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Crossroads 3 of 3 for NYE 2020

This 3rd and last installment for the last day of 2019 is all about the music. Well, it’s mostly about the music. The music is all about the theme.

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED!

I may have mentioned that one or two times before. It is this message I think we need to focus on the most, looking forward to 2020. We all share the same blood, as the song says. We can’t continue to mistreat each other. We can’t continue to live with the idea that one religion, one race, one culture is better than the other. That is the opposite of coexistence. That is the opposite of kind. We cannot continue to condone cruelty and hate. we cannot continue to make assumptions about people we do not know or people who do not look or sound like we do.

This New Year, choose love and kindness. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and get to know someone who you think is nothing like you. You will be surprised as to how much you actually have in common.

We are truly at a crossroads as a people, a species! Our nation is at a crossroads. Hell, our planet is! And, so is our humanity. For those of us who follow Christ, so is our religion. So are all religions that condone hate and exclusivity. As we ALL seem to be at these crossroads together, it is time to find a common path we can travel together. 2020 is the year kindness truly wins the day. Be a part of the movement. Be a kindness warrior.

This last song is Coldplay’s Arabesque. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Happy New Year to all! Music has tremendous power, and in the context of these lyrics about unity across the world, this means that if everyone used the power of music instead of guns, the world would be a better place. 

“Coldplay’s recent release “Arabesque” is about bringing the similarities of people into focus, regardless of language, upbringing, or race. It uses metaphor and abstract imagery to paint a picture of what human beings share with each other: the same blood.

The word “Arabesque” has several definitions, but, because of the complex and layered production of the song, the one that probably inspired the title is this one: “a passage or composition with fanciful ornamentation of the melody.” 

“We share the same blood” 

By saying that we share the same blood, the lyrics are saying that we all want the same things: to be loved, to be seen, and to be accepted. And when we don’t get those things, we are all hurt. It relates to the phrase, “We all bleed the same,” which means that regardless of race, everyone is mortal. If you cut deep enough (metaphorically as well as literally), we’re the same. Everyone’s blood is red, and everyone has emotions and hopes and dreams and a past.

Verse 1 [Chris Martin]

I could be you, you could be me
Two raindrops in the same sea
You could be me, I could be you
Two angles of the same view
And we share the same blood

The first verse uses the metaphor of water to look at humanity from an abstract perspective. Individuals, here, are seen as parts of a larger whole. Whatever a person’s experiences, Chris Martin is saying that their life stories are “two angles of the same view” of humanity and life. The statement “I could be you, you could be me” is likely representative of a belief held by some, that birth is random and that there isn’t a guiding force behind what family someone is born into. He’s likely saying that if things had been different, they could have been born into the other’s life.

Verse 2 [Stromae, Will Champion]

Comme deux gouttes d’eau
On se ressemble
Comme provenant de la même mère
Comme deux ruisseaux (You could be me)
Qui se rassemblent (I could be you)
Pour faire les grandes rivières
And we share the same blood
Yeah, we share the same blood

The majority of these lyrics are in French, so here is the English translation.

Translation:

Like two drops of water
We look alike
As from the same mother
Like two streams (You could be me)
Who gather (I could be you)
To make big rivers
And we share the same blood
Yeah, we share the same blood

Stromae continues to use forms of water as a metaphor for how similar each individual is as a member of the human race. While “two drops of water” may be seperate, they are made of the same substance, which is what “Arabesque” is telling us. Though we may come from different backgrounds, or races, in the end “we share the same blood.” We’re all human, and in that alone there is a shared understanding and equality between us. This verse talks about the separate individuals gathering “to make big rivers.” The message of this verse is that if we were to focus on what brings us together, rather than what divides us and work together, we could make a bigger and more powerful impact on the world. 

