“The Times They are A-Changin’” — We Can Only Hope!

I love where humans are coming from when intelligence and compassion combine.  Intelligence=compassion…the only way to roll! The absolute only way to roll! There are not two sides to animal abuse and an accompanying apathetic approach to such…there is only one…and that is to pursue the correct path throughout our lives. Admittedly, it took me awhile to become enlightened myself, and now, before I die, I am making up for lost time…valuable lost time once squandered.  Children NEED to include compassion in their lifestyles from the earliest age possible…that is an evolutionary necessity and matters to all of us while impacting this glorious Earth we are all meant to enjoy and to appreciate and to revere every second of our lives if possible! I applaud fair-mindedness — that very rare attribute which is indeed happily growing, however, in proper popularity. Burgeoning numbers of us feel saddened to endure the missteps of those who refuse to climb on board the compassion train, but we are gratified and hopeful when observing that “times…they are a-changing”…for the better! You and I and all those who do speak up for the only side…the side of compassion… are onto something grand. And our inviting others — through collectively speaking up — is key.  Never stop advocating for love and for respect encompassing all living beings!

In the midst of one of my continuing series of campaigns for compassion, I just today answered a nuisance phone marketing call quickly followed by slowly stumbling to respond to an insistent doorbell (commanding that I snake my way through the entire length of the house toward the front porch to be hoodwinked into purchasing some hazardous, chemical-laced, lawn treatment application or other). At my age, I usually resent both kinds of intrusions–phones jingling/pulsating and knocks at the door …mobility and patience no longer my top virtues!  However, recently, I received a bonus in the form of a most joyous evening spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, though not local as within the confines/ borders of Columbia City.  I enjoyed my time spent one half hour’s drive away from home at any rate…this spinning globe does qualify as both vast and intimate.  That familiar, redundant Disney tune reminds us — “It’s a small world after all — la dee dah”, especially these days.  Social media and ’round the clock internationally televised news-casts and what all facilitate the concept that all of us might peacefully co-exist as virtual neighbors, briefly inhabiting this whirling planet for mere nano-seconds in the grand scheme of things…the connections we achieve can make a positive difference for all of us creatures — presently and for the future.  But exiting “Dodge” brought me some fabulous face to face rewards…

While in Allen County, where we once lived for 15 years…(“big city” time well spent), I fell in love with two gentlemen, Larry Wardlaw and John Tolley.  Larry, the greatly beloved unofficial mayor of Fort Wayne, and I appeared in an Arena Theater production of “Any Wednesday”.  I portrayed Ellen, a kept lady…Larry co-starred as my newest lover…and my parents grudgingly watched their daughter (a new mom at the time) behaving very much out of character.  But it was a comedy, and they managed a laugh or two regardless of the frothy yet slightly licentious subject matter!  In lately bumping into Larry, who was dining with his deputy unofficial mayor, we learned of a dress rehearsal across the way from the “Gas House” restaurant…involving a musicalized 25th annual spelling bee in “Putnam County” I believe.  So, we dropped by the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and spoke with director John Tolley who had directed me, in 1974, in my favorite musical of all time, “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off”, at First Presbyterian Theatre.  I played the long-suffering wife as well as several global *mistresses (people DO* get around!) of a wily, self-absorbed politician named Littlechap who galloped along an egotistical-tinged, artificial, fast track to personal glory on this frenetic, manic merry-go-round called LIFE.  In the lobby, I ran into a gorgeous young woman who also played Ellen only the week before at the same Arena Theatre still located at the Mizpah Shrine Temple…what a small world!

Arriving back home…all loco/local once again, I friended Fort Wayne’s esteemed Citizen Larry on Facebook and suddenly recalled a third theatrical chum (from my Ft. Wayne past) whom I googled…Bruce Curless…who is famous and headquartered in New Jersey and recently directed “Purlie”, my other favorite musical! (I met its author, actor Ossie Davis, years ago at the Allen County Library, and he autographed my sheet music!)  I loved Bruce, too, when he cast me in yet another of my favorite musicals, “Sweet Charity” — creating the character of, believe it or not, an additional lady of the evening.  Wait! I religiously “paid my dues” at my small town Sunday School 13 years in a row of “perfect attendance” at Grace Lutheran Church where I also sang in the choir as a teenager…from a lofty position, I might add, as a frequent soloist.  But evidently Bruce, Larry and John sensed some rather suspect quality about me then that had always eluded my consciousness up to that moment and will assuredly (until my demise) remain untapped.  I am such a good girl — I am!

As far as my earnest on-going project (which phone calls and doorbells and fun trips to other geographical locations keep interrupting), I shall only repeat and repeat my message to the gods that be.  Animals do not belong in trash cans. Children should be taught NOT to bully.  And any misguided, orchestrated, brutish, unfriendly activity —  perpetrated by kids or adults terrorizing specifically, at the moment, pigs (to whom we are closely, closely, closely related) — certainly should not be tolerated.  Hey, “great job of challenging these unfair competitions,” I shout out to activists in yet one Indiana county after the other and across the world!  Global advocacy for compassion and kindness is marvelous and is to be welcomed and encouraged. It IS a small world after all! We must be stewards of all living beings and of our environment…we are all in this together for the time being! This planet Earth matters to all of us wherever we may be!  Now, let us return to Bob Dylan’s harmoniously melodic and cautionary suggestion…he is still a viable figure you know  (having recently performed during aging, retiring, college classmate David Letterman’s  marathon, non-ending sequence of “next to the final” shows) warbling  “The Night We Called It a Day”!  Instead, though, let’s review Bob’s “The Times…They are A-Changin’“.  Altogether now, “a-one and a-two and a-three” (language borrowed from Maestro Lawrence Welk!)…follow the bouncing ball!  Let us wrestle with the meaningfulness of the exceptional lyrics!  Thanks for reading! And for thinking! And for practicing compassion…

“The Times They Are A-Changin’”

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’. ~ Bob Dylan

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