Prince & his kindness in the shadows

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Not for ourselves alone we are born, Cicero 106 B.C.

Names of big important people are on big important buildings. That’s noble. The need is great.

But sometimes the loudest voice can be the one whispered in the dark.

The mysterious artist Prince was unquestionably a sun-sized talent. Deft at 27 instruments?

The world is struggling a little with what to call him – Prince, the artist formally known
as Prince or the symbol above, but those closest to him use Silent Angel.

Writer, singer, performer, instrumentalist extraordinaire, mentor and inclusionist.   I don’t know if inclusionist is a word but if not, it should be. Prince brought tattered folks in from the scattered edges; the misfit wallflower, the confused, the bullied and invited them, welcomed them to the party.

Powerful and life saving.

That is the real story and here is the other, for me.

Under pseudonyms, Prince wrote hit after hit for other artists to perform. Sinead O’conner made me cry every time in 1990 with one of his. Her shaved head singing directly to the camera, painfully and poignantly:

 

He supported causes without notoriety. No cardboard checks or press releases. $1 million to the Harlem Children’s Zone, $250,000 each to Uptown Dance Academy in Harlem and a Columbia, SC non-profit for impoverished childrens’ college. Millions annonymously. And the list goes on and on and apparently on. A Silent Angel indeed.

Evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for your own mental health and can improve your physical wellbeingMental Health.org

So, that lasagna you baked for the sick neighbor really did you good, too.  But it is certainly more than that.

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. Dalai Lama XIV

When I look back on hard times, the strongest vision is not of the struggle but of friends and strangers at the back door with a meal or walking straight in and cleaning up my messy kitchen.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. I think we’re all just muddling through this messy mess the best we know how and need a helping hand when the world crashes in.

In these times of hate filled rhetoric and forgotten humanity, Prince moved me with his shadowed compassion.

Mother Teresa said Good works are links that form a chain of love and howdy, don’t we need that more today than ever.  Wouldn’t it be a remarkable thing to be remembered for acts of kindness and love?

I take the challenge, how about you?

Love on, brave one.

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