It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

There's more to tomorrow than robots, flying cars, and a faster internet.
22C+ is all about Deep Futures, futures that matter. Welcome to futures fantastic, unexpected, profound, but most of all deeply meaningful...

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gratitude of Being

Emmanuel Kelly: A powerful teacher indeed

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. 

So began Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, written 150 years ago. But how can a single time be both good and bad? The answer is provided, in part, by another giant of English literature, William Shakespeare. In Hamlet the protagonist declares that, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." It is the judgments that we pass on things that colour our experience. Judgments take us out of presence. Judgment blinds us to the divinity within the people we meet. It strips the day of its God-given glory.

I have always gotten a lot of spiritual guidance. I suspect that this is because I need more than most people, being a bit daft. Songs often pop into my head just when I am facing a problem, or getting caught up in the illusory world of thought and projection. One of the songs that often comes to me as guidance is The Streets of London, which was originally sung by Ralph McTell in the 1970s. It is a song about homeless people in England's largest city. The last verse and the chorus, go like this.

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal, ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn't care

So how can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something to make you change your mind

I remember singing that song in primary School. Mrs Marks, our music teacher, had the wisdom to teach it to us. Even as a youngster, I remember being moved by the simple and profound message. Above all The Streets of London implores us to give thanks for what we have, and not to focus upon what is missing. Take a look around and you will see many people who have it worse than you. Much worse. 

There is so much to appreciate in every day. This is why it is so important to not to allow your thoughts of unfulfilled hopes and dreams destroy the pure, simple abundance that lies at your feet this very moment.

The reason I write this short post today is that I recently saw a YouTube video which reminded me of this profound truth. It comes from the Australian talent show The X Factor, which is basically the Aussie version of American Idol. There is no need for me to say much about this video, and the wonderful and moving story that lies at the heart of it. It is the story of Emmanuel Kelly, the young man whose image fills the top of this page. He is a very special human being indeed. 

Simply watch and feel.




  1. Great post,Marcus.
    We seem to be on the same page here.
    I did a similar story on Oct 8 about another Aussie who was born with no arms or legs and his attitude puts mine to shame in a lot of places.

    Be sure to watch the YouTube video on that post if you go to that link.It's an unforgettable experience just watching it.
    A truly inspiring story.

  2. Thanks for that, Daz. That's a great video indeed. I do know who Nick Vujicic is. My school here is Hong Kong features him in some of their classes, as a video study (I think it's social issues). What a great example to the rest of us!