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Thoughts for these times

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Jun 8, 2020 - 4:23:22 PM
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DougD

USA

9675 posts since 12/2/2007

Obviously we are living in a time unexpected and somewhat unprecedented. I've been thinking about conversations I've had that might be appropriate.
Ralph Rinzler was a great musician, member of the Greenbriar Boys, manager and promoter of Bill Monroe and Doc Watson who helped both of them reach a wider audience. He was also an Assistant Secratary of the Smithsonian Institution instrumental in creating he Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife. Incidentally he was a great friend and help to our band.
After he died a memorial celebration was held at the Highlander Center in New Market, TN. I was there as a sort of assistant stage manager, moving microphones and helping get performers on and off stage. Ralph had many friends, and one of them was Harry Belafonte, who was prowling around taking photographs. He wanted to take one of me, and I said "No, I'm not anybody." He replied "You must be somebody or you wouldn't be here." He may have meant that in the limited context of that event, but as I've thought about over the years its come to have a much deeper meaning, especially now. "You must be somebody or you wouldn't be here."
Best I got. Anybody else?

Edited by - DougD on 06/08/2020 16:25:58

Jun 8, 2020 - 5:10:32 PM
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2525 posts since 9/13/2009

Jun 8, 2020 - 5:33:37 PM

147 posts since 11/28/2018

Doug, we are all somebody and all of us are created equal. What else is needed?

Jun 8, 2020 - 5:41:05 PM
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1996 posts since 10/22/2007

People hate to wait. They want it now. They want to be able, now. Is'nt that the same thing as being in a hurry to get old? I've paid for my age, in days, hours, and minutes. Trust me, i know how to wait. I'm not going to tell anybody how. I'm not going to deprive anybody the pleasure of learning.
The single phrase i've used the most these last 3-4 months is either, "we will see," or "time will tell." I could die tonight if it's God's will. We shall see. Now, if y'all excuse me i must now continue to wait.

Jun 8, 2020 - 6:25:41 PM
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2525 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Woodcutter

Doug, we are all somebody and all of us are created equal. What else is needed?


To not be stand by or be complicit, but stand up and ensure that all are treated equal... life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Jun 9, 2020 - 9:53:06 AM
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1742 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Woodcutter

Doug, we are all somebody and all of us are created equal. What else is needed?


I know for a fact there are a lot of people better than me, and I appreciate many of them for their gifts. We're not all equal in my opinion, we're unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses created by what force I can't imagine. In a just society we should all be afforded equal opportunity to pursue our lives, and that's where equality comes in. It's our unique nature that let everyone be "somebody".

Jun 9, 2020 - 10:15:05 AM
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11038 posts since 9/23/2009
Online Now

I always get uncomfortable with times people have thrown around the word, "talent," in music. I don't know...I mean...some people are born to get an instrument put into their hands, it does seem, but from what I've seen, most musicians have worked themselves day and night to get where they are...maybe "passionate, " or "determined," might be better than "talented." I remember reading Chet Atkins fell asleep at night playing his guitar and just always slept with his guitar as a child...right or wrong, don't know...but I read it at some point somewhere. And I heard guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel say his guitar skills are the result of hours and hours of relentless work and pratice. I've heard Doc Watson say to "practice like the devil," etc. etc. etc. But not just musically...I think we're all pretty much equal and can do most things...like a squirrel...they're all capable of the same fantastic jumps and outrageous acrobatics...might be a handful that jump farther or do something better, but mainly we could all do whatever we set our minds to do. Of course I have no idea...lol...might be flatout wrong, but since nobody CAN know...we should live life assuming we are all equal, mainly, and whether or not some are better at one thing or another...opportunity and one's determination, which can be fed by a healthy culture or robbed by a sick culture, and belief in themselves is the real gift, moreso than talent. Everybody oughta have the same foundation and self esteem to get to work on whatever it is. Humanity can only be as strong as its weakest link. imho. And I sure seem to be having some strong opinions lately...lol...maybe the lockdown affecting me that way???????

Jun 9, 2020 - 11:36:50 AM
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1996 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Woodcutter

Doug, we are all somebody and all of us are created equal. What else is needed?


Sorry Woody, but if we were all equal, it would be much easier for me to find pants my size.  

But i guess you did say "created" equal. So at a cellular level i'd agree. 

As far as "somebody," Tuesday nights i morph into a Country Music fiddling Star! For a room of old phardts like myself. It's quite goofy yet intoxicating. I wonder if Garth Brooks ever gets a yen to clean out a cattle shed, or bail hay?

Jun 9, 2020 - 12:58:26 PM
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1742 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

...some people are born to get an instrument put into their hands, it does seem, but from what I've seen, most musicians have worked themselves day and night to get where they are...maybe "passionate, " or "determined," might be better than "talented." ....


