Mr. Penske and the Fly
By Dr. Saundria Jennings, Phd and ElderPride Ambassador
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to watch a debate between Ms. Kamala Harris and then Vice-President Penske. As the debate proceeded, a fly landed on Mr. Penske’s white hair and stayed there for a considerable amount of time.
My attention suddenly turned to a mental investigation of the nature of this fly. I wondered what kind of fly it was. I wondered how long the fly was going to stay perched on his hair. I wondered how many flies were in the building and whether Ms. Harris was going to be harassed by flies, too. I even tried to attach some type of omen to the fly’s presence.
Needless to say, I didn’t hear a word that either person was saying. I was totally distracted by the fly. Then I realized that I had to bring my attention back to the important matters. Before me were living beings each trying to make a point regarding their causes and purposes for being. Each was trying to justify their existences!
And so it is in the world. How many times do we get distracted by people’s behaviors and miss, forget, or refuse to accept the importance of the people themselves. We speculate about their character, their worth, their very right to exist based on their behaviors, or what we see (the fly on the hair).
The truth is, behaviors can change at any point. The fly could have flown away. He could have walked around on Mr. Penske’s hair. What was more important was the focus on the man and the woman before me. This led me to another thought. It was, admittedly a hard one for me to grasp. This fly was distracting me from realizing the true nature of the people before me—each was a recreation of God. It was very hard to look past the fly—the behaviors—and onto the truth about them. These were God’s creations. As such, they were loved by the Living Spirit, the One Spirit, no matter what behaviors they displayed—no matter how many flies landed on their heads.
Don’t misunderstand these comments. Behaviors are to be addressed. Behaviors can be corrected. Some behaviors must be corrected. Because of their impermanence, behaviors do not permanently indicate the true essence and nature of anyone. As many mistakes as each of us has made, I would be horrified if I were judged permanently by some of mine. They were neither who I was nor who I am. They were what I did at the time.
All of this begs the question. As true believers in the Spirit of God everywhere present, are we able to look past the behaviors of others (the flies in the hair) into the true nature of all of us as manifestations of the One Spirit?
If we can do that and focus on the One Spirit in all of us and by which all of us are joined, can we hold that thought no matter what the behavior? The goal is to move
Mr. Penske and the Fly 2
to a position of love for all. It doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that we support, love or accept some behaviors. We can dislike the behaviors, but know that each person is a part of the One Spirit exhibiting a behavior not based on love of self or others. Who we ARE does not change. We cannot change that we are all of God.
From a position of love we can address all issues in fairness, in truth, and with compassion and caring. Shifting the focus and holding some higher thought about all others is a tall order. The thought/question is a difficult one to ponder. We meet with our own resistance. It is not a question that can be entertained by the fain of heart. It is not a thought that can be held by the cowardly. It is a position of courage.
However, moving into a position of loving another—knowing that each of us is a part of the One Spirit, despite any outward behaviors, moves us into a different experience. The sooner we each come to see God in all beings and do the hard work that comes with this new thinking, the sooner we can live in that world of peace and joy—a world that works for everyone. - Dr. Saundria Jennings, Phd
Rev. Saundria Jennings, Ph.D. is a minister serving on the ElderPride's Leadership Collaborative.
"The blind cannot lead the blind. But alone with Truth, one man can pass from weakness into strength, from fear into faith, from defeat into success and even while he is still living, from a state of continual death into a realization of everlasting life." - Ernest Homes
Photos courtesy of Esquire and CNN