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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate

 There is nothing of real value that comes from a story of intentional cruelty—only a type of hope that emerges when you witness the best of human nature on the heels of vile behavior.

What is so poignant in the words of “Lit Up Like a Parade”…is the incredible love that poured from the heart of a mother and spilled onto a document.  I felt that.  I have deep admiration for a mother who could never be content to stand by and allow a hateful person to ruin a day for her daughter that should have been filled with joy.  Tradition and ritual are sacred things.  Celebration doesn’t happen in a war zone.  Amy Mueller had the wisdom to recognize when it was pointless to argue with the walking brain-dead… yet did not remain silent when it was time to reclaim precious territory.

I find it interesting that PET images of brains in studies of sociopath behavior show that the left frontal cortex of the sociopath is under-active while the left frontal cortex of compassionate people is lit up like a parade.  Like Emily’s mom.  And the Krewe of Muses.  And the 610 Stompers.  And Dancing Man 504.  And all those beautiful people who felt the love of a mother and chose to respond with empathy in a matter of moments.

Because that’s what it really boils down to.

Choice.

We wake each morning to two God-given gifts:  new mercies and free will.  Those are ours for the taking.  What we do with them for the rest of the day…is up to us.

We choose our behavior.

That’s what I love most about the unexpected ending to this story.  Only it isn’t really an ending.   An outcome this beautiful feels much more like a beginning.

You’ve got to see this outpouring of love for yourself…because in New Orleans, that’s just how they roll.

That’s How We Roll

Dancing Man 504

 “This is not my first experience with Southern Hospitality in this steamy, dreamy place, but it is the thing that calls me back, time and time again. This is my favorite city. The air I breathe is thick and sultry. Quirky is the norm here. Eccentricity is simply a given.

And people ask me why I love it.” ~Dawn

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