I agree with what you say about hard work. Nobody has it without putting in the time. Whatever else it might be , the most important ingredient in "Talent" is the discipline to keep at something every day.

Jun 10, 2020 - 3:02:18 AM

194 posts since 4/5/2008

"You must be somebody or you wouldn't be here". 

Interesting thought.  Attending the Rinzler funeral......... attending a political demonstration, attending church, doing volunteer work, teaching kids, attending an OT music festival........ all shed a little light onto what sort of person you are.  I was happy to unexpectedly encounter a Black Lives Matter demonstration in State College a couple of days ago.  A few hundred people holding signs & showing solidarity for a cause.  All of them were "somebodies", as distinguished from people who didn't care or couldn't be bothered or, like me, didn't know about the demonstration.  I wonder if Belafonte meant "you must be famous" or "you must care about the things that were important to Rinzler" ?

Edited by - Mark Ralston on 06/10/2020 03:04:02

Jun 10, 2020 - 1:26:24 PM
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1600 posts since 12/11/2008

Two thoughts enter my head in response to this thread. The first is the title of the album by troubled rock legend Courtney Love, "Live Through This." The second is to figure out what you're good at and what you're not good at. If you enjoy doing what you're not good at, well, enjoy the heck out of it. Just be comfortable with the fact that you might not make a good living out of it, and that you might not receive anything more than token praise.

Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 06/10/2020 13:30:20

Jun 10, 2020 - 10:43:39 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

581 posts since 6/22/2016

"God doesn't make junk."

Jun 11, 2020 - 5:41:35 AM
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8405 posts since 3/19/2009

... We'd not be here if we weren't somebody.. THAT is exactly why I always say that there are not bad people, just good people doing bad things..Behind our human egos, we're pretty much all the same......I can't hate anyone once I've seen past their ego..That requires seeing past my own..........Everyone is doing the best they can given their finances, mindset, upbringing, life experiences, etc. Everyone is somebody!laughheart  Several years ago there was some sort of gathering of famous musicians.. They'd all be in the same studio recording....On the studio door was a sign that read, "Leave your ego at this door"...Always liked that one.....

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/11/2020 05:55:05

Jun 11, 2020 - 2:19:09 PM

8405 posts since 3/19/2009

Sorry, Doug.. I didn't realize that my comment would kill the threadwink

Jun 11, 2020 - 2:56:07 PM
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DougD

USA

9675 posts since 12/2/2007

That's OK Lee. It didn't develop the way I hoped it might, and really your and Old Scratch's posts were the closest to the point I was trying to make - if you're put on this earth then you ARE "somebody" and deserve to be treated as such.

Jun 12, 2020 - 10:52:12 AM
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5780 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

... We'd not be here if we weren't somebody.. THAT is exactly why I always say that there are not bad people, just good people doing bad things..Behind our human egos, we're pretty much all the same......I can't hate anyone once I've seen past their ego..That requires seeing past my own..........Everyone is doing the best they can given their finances, mindset, upbringing, life experiences, etc. Everyone is somebody!laughheart  Several years ago there was some sort of gathering of famous musicians.. They'd all be in the same studio recording....On the studio door was a sign that read, "Leave your ego at this door"...Always liked that one.....


And this would be said while looking in Doug's direction too...

I certainly agree with the concept of:   " We'd not be here if we weren't somebody.. "  - but I don't see how that statement would logically conclude:  "THAT is exactly why I always say that there are not bad people, just good people doing bad things."

If by that you mean that all people have the capacity to do good and to do bad, then I agree. But I don't think anyone knows what is truly good and bad.  A silly notion to illustrate what I mean. We could also say every person has the capacity to love and hate. And they do.  Some folks love to to do things that others hate - where is the good and the bad in that?  

What is the standard by which we judge good?  And who deserves the the right to be the judge?

The pessimist in me wants to say  - All I see, everywhere I go,  are people who say one thing but reveals a living contradiction in everything else they do. 

I don't agree with the inherently "good" nature in mankind. I think mankind is born with a rudimentary self-serving understanding of the difference between good and bad (evil if you will). But his inherent nature is self-serving - self preservation.  Mankind is born with a capacity for doing good, and understands the need for "us" to be good to each other and beyond - as long as they are convinced it serves their interest (whats in it for me).

That's not a bad thing - in this world of inherently self-serving creatures. I pretty sure that is what our founding fathers had in mind with the checks and balances between the 3 branches of government.

The problem - most everyone in this world want to see good "win" over bad - and yet there is rarely any consensus on what is "good" and "bad".

It will be impossible to be truly good as long as our nature is focused on preserving "self" first.

Lunch on the table. Here's hoping this made sense.