Sample [Fela Kuti]

Music is the weapon, music is the weapon of the future

This sample comes from a clip of the late Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and activist. (Fun fact, Fela Kuti’s son and grandson play some of the instruments on this song.) Music has tremendous power, and in the context of these lyrics about unity across the world, this means that if everyone used the power of music instead of guns, the world would be a better place. 

Deeper Meaning of “Arabesque” by Coldplay

Coldplay’s “Arabesque” is about unity in all of humanity. Deep down, people are a lot more alike than many want to believe. Even someone we dislike may have some of the same fears or hopes as us. More importantly, we are all created equal and no one is better than the other. We all have our imperfections and we all have our strengths. Though we may be created differently and choose to believe different things, those differences don’t need to divide us.”

Arabesque, Coldplay, coldplay lyrics meaning, arabesque explained, new coldplay song, the pop song professor, clifford stumme, Clifford Stumme, Arielle Anderson

Caution for sensitive ears. 1 curse word at 5 minutes into the song. Let it go! Its a great song!

Christopher Carlson
StreetLights.blog

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March 18, 2018

Caught this during yesterday’s travels after the first set of storms blew through. Thank you Lord! Yesterday, as I came across dozens of people trying to get from one place to another, I was reminded and amazed once again that people are generally kind, courteous, and caring for each other; even total strangers.

My last ride last night was a man named Mack. I picked him up at 2:58 a.m. in North Dallas. He was going to Cedar Hill. He was pretty quiet and so was I. It was my last ride after all and I was pretty tired.

Just after we crossed through the downtown area, Mack spoke up and said that this was the best ride he had ever had. Of course, I found this rather surprising since I had not really made any effort to speak with him or to provide any type of extraordinary service.

So I asked him what he meant. He said that this ride was the first time he had just stared out the window and enjoyed the lights of the city. The roads were quiet. Mack travels up and down the highways all the time for work. But when you are driving on a bustling highway, it’s hard to really look around and appreciate the sites. Mack hasn’t lived in Dallas very long, so this was the first time he really got a good look at downtown without having to focus on the road.

It’s great to stop and look around from time to time.
#StreetLights #Kindness #purposefulkindness #WhataWonderfulWorld

March 17, 2018

I heard that phrase again yesterday, “…lost in the woods.” Reposting from December. I think it is worth repeating. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day all.

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Saint Patrick

Christopher Lloyd CarlsonDecember 29, 2017

Trees.

“Getting lost in the woods” is a phrase often associated with dark or troubled times in life.

If you are lost in the woods, take a moment. Take a deep long breath. Then look around you. The trees that surround you are not your enemy or your obstacle.

Look close and you will see, God has put those trees around you.
They are there to protect you, to give you sustainability. They help form and define your path.
Those trees are life giving and life saving. They offer you love and joy. Those trees are your friends and family, and safe spaces.

If you ever feel lost in the woods, take a breath, look around and know, you are not alone! Trust me, I’m an Oak…

March 6, 2018

People Profiles

Mark

So Last night, my first passenger was Mark, who needed to get to DFW Airport. Many of you may already know Mark. But, for those who do not, Mark is a member of my church and also the leader/teacher of my Sunday school class known as the Ragamuffins.

I can truly say my life changed when Mindy and I, along with our children, joined Broadway Baptist Church. All of our lives did. I never thought I would find a church where I felt fully accepted or fully respected, until Broadway. Last night Mark was describing when he and his wife Aubin found Broadway. He described a moment, being in the sanctuary for the first time for service, and having such a powerful spiritual feeling that connected them to the church. “There is no other place quite like Broadway Baptist Church.”

That is how Mindy and I felt the first time we attended Broadway. We instantly felt at home; like this is where we belong. And much of that is because of the wonderful friends we have made there, the immediate acceptance and love we received from everyone we met there. And, the incredible leadership in the church, including Mark and Aubin.

Mark is truly a kind and generous man. He doesn’t judge (unless you speak ill of the Baylor Bears:)) and he offers great leadership and support.

