Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ... 9/74
Newsletter for October 2007
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by Wayne Coyne
|I was sitting in my car
at a stoplight intersection listening to the
radio. I was, I guess, lost in the moment,
thinking how happy I was to be inside my nice
warm car. It was cold and windy outside, and I
thought, ''Life is good.''
Now this was a long light. As I waited, I
noticed two people huddled together at the bus
stop. To my eyes, they looked uncomfortable;
they looked cold and they looked poor. Their
coats looked like they came from a thrift store.
They weren’t wearing stuff from The Gap. I knew
it because I’d been there.
This couple seemed to be doing their best to
keep warm. They were huddled together and I
thought to myself, “Oh, those poor people in
that punishing wind.”
But then I saw their faces. Yes, they were
huddling, but they were also laughing. They
looked to be sharing a good joke, and, suddenly,
instead of pitying them, I envied them. I
thought, “Huh, what’s so funny?” They didn’t
seem to notice the wind. They weren’t worried
about their clothes. They weren’t looking at my
car thinking, “I wish I had that.”
You know how a single moment can feel like an
hour? Well, in that moment, I realized I had
assumed this couple needed my pity, but they
didn’t. I assumed things were all bad for them,
but they weren’t and I understood we all have
the power to make moments of happiness happen.
Now maybe that’s easy for me to say. I feel
lucky to have fans around the world, a house
with a roof, and a wife who puts up with me. But
I must say I felt this way even when I was
working at Long John Silver’s. I worked there
for 11 years as a fry cook. When you work at a
place that long, you see teenagers coming in on
their first dates; then they’re married; then
they’re bringing in their kids. You witness
whole sections of people’s lives.
In the beginning it seemed like a dead-end job.
But at least I had a job. And frankly, it was
easy. After 2 weeks, I knew all I needed to
know, and it freed my mind. The job allowed me
to dream about what my life could become. The
first year I worked there, we got robbed. I lay
on the floor; I thought I was going to die. I
didn’t think I stood a chance. But everything
turned out alright. A lot of people look at life
as a series of miserable tasks but after that, I
I believe this is something all of us can do:
try to be happy within the context of the life
we’re actually living. Happiness is not a
situation to be longed for, or a convergence of
lucky happenstance. Through the power of our own
minds, we can help ourselves. This I believe.
Wayne Coyne is singer and guitarist for the
Grammy Award-winning rock band, The Flaming
Lips. He wrote and directed “Christmas on Mars,”
a science-fiction film featuring the group.
Coyne and his wife, Michelle, a photographer,
live in Oklahoma City.
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