Essential 2016 Core

Mindset for 2016:
When our college-student grandson was about three, he loved to greet the mail lady and receive the daily mail. He sat in his dad’s chair and tore open all the envelopes. Each one miraculously contained a card for him. They all contained the same message—even the one from Shell Oil. He would examine the “card” and read it out loud:

“Dear Davis. I love you. I have been missing you and will come see you soon. I’m proud of you. You are a good boy and my favorite friend.”

Tie that around your heart.

I have been so moved by Stephen Mansfield’s story “Miracle of the Kurds.” There are more Kurds in Nashville than any other American city. They are not Arab and they are Iraquis. They are fierce fighters, loyal and hospitable. If we could know that other refugees were like them, we would not be as hesitant. The next time I go to Nashville, I want to eat at a Kurdish restaurant.

If I could give you a late Christmas gift, it would be chapter three from Mansfield’s book that contains the story—perhaps mythical—how this forgotten people decided on Nashville. The Kurds were brutalized by Hussein and betrayed by our government. Mansfield says, “…embedded in me the central reality of Kurdish life—the fierce and unshakeable necessity of belonging to a people.”

That is the core of Davis’ interpretation of those cards—the
need and strength of belonging to a people.

I keep returning to this paragraph in “The Miracle of the Kurds” written by Stephen Mansfield (Worth 2014): “The Kurds first captured me by simply inviting me to belong. This is, I believe, the radiating message of the Kurdish soul:

Be welcome among us. Belong if you will. It is an honor to us.”

Mindset for 2016—The controlling assumption that you will have a place to belong and you will be embraced and it is to our honor to welcome others.

©2015 D. Dean Benton—writer & wonderer

Twitter: @DeanBenton

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