He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Whose My Brother

This essay is about Scotland. I tell my students that I have for over five decades traveled outside of North America. My suggestion to them is to make their first journey overseas to what they consider to be the nationality of their forebearers. Hey, I went to Scotland in the late 60s. In fact, I did post-graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh. You will learn more via traveling than you can by staying home.

I went to school at New College, which is the building with two towers
in the middle of the photo and lived in one of the buildings to the far right.

Case in point. There was a Presbyterian pastor who wrote a book in 1884, which recounted a true story about a young girl carrying a heavy baby boy. Someone asked about whether the baby was too heavy for her to which she replied, “No, he's not heavy; he's my brother.” That one liner has been used by many people and groups, which includes the Kiwanis magazine and Father Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. In the musical world, The Hollies, The Osmonds, Olivia Newton-John, and Neil Diamond are among those that have sung, “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.”

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there

For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share

And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy he's my brother

He's my brother
He ain't heavy, he's my brother, he ain't heavy

The haunting question for all of us is who is my brother, or who am I willing to help in their lives? This question should be one of the most central questions in each of our lives. Think about who you would help in their journey down their yellow brick road of their lives. Additionally, one must define who makes up our family.

That question brings this essay back to my issue about traveling outside of North America. A half dozen years ago, I went to Myanmar (Burma) in hopes of interviewing the Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi. I failed in that attempt, but, more importantly, I met a young lady, Ti Ti, my granddaughter, in Myanmar. Additionally, I met her two sisters who also are my granddaughters.

That was six years ago. My three granddaughters have grown up a great deal.

That event changed my life. I will do anything for the girls and their parents…anything. Why? Because they are a part of my family. I went back to see them two years ago. The picture below contains a note from Moh Moh and Ti Ti. I received them just before I returned home to America. While working at my computer, that framed set of letters is less than two feet from me. I look at it all the time.

Therefore, my roots go back to Scotland and my present include my family from Myanmar. The larger one’s family is the better that family is. The less diverse and inclusive will result in a family that isn’t all that it can be.

Case in point: We have a president that has withheld nearly $400 million dollars from Ukraine for weapons to protect that fledgling country from the Russians. Our fake president isn’t concerned about anyone dying in Ukraine, because they can’t stop the Russians. Our fake president has bartered the security of Ukraine for dirt on his opponent. That is despicable. Trump has an extremely small family about which he cares. Trump’s family is himself. When the world remembers Donald the Dumb, we will replace this painting of Narcissus admiring his reflection with a new painting.

Narcissus sees his likeness in his reflection and falls in love with himself.

When Trump looks at himself in a mirror, he will say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” And this is what he will see.

I love me, I think I’m grand…when I go to heaven, I’ll hold my hand.