I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for himself. – D. H. Lawrence

When I first came home to Palau I felt unwelcome.  I realized the truth that a home is not a place or a house.  It is a state of mind.  I made myself at home – wherever I was – in my mind.  This experience    enabled me to imagine how it was for a Jewish person to live among the WASPS (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) or an African American man looking for a job in corporate America. 

[restrict]  I had to work hard to stay with the truth between my ears – to embrace who I am.  I heard Billy Joel singing, “Don’t go changing to try and please me. You never let me down before. Ooh I took the good times. I’ll take the bad times. I’ll take you just as you are.  I’ll love you just the way you are!” 

I like Billy Joel and his music career.  He was this kid who struggled in the music business with countless failures and disappointments.  Writing songs that nobody wanted, playing piano in city bars just to pay rent.  He was told that he’ll never make it because he didn’t look right.  He was too Jewish. He sold 150 million records worldwide – still climbing these days with I-Tunes.  A wild man with wild songs that express what couldn’t be articulated.  Beautiful upbeat melodies, real down to earth lyrics filled with human angst and affirmation.  He painted a picture of loneliness this way “…there’s an old man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin” or “You may be right, I may be crazy, but I just may be a lunatic you’ve been looking for…”

Peter (one of Jesus’ disciples) was a crazy, impulsive, who spoke without thinking.  When they saw Jesus on the shores of Galilee after the resurrection, John was the first to recognize Jesus, but Peter was the first to act, always making bad decisions. Three days before he just denied Christ three times.  But Jesus knew that and restored Peter three times… He saw Peter as one with a zeal; a wild man whose passion would eventually be channeled to good use.

Scientific research has shown that few human processes are turned on or off by a single gene. Most processes require many genes acting together to produce a common result.  Thus, the idea fired up by the media that there is a gene for this and a gene for that is incorrect.  From second to second, day-by-day, genetic cascades are turned on or off by our own thoughts and experience. Yes, that means we are, for the most part, in control!

Moreover, science is discovering that, although we have a fixed set of genes in our chromosomes; it’s mainly our thoughts that influence those genes which are active. This is an amazing, fundamental spiritual principle as well: “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. (Proverbs 23:7)

So, when all is said and done, we are very much in control, and not victims of our biology. [/restrict]