Thanks Mark for being a great leader, teacher, friend, and continually shining your light brightly so that others may find their way through the darkness.

Broadway Baptist Church is an incredible place of love, diversity, acceptance, and joy. Broadway challenges old ideology. It is unlike any church I have ever known or attended. And it is wonderful. Below is an excerpt from the last Ragamuffins weekly email that Mark sends out. He describes how the class got it’s name. Peace be with you.

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld Broadway Baptist Church – Fort Worth

“Fellow Ragamuffins,

Aubin and I had the opportunity to share our story with a class at Brite Divinity School this week. In my portion I shared about our class and the wonderful community we have become. In sharing, I recalled the source of our class name, Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel. This is from Manning’s introduction.

The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out.

It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.

It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are to proud to accept the hand-out of amazing grace

It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.

It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.

It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.

It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.

It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.

The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.

[“The ragamuffin church is a place of promise and possibility, of adventure and discovery, a community of compassion on the move, strangers and exiles in a foreign land enroute to the heavenly Jerusalem. Ragamuffins are a pilgrim people who have checked into the hotel of earth overnight, bags unpacked and ready to go. Regrouping and retrenching, squatting and debating, are not their poses and postures.”]

This is the basis for our class. Thank you for who you are!!

MARCH 6TH, 2018

People Profiles: Virgie

Monday morning I was fortunate to meet Virgie. She needed a ride to pickup her glasses. She was so excited she was getting them. Virgie wants to get to know the streets of Dallas better by driving around with her daughter

Virgie is a devout Christian and through her own journey to Christ has come to know the bible well. She now serves as lead teacher at Reconciliation Outreach Dallas. She is passionate about helping 4th and 5th graders develop a relationship with God and biblical teachings.

We had a great talk about God’s calling and kindness. Virgie you are doing incredible work and making a difference in the lives of those kids. Keep it up! It was such a pleasure to meet you. Good luck exploring Dallas!

March 4, 2018 Hope at Broadway

Today is Sunday. Today is a day to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving, and to be hopeful. Today, reach out to God.

And, as always, be kind.

If you need a safe space, a place to connect with God, a place where your thoughts, and your beliefs are welcome, then come to Broadway Baptist Church.

It will change your life!

Broadway Baptist Church “There’s more than one way to be a Baptist!”

Thank you Mindy for sharing this song.

#Kindess #purposefulkindness #WhataWonderfulWorld

People Profiles – Armando

This is my friend Armando. Or as most of his friends call him, Mondo. Mondo needed a ride this morning at 3am to DFW Airport. We had a great conversation along the way about his work, his passion. He has been a teacher for over 16 years and is a strong advocate for at risk or underprivileged children. Five months ago, he accepted a position as Director for The Fellowship Initiative in Dallas. This program was created through JPMorgan Chase.

“The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) provides intensive academic and leadership training to help young men of color from economically-distressed communities complete their high school educations and better prepare them to excel in colleges and universities. TFI is part of the firm’s broader ongoing efforts to provide adults and young people with the education, skills and resources that contribute to greater economic mobility.
To date, more than 200 JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with TFI Fellows as Mentors, coaches, role models, speakers, or volunteers in various capacities. Since its launch in 2010, the program has been expanded and will recruit new classes of Fellows in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.”

Mondo headed up to Chicago this morning to learn more and share knowledge with the director of TFI for that area. Mondo is tasked with developing the program in Dallas and currently has 40 boys in the program.

As a long time friend of Mondo, I can tell you he is incredibly passionate about his work. He is definitely being called by God to do this. I hope you will take some time to read about the organization. I have attached a link.

https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/About-JPMC/the-fellowship-initiative.htm?fbclid=IwAR2_Q2r-MLh3uMoh78u3-WT4WIByJIHOSrFJWdBTVKo66hiyn6GL6bECVRU

Changing the world! #kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #StreetLightStories

Great job Mondo! You are making a difference!