The truth about Vernon

I heard a song yesterday that I want to share with you: The Truth About Vernon, by Jim Trick. (It's on this website, track #8 on the second album.) Jim was the opening act at last night's Carrie Newcomer concert, and I thought he was great.

The song is based on an experience he'd had with a man at a soup kitchen decades ago. "How are you doing today?" he'd asked Vernon. And Vernon started to cry. Because he couldn't remember the last time anyone had asked him that. 

The Vernon in the song is an alcoholic who everyone gossips about. He's lost all his money, beaten his wife and kids, and utterly despises himself. "Everybody knows the truth about Vernon" says the refrain. You can imagine the labels: useless, dangerous, loser, monster. "But I am called to love him anyway."

The song is rooted in Christian theology, but it wouldn't have to be. You don't have to subscribe to any particular belief system to practice loving people. And you don't need any motivation other than it feels good. Loving people is one of the quickest routes to happiness that I know.

Love doesn't have to be difficult or complicated or look a certain way. For you, maybe it does include things like asking people how they're doing. Or maybe your version of love is different than that. It doesn't matter. All that matters is remembering that you care, and acting from there.