Several years ago, I re-posted a blog titled, “What surprises the Dalai Lama most about humanity”. It was a very powerful and popular message. Unfortunately, I just found out the quote was not from the Dalai Lama. Further research strongly suggests the original message was penned by the late James (Jim) Brown – pen name James J. Lachard.
I sent an email apology to the Dalai Lama and asked for his forgiveness. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work for the late Jim Brown.
It gets stranger… As the story goes, Jim’s “Interview With God” submission to publishers leaked out. Web designer Reata Strickland came across an anonymous version of “Interview With God” and posted it on a local Alabama church website in May of 2001. From there, the internet took over and the rest is history. Reata Strickland later published “An Interview With God”, but she did so as the editor. She makes no claims to be the original “anonymous writer”. In 2002, Publishers Weekly asked the real author to step forward.
Before his death, Jim found out his unpublished work was circulating over the internet. While not thrilled, he reportedly said “If God can use it, then so be it”.
I felt the best tribute and apology to Jim would be to share what is said to be his original submission to the publishers. Learn more about the late Jim Brown here.
Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise
I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.
“If you have the time”, I said … God Smiled.
“My time is eternity, … what questions do you have in mind for me?”
“What surprises you most about humankind?” …
“That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up and then long to be children again”
“That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.”
“That by thinking anxiously about the future, that they forget the present, such that they live neither in the present or the future.”
“That they live as if they will never die and die as if they had never lived.”
God’s hand took mine and we were silent for a while. And then I asked.
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons that you want your children to learn?”
God replied with a smile.
“To learn they cannot make anyone love them, what they can do is let themselves be loved.”
“To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to other.”
“To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.”
“To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love and it takes many years to heal them.”
“To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.”
“To learn that there are persons who love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.”
“To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it differently.”
‘To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they must forgive themselves.”
“And to learn that I am here … ALWAYS.”
James J. Lachard (Jim Brown)