life that I have been gifted by MY CREATOR.  It makes me chuckle, though a little bit sad, when I encounter someone who feels that “they” are my Creator because they helped me with a certain project or through a certain difficulty.  These are folks that not only lack humility, but they also lack the ability to understand that “no ‘person’ is an island”, and we ALL need and get help from “others” along this journey!  There are those of us who understand the concept of “the church” without taking a religious stance as one religion vs. another … and embrace the simple fact that the concept of “the church” is simply to “do unto others as you would have them do unto to you”.

Yet, as I “row my boat”, I am cognizant that MY life quite often becomes a dream … like the dream that Dr. King had … a dream of peace on Earth and kindness towards all on the Earth.  This type of thinking requires a certain amount of self love, self knowledge and pride, mixed with humility to be able to see when WE are wrong as well as a desire to see ALL human beings as our “sisters and brothers”.  Some humans like the divisiveness and thrive off of the confusion that it generates, with special hopes that they will find “someone” who is so confused or so unfortunate that “they” can take advantage of that “poor soul” who can’t quite get the proper footing to stand on their own.  Some of us get duped into thinking that this “life” is a race or contest to see who can amass the most power or wealth, even control over “others” rather than of themselves and try to relegate others as “worthless” or “not as good” as ones self!!!  These are the kind of people that I abhor and whom I try to MAKE sure that they have no or limited control or negative impact in my life.  Many times, because of some of my minor successes, I encounter people who get envious of my ability to “over come some obstacles”, to learn a language and have had the opportunity to explore places and situations that maybe they haven’t had.  Now, I must mention that I am fortunate enough to have made “friends” and have associates who have been willing to help me in my “little boat” as I rowed “merrily” down the stream …towards my life’s “dream” which we often share.  This in turn, encourages me to reach out and help others who might need a hand with something that I can help them with!!  For me, this is what makes life “beautiful”.  I am grateful to learn more about others with similar basic human values as well as to learn about myself and this life of mine, which like ALL others … will one day come to an end!

Try to live in peace and harmony and not “to pick sides” because we ultimately are on the same team … rowing down the same “stream” called Earth!


John I. Cook, Director

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