 

But = Doug - your original post made perfect sense to me. And I agree. Sorry this takes it further in another direction.

Edited by - tonyelder on 06/12/2020 10:53:33

Jun 12, 2020 - 12:01:46 PM
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8405 posts since 3/19/2009

Tony, I can see your confusion...It is the Ego that tries to understand good/bad.. I have worked diligently for decades trying to understand what the human ego IS.. I won't go into it here more than what I put in this paragraph ..Many books have been written about the subject and I've not only read a lot of them, I've investigated my own ego in real-time..A good way to understand it is to do deep awareness training ..like meditation, where the ego can be seen for just exactly what it is...an illusion... and when that illusion is dropped or circumvented, the the real you-me-they shines in awareness.... This is all I'll say about it in this topic..

Jun 12, 2020 - 12:46:30 PM
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5780 posts since 8/7/2009

Having said all that -

I do acknowledge the intrinsic worth of mankind. 

I do acknowledge that we all equally share in our ability to make choices about how we live. Given the right motivation, we will act contrary to the very nature we were born with.

I do acknowledge that we all equally share in the potential to do good. But the very nature we are born with will work against our ability to realize that potential.

In some ways we are the same, but in so many other ways  we are unique - different from every other person that has ever lived.

My interpetation of  Mr Benfonte's comment ("You must be somebody or you wouldn't be here") ?   Regardless of where you are, there is a reason for you being there.

Jun 12, 2020 - 12:50:47 PM

8405 posts since 3/19/2009

Amen.

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:25:55 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4084 posts since 6/22/2007

You know that this thread is precariously close to the edge of theology. The Universalist side of my religion says that humans are inherently good; that we are each deserving of love; that a loving God would not condemn his children to Hell; and we are all connected - what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. I have encountered a few folks (and still do!) who, for me, make it challenging to follow these core beliefs!

If you read some of the background of Harry Belafonte, he recognized the value and worth of every human being. He lived his convictions. He was deeply connected with Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and also the Antiarpatheid Movement in South Africa. There is much, much more!

So, Doug, your interaction with this incredible human being is truly a treasured moment. Thank you for sharing this private memory that has evidently made a deep impact on you. Your question is certainly causing each of us (well, at least me!) to dig deep into our (my) soul.

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:38:04 PM

4260 posts since 6/23/2007

I have always thought many things in a person life occur through sheer chance. I have one granddaughter, a college junior, who thinks she has the rest of her life planned. To a certain degree, we can influence our health and future, but not to the degree most people think.

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:40:31 PM
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8405 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Dick Hauser

I have always thought many things in a person life occur through sheer chance. I have one granddaughter, a college junior, who thinks she has the rest of her life planned. To a certain degree, we can influence our health and future, but not to the degree most people think.


Yes, remember that old saying, "Life is what happens while we are making other plans..".. 

Jun 12, 2020 - 3:08 PM

5780 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

....humans are inherently good; that we are each deserving of love; that a loving God would not condemn his children to Hell; and we are all connected - what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. 


I don't want to  force the hand of our good moderators - or frustrate Doug by drifting further from what he had in mind for this topic. But I think it might be worth mentioning- imo - there appears to only be a few things in our "core beliefs" that would be a point of discussion.

I will try to be very brief and generic enough to avoid any overt religious references.

It is said that the first man and woman were perfect in everyway and inherently good in the beginning. The Creator loved the man and woman, as well as all of mankind that would come from within them. But the nature of the all the lives of mankind still within the first man was changed when the first man willingly acted against the expressed will of of his Creator. The disobedient act of the first man caused him and all of mankind in him (seed) to lose the "connection" they had with the Creator. They became "dead"/ separated from the knowledge of the nature and will of his Creator. He was now left to himself to decide what was good and bad. But because he was no longer connected to the life of his Creator, his new nature could not bring him to a realization of what he was created to be. He was now lost in his attempt to save his own life by protecting the flesh he lived in (self-serving). We are all connected through that first man. We all share that fallen nature with him. We are not inherently good. That doesn't mean we can't do good deeds or be good people (relatively speaking). But relative to what we were made to be and the Creator who made us - we are not good and never will be good left to our own "devices".

Now the Creator has never stopped loving what the Creator made. In fact the Creator loved mankind so much that provisions have been made so those within mankind - who are aware of their need to be connected to the Creator in order to realize what they were created to be - could make a choice to accept that provision that was made for them through the love of the Creator.

Individuals make their own choices about the need they have for the Creator - or if there is or isn't a Creator. But that is the "mankind" side of these things. I would thing it would be important to for us to know what the Creator has said to us about all this?  If there is a Creator - That would certainly be where "good" is found.

quote:


Originally posted by Fiddler

If you read some of the background of Harry Belafonte, he recognized the value and worth of every human being. He lived his convictions. He was deeply connected with Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and also the Antiarpatheid Movement in South Africa. There is much, much more!

