First, learn respect!

After transitioning from a French elementary school to a Vietnamese middle-school, on my first day of school,  I saw “First learn respect, then learn literature”.

My brother’s generation at the same school had been from the same mold (his classmates are still staying in touch).

No wonder they showed up at my Mom’s funeral in a cold winter day in Virginia , out of respect.

To see the sight of my brother’s classmates, my upperclassmen (most of whom accomplished MD’s and Pharmacists)  bowing with incense in hand, stirred something up in me .

Inside those “tough” shells were hearts of gold.

It is repeating today with my classmates.

A “party” (memorial) fund for our dear musician friend who had just passed away.

Since he was cremated in a private ceremony, we rally to chip in for his kids, to turn grieving into giving.

Coordination takes place across the Pacific, with the free help of technology (yahoo group).

First, learn respect.

I don’t know how much we will eventually collect, but I know my friend’s kids will grow up knowing that daddy’s friends care.

I know Long’s kids will take on some of his musical legacy.

Someday, if I survive to hear one of them perform, I will once again be reminded that there is no such a thing as “the day the music dies”.

(John Lennon’s kid is now playing, George Harrison‘s kid, the same).

I remember listening to “Your Song” during siesta long ago.

But it’s just a radio.

Now, it’s Spotify.

You can take away the stereo, the juke box and the boombox, but you can’t take away music in man’s heart.

The going might get rough, but then, there is music to soothe the soul (ole time Rock and Roll).

I know my friend would be smiling, displaying his square jaws, when I blog this.

He would have joined in if he could.

Testing, and one, and two.

Every other form of learning is preceded by Respect.

It’s hard to find, as a line by Neil Young “I’ve been to Redwood, I’ve been to Hollywood…looking for a heart of gold, and I’m getting old”.

Hold on to it when you have it.

Have it when you see it.

I wouldn’t think of this blog had I not seen it in action, at my Mom’s funeral, and heard it today from my yahoo group.

I love them dearly, but first, respect.


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