Beautiful rendition of Russell Brand’s most impactful speeches originally composed by Tim Shieff.
“Our consciousness has been programmed for thousands and thousands of years and we have been conditioned, programmed, wired…to be, to think as individuals. To think as separate entities struggling, struggling conflict — from the moment you’re born until you die. We are programmed to it. We have accepted that. We have never challenged it, we have never asked, if it possible to live a life totally, absolutely without conflict.
“And the religious organizations throughout the world have maintained this individual salvation. And we are questioning very seriously whether there is an individual consciousness. Whether you as a human consciousness have a separate consciousness from the rest of mankind. You have to answer this. You can not just play with it. My consciousness and yours; if we’ve been brought up, programmed conditioned to the individual then my consciousness is all this activities of thought. Fear is thought…
“The suffering, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the deep regrets, wounds, the burden of centuries of sorrow is part of thought. Thought is responsible for all this.”
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Contributed by Ben Gilberti, H.W., M.
“Before I start to share my story, I want to recite a poem that I wrote in the middle of the night last night, which really shows everything that I’m feeling right now. And it’s a part of my healing process: writing,” she said.
The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy.
Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready
As the world mourns, the victims killed and viciously slain, I feel guilty about screaming about my legs in pain.
Because I could feel nothing like the other 49 who weren’t so lucky to feel this pain of mine.
I never thought in a million years that this could happen.
I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic.
Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals, looking at the killer’s machine gun throughout my right peripheral. Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone’s faces. Looking at the gunman’s feet under the stall as he paces.
The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy. It’s like the weight of the ocean’s walls crushing uncontrolled by levies. It’s like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown on the back of a Chevy. It’s like being rushed to the hospital and told you’re gonna make it when you laid beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken.
The guilt of being alive is heavy.
Photo Credit: Joshua McGill (Facebook)
“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” —Omar Bradley, WWII American general
Imagine a crowded dance floor. Bodies pressed up against one another. Bass thumping, driving people to move, to have a good time, to celebrate life. Now, imagine that same crowd becoming aware that they were targets. The pops of gunfire. The mad scramble toward safety.
Imagine that you were one of the lucky ones, and that you had made it outside. You were safe. And then, you heard a cry for help that would require you to give up your place of safety in order to help a stranger. What would you do?
Josh McGill, 26, chose to save a life. LA Times reporter Sarah Parvini interviewed McGill, whose story offers a nugget of inspiration in the rockpile of horror that was the mass murder of gays and lesbians at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. On a day where homophobes are already trying to insist that gay people were not the targets, the heroism of those who were targeted deserve our respect.
Josh McGill was close to the patio when the gunfire began, and he and his friends were able to crawl out to the patio and onto the parking lot. As they stood up to run toward the police perimeter, which was a few hundred feet beyond them, the shooting resumed.
McGill took shelter behind a car while his friends continued to run to safety. McGill was safe, and he crawled underneath the car to wait for police rescue.
From his place of safety, he “noticed a man stumbling toward him, covered in blood,” according to the Sentinel.
McGill got up and brought the man behind the car. As Parvini reports:
“I think I got shot,” the man said.
McGill searched the man’s body and quickly found two bullet wounds—one in each arm.
“Don’t worry, I got you,” McGill said.
He knew he needed to stop the bleeding. He pulled off his lavender V-neck shirt and wrapped it around the arm of the weakening man slouched against him.
As the man continued to bleed, McGill removed the wounded man’s shirt and used it as a tourniquet on the second gunshot wound. But then McGill realized that the man needed more help than he would be able to provide, so he helped to ready the man to run with him to the perimeter.
The man complained that his back hurt. That’s when McGill realized that the man had been shot a third time, in the back. He managed to get them both to the safety zone. A bystander was watching, and McGill demanded the man’s shirt. He complied, and McGill used it to try to stanch the injured man’s bleeding back.
McGill got them to a police officer, who told him that a cop car would take them to the hospital. Parvini reports:
McGill’s job, the officer told him, was to lay down in the back of the car.
“We will lay him on top of you, and you bear hug him,” the officer said.
Keep him conscious, no matter what, McGill was told as they rushed off down the road.
“Hey, man, my name is Josh,” he said, his arms covered in the blood of a man he’d just met. “What do you do?”
“My name is Rodney. I’m from Jacksonville,” the man replied quietly.
“I don’t know if you’re religious or not, but I’ll say a prayer with you,” McGill said. Rodney mumbled something inaudible.
McGill made promises he didn’t know he could keep. He swore the man would be OK, that everything was turning out fine. He held him as tightly as he could.
When they got to the hospital, doctors wheeled Rodney inside.
“Words cannot and will not describe the feeling of that. Being covered in blood,” McGill said. “Trying to save a guy’s life that I don’t even know.”
McGill later found out that Rodney was recovering, but so far, he has not been able to visit the man whose life he saved.
Other heroes were not so fortunate. Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, saved his boyfriend’s life. He pushed his boyfriend out ahead of him and through an exit door. Sotomayor was shot in the back, giving his life shielding his boyfriend.
Edward Sotomayor was fun-loving, and friends recalled that he loved to wear top hats. He was the national brand manager for a travel agency that specialized in gay-friendly vacations. On Twitter, his friends mourned the loss of “the kindest, sweetest man.”
Death is careless at times, the poem tells us. But we must take lots of care in honoring those who were lost to the hatred of homophobia, and offer their sacrifices as proof that good things still drive humans to aid each other even at great cost to ourselves.
In a live segment on CNN, Anderson Cooper choked back tears while reading the names and telling the stories of the Orlando shooting victims.