On Touching the Core

Who are you? Who am I? Not only how do we identify ourselves, but also, what identifies each of us?

I’ve embedded many videos on this pages during my blogging time, but some stick with me. They touch my core. They define who I am.

The European immigrants of the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century impacted the world. My paternal grandparents were in that group while my maternal family remained in Europe.

I believe the majority of the world is good. In a global environment when language can be a barrier, other things can link people – such as smiles, kindness, and respect. Blogging is has reinforced that to me, and so has Matt.

The ending of some movies cause a tear – yep, It’s a Wonderful Life does it, and so does this one.

Human behaviors are complex and quite wide-ranging. That given, there is a lot of bad in the world, but one cannot deny the power of I’m Sorry.

I believe universal creation is spectacular, and creation is ongoing. From our tiny perspective, the wonders of the universe are just for us. Whether Earth is home to the only life in the universe doesn’t matter to me, but nobody can deny this perspective.

Any favorites here? Are their videos that define you?

62 thoughts on “On Touching the Core

  1. I like immigrant stories. Both mom’s parents were from Europe. I also like Carl Sagan. I quoted him only once on my blog but feel he was a good scientist and showman on, “Cosmos.” This was interesting.


  2. When I look into the other-world eyes of some of the immigrants in the photos Frank – my heart breaks a little……. So few smiles, so much sadness, some tired, some full of hope and dreams and harsh reality. I wonder what became of these men and women and children. I wonder what their stories were. That certainly touched me.

    Carl Sagan’s words – yes, every time! Matt makes me smile! How cool to travel the world and dance with the locals everywhere you go! I never saw the movie, so I’m afraid the ending escaped me – maybe I should seek it out. It is always a pleasure to watch young Redford 🙂

    The southern man, not so much. Any society that allows such a level of hatred to live and flourish is beyond my comprehension. Religion and hatred are so often comfy bed-fellows and that chills me. I wonder if he just apologising so he won’t go to his ‘hell’?

    A most interesting post Frank. Thank you.


    • Pauline,
      Leaving one’s home and heading to an unknown land would be scary. But in many cases, they rejoined with other families or at least others from their homeland. After all, that’s how many ethnic communities were formed … and some of those remain today.

      I see the Black-White video as one of hope. Yes … hatred during those times, but the fact of someone stepping forward like that to say I’m sorry, I was wrong gives me hope. Oh yes, Black-White racism still exists today (and too much so), but progress has been made … Unfortunately, other forms develop —- but that’s where Matt comes in with his kindness.

      Thanks for watching and sharing!


    • Debra,
      I recall our previous discussions about your family’s immigration, so cheers to you for also have a special place in your heart for all those hearty souls. … and Matt … and can one not smile at his videos!


  3. This coming Tuesday I plan to watch Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” with my 96 year old mother-in-law, with the pause button in hand.


  4. That video about the old guy and his racist past… seeing his smiling photo in the crowd as he assaulted another human being… and what he says now… thank you for that. Truly moved me.


  5. It’s funny. Videos and movies don’t really do it for me. I haven’t seen a movie in, probably, 10 years, in the theater or on TV. I almost never look at YouTube or click on Facebook video clips. It’s music that does it for me!


  6. I like all the videos that you posted, the one about baseball was not my thing, I’m a Canucks hockey fan! …not into baseball that much.

    This video says a lot about me, I loved it so much when I first heard it that I bought the CD and DVD:


  7. The power of an apology is HUGE. I don’t think people even understand that. And I think most people also don’t understand, if we listened to each other, I mean really listened, whether we agree or not, it would start a dialogue that would end all this conflict. All anyone wants is to be heard, know you heard them, and to be acknowledged. Which cost nothing in this world and could stop a lot of wars. Sorry i went off on a rant again lol.


    • Kay,
      That’s not a rant – but rather one from the heart and common sense. Many of us, (and probably all of us at one time or another) concentrate on what to say next as opposed to listening. Heck, the “speaker” poses to inhale, people think they are done talking.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like to believe the majority of the world is good too. Watching and reading the news can convince us otherwise, but I like to think for every bad thing printed or mentioned, there are far more good things out there that never get the airtime. Let’s hope, anyway.


    • Carrie,
      Totally agree that if we based the world on the news, it’s a horrible place. I believe in the good … there are many good people in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Somalia, and other hotbeds … get like in Matt’s video … smiles, laughter, and kindness cut through language barriers.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hola aFrank,
    My parents and hubby’s parents were travelers on the ships coming to America. My husband is of European ancestry. Last, year, we traveled to Albany and visited the Museum of Albany. We were emotional when we meandered through one of the exhibits which showcased the immigrants coming through Ellis Island.The photographs taken of people traveling on these ships in those conditions were unfathomable. We always realized our parents had made a great deal of sacrifices but the photos really brought it home.They made were humbling. The video with the immigrants touches the center of my heart. I have photos from that exhibit but decided the subject is too sad. Perhaps, one day.
    I do love Matt. He should be made Ambassador of Creating Unity. What an uplifting video…!!!
    Have a GREAT WEEK … !!!


    • Isadora,
      Thanks so much for your a bit of the family history in your household. From leaving what you know with a suitcase, