Jake and I took a trip to New York with some friends, Amy and Reagan Clark. We were there a full 3 day with 2 days of travel. It’s a lot to absorb in such a short time. Being in New York made me feel like I was ‘somebody’, because anybody important in the media has been there. It’s a place that connects a person to the world and its temporary residents. New York is not only an attraction for the United States but globally as well. Islamic radicalisms crashed into the twin towers in hopes to achieve their dominance over the world and emit their hate for America. However, the tragedy only made people love New York and America more. Their efforts didn’t drive our nation apart, but brought us together. It’s easy to feel like ‘you’re somebody’ when you are in New York. In fact, I miss that feeling. It’s invigorating, energizing.
I began each day asking Heavenly Father what lesson he wanted me to learn. These were the spiritual insights:
• How does feeling like a ‘somebody’ turn into pride? Or to put it scripturally, 1 John 2:16. Time square in particular, does a great job infiltrating pride. In the H&M store they have a place upstairs where anyone can dress up and pretend to walk the run-way with a live DJ. Outside, a huge billboard screen magnifies people down below on the walkways. They wait there until they see themselves blown-up in lights. Topless ladies walk the grounds with their chests painted red, white and blue. One lady rubbed her breasts on the person taking a picture with her, another lady was paid by a father to stand with his 4 year old son. The father took a picture of them while the lady bent over and dangled her breasts in the young child’s face. This father passed the perfect opportunity to teach his little-man the proper way of treating a lady and how to give them attention respectfully. There are great men and women, the world just needs more of them. An example would be, on the subway station a father was there with his young son who was playing a difficult piano piece on a keyboard.
• When you look at the moon, is it the craterous planet seen with a telescope or a smooth surface smiling down at you while lying on the grass? Each bright light of goodness has its opposite dark adverseness. In New York there were people who were loud and rude as well as loud and gracious. Much of my experience depended on a duo perceptiveness; one was positive and the other negative. For example, am I eating breakfast in an untidy ally way outside my hotel or is it a patio revealing the infrastructure of an awesome city? We spent at least 12 hours each of the 3 days trying to see Manhattan. At certain times of the day it felt like being in crazy mayhem. Peace came from good food, and beautiful architecture, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the most success we found was in the Manhattan LDS temple. A serviced church is inside where Sunday meetings are held each week and the public is welcome. LDS temples and churches differ with one another. Anyone is welcome inside a church building as long as it is open., but the sacredness of the temple requires its occupants to live a life without worldly addictions. The inside of the church was similar to all the other ones around the United States in the way it felt, smelt, and looked. This was the only place in Manhattan I felt away from the city without actually leaving.
• The third spiritual lesson was received by watching people’s choices on how and where they used their talent(s). On a street corner was a group of men in robes, standing side-by-side. The middle man shouted proclamations with vigorous energy. Large in stature and handsome, his voice reached many. He obviously had courage and leadership. However, what stood out was the anger and his offensive words of belittling people’s appearances as they walked by him. The energy this group created left us no better than when we arrived. In an opposite comparison, our last night in Manhattan I saw my first Broadway play, Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison. Fulfilling every measure of my expectations, I was filled with deep gratitude: for all the talent and energy each person put into making this production amazing. I was grateful their fruitful labors steered toward edifying the human spirit. Their performances moved me towards greater light and I was indeed blessed to share this experience with my husband and friends who appreciate uplifting activities. The previous day we visited a firefighter museum by RadioCity. A gentleman there was a retired firefighter and now devotes his time to teaching young children about the work they do. Each day we saw New York police out on the streets keeping their city safe. My experience here has made me a better person and hopefully more kind and gracious to those around me.