More Thanksgiving 2014 – Remembrance

Moving on with more Thanksgiving 2014 – Remembrance

Yesterday, as a family, we made a visit to the Tower of London. There, in what was once the moat, a display of ceramic poppies has gradually been evolving since the 5th of August. When the final poppy is set on the 11th of November the installation, called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, will contain 888,246 poppies. This number represents each of the British fatalities in the First World War.

What does this have to do with yoga and Thanksgiving 2014?

I suppose talking about war and remembrance on a yoga blog might seem a bit strange if you are not aware of the history and philosophy of yoga. Today’s post is not about that – but in case you want to know more about yoga and how it relates, I suggest you find a good translation of the Bhagavad Gita. The setting is the battlefield of Kurukshetra and the story represents both the inner battle we all face and how your dharma may require you to participate in real battle on a real battlefield. Juicy stuff.

Back to yesterday’s trip to the Tower and all of those poppies…

Thanksgiving 2014 In Remembrance

Poppies flowing out of a window at the Tower of London

It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you see all of these ceramic poppies and realize that each one represents a life. The reality is that each one represents many lives… because there were families left behind… enemy combatants killed… families of enemies left behind…

It’s pretty overwhelming when you think of the sacrifice made by these mostly young and mostly male soldiers in the name of freedom.

But I came away feeling an amazing amount of gratitude. Because those young soldiers helped shape the world we live in today.

Of course there are still problems in the world to be solved. And there is still war. As I’ve stated in previous posts… human nature has not changed all that much in the last several thousand years. We have the same fears and the same instincts for survival and familiarity.

But overall, the quality of life for the majority of people on the planet has gone up the last few hundred years. While many of the wars seem unjust and even unnecessary in hindsight, there is usually an upgrade to the quality of life once the war is over and infrastructure has been rebuilt.

Before any of you anti-war peeps get angry with me… let me just state unequivocally that I don’t like war and I do my best to avoid violence at all times. But I also understand that moving forward sometimes means destruction and death. Again… read the Gita if you think there is no war in yoga…

Thanksgiving 2014 and Remembrance Day

A Moat of Poppies at the Tower of London

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My good friend John Brumbaugh… who likely did some things he didn’t like doing in places he didn’t want to be… but he did it with honor and to serve his country. He has helped make the world a safer place and that allows me to be a yoga teacher, a drummer and a father without living in fear. Without outstanding men like John, I might have had to follow a career path outside of helping make the world a better place.
  2. My dad, Robert Stallcop (may he rest in peace) for his service to his country. Dad could tell a whopper… and I’m pretty sure some of those whoppers were downright fish stories… Dad and I disagreed on a lot, especially politics and metaphysics…  but he meant well and wanted people to have a great quality of life.
  3. All of those soldiers who gave their life so I can live mine in freedom and with every opportunity of our time. That includes soldiers from lots of different countries and over the course of the last few thousand years. We’re on the slow road of evolution… but I respect all that you’ve given so we could get this far.

 

Thanksgiving 2014 – Remembrance Helps You To Evolve

thanksgiving 2014 and remembrancePart of my month of gratitude leading up to Thanksgiving 2014 is becoming firmly grounded in understanding that we all ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’

I know you often hear this from sports personalities, guru-like internet sensations and even politicians. But I think we sometimes forget that many people over the course of many generations have shaped our world and deserve our thanks.

Moving on…

Until next time… Drew

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