So, Doug, your interaction with this incredible human being is truly a treasured moment. Thank you for sharing this private memory that has evidently made a deep impact on you. Your question is certainly causing each of us (well, at least me!) to dig deep into our (my) soul.

---------------------------------------------------------

I do believe in the intrinsic worth and value of mankind.  The Creator does not make mistakes. 

I am familiar with who Harry Belafonte is, but I'm sorry to say - I don't know that much about his life.  He sounds like a "good man".  Doug has lived a rich life and I enjoy hearing his stories.  

Despite all the bad things all around us - this is still an amazing place with a great number of amazing people. 

Thank you for your patience moderators - and Doug.  I have said enough. I will bow out of this discussion now.  

Edited by - tonyelder on 06/12/2020 15:11:23

Jun 12, 2020 - 3:57:55 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4084 posts since 6/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

....humans are inherently good; that we are each deserving of love; that a loving God would not condemn his children to Hell; and we are all connected - what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. 


I don't want to  force the hand of our good moderators - or frustrate Doug by drifting further from what he had in mind for this topic. But I think it might be worth mentioning- imo - there appears to only be a few things in our "core beliefs" that would be a point of discussion.

I will try to be very brief and generic enough to avoid any overt religious references.

It is said that the first man and woman were perfect in everyway and inherently good in the beginning. The Creator loved the man and woman, as well as all of mankind that would come from within them. But the nature of the all the lives of mankind still within the first man was changed when the first man willingly acted against the expressed will of of his Creator. The disobedient act of the first man caused him and all of mankind in him (seed) to lose the "connection" they had with the Creator. They became "dead"/ separated from the knowledge of the nature and will of his Creator. He was now left to himself to decide what was good and bad. But because he was no longer connected to the life of his Creator, his new nature could not bring him to a realization of what he was created to be. He was now lost in his attempt to save his own life by protecting the flesh he lived in (self-serving). We are all connected through that first man. We all share that fallen nature with him. We are not inherently good. That doesn't mean we can't do good deeds or be good people (relatively speaking). But relative to what we were made to be and the Creator who made us - we are not good and never will be good left to our own "devices".

Now the Creator has never stopped loving what the Creator made. In fact the Creator loved mankind so much that provisions have been made so those within mankind - who are aware of their need to be connected to the Creator in order to realize what they were created to be - could make a choice to accept that provision that was made for them through the love of the Creator.

Individuals make their own choices about the need they have for the Creator - or if there is or isn't a Creator. But that is the "mankind" side of these things. I would thing it would be important to for us to know what the Creator has said to us about all this?  If there is a Creator - That would certainly be where "good" is found.

quote:


Originally posted by Fiddler

If you read some of the background of Harry Belafonte, he recognized the value and worth of every human being. He lived his convictions. He was deeply connected with Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement and also the Antiarpatheid Movement in South Africa. There is much, much more!

So, Doug, your interaction with this incredible human being is truly a treasured moment. Thank you for sharing this private memory that has evidently made a deep impact on you. Your question is certainly causing each of us (well, at least me!) to dig deep into our (my) soul.

---------------------------------------------------------

I do believe in the intrinsic worth and value of mankind.  The Creator does not make mistakes. 

I am familiar with who Harry Belafonte is, but I'm sorry to say - I don't know that much about his life.  He sounds like a "good man".  Doug has lived a rich life and I enjoy hearing his stories.  

Despite all the bad things all around us - this is still an amazing place with a great number of amazing people. 

Thank you for your patience moderators - and Doug.  I have said enough. I will bow out of this discussion now.  


Tony (Doug and Moderators) - I understand that we each have our own perspectives and beliefs and I am not arguing for a particular position. I was only referring to mine and what struck me about Doug's comment. I was not trying to instigate an argument or discussion on theology.

The bottom line is that I appreciate the diversity of opinions and beliefs here on FHO.  I appreciate the richness of those who contribute on this forum.

Jun 13, 2020 - 7:34:42 AM
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4260 posts since 6/23/2007

I am sorry, but I don't think we as humans are inherently good. Generally speaking, I don't think mankind has displayed the tendency to practice what today's society considers fair and humane policies. This applies to other peoples, and other animals living on this planet.

In our modern world, the word "respect" is mentioned more than it is actually practiced. And it should apply to more than mankind.

Jun 13, 2020 - 8:37:17 AM

Old Scratch

Canada

581 posts since 6/22/2016

How about the old compromise: "There's always a little good in everybody"? (Or, as my school principal once memorably put it: "There's always a little good in somebody" - a real Pollyanna he was!).

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