In my last post, we started out on an exploration of the virtue of ACCEPTANCE, as part of a year long journey through the study of strengths of character and virtue… as qualities for engaging life at school, family, work and community. Riding on this examination of the virtue of acceptance, what I have noticed in the last 48 hours has been nothing short of witnessing its application globally.
I am talking of the passing of David Bowie. While I have enjoyed his music since my own teens in the 70`s (loooooved FAME), I am not sure how much of a fan I was of his work. I have no albums or concert memories like so many do. I do have favorite songs and memories associated with his music and body of work. Clearly, many many others do too, around the world.
Still, to see the outpouring of tributes is a testament to his art, craft and music. It is a testament to the acceptance by millions… of his work and excellence. But he seemed to be a man that championed acceptance. He challenged us. He challenged the norm and inspired another view; of broadening our acceptance, if you will.
One video I saw this morning was of a 17 year old David Jones being interviewed about seeking acceptance as a youth with long hair. To watch it now almost seems surreal and silly. Still, I remember being in a barber shop at the age of say 5 (1965) and watching young men walk by with very long hair and being mocked for it. It seems that David Bowie was on the front lines of that fight for acceptance, in 1964.
And then there was this video… Lazarus… a provoking, poignant, powerful and personal message from Bowie himself. He apparently made it, while on his then secret path with cancer, and intended it to be a gift to his fans. If that does not scream acceptance in a whisper, I do not know what does. Acceptance of our own mortality and the willingness to give in the face of it; I tip my hat and heart.
Acceptance can provide great strength when focused both inward and outward. It can provide powerful peace of mind and confidence to speak our voice in equal and powerful measure. I see acceptance as a virtue in David Bowie.
Acceptance has much to do with seeing people for who they are, and seeing the good. To see beyond the superficial and fame is a strength of acceptance. Examine these virtues and I invite you to offer up, based on your own experience… what strengths of character were inherent and manifested in the person that was and is David Bowie. Then, in his honor, carry those qualities forward. Now, there is a tribute.
I honor your spirit David. May you soar and experience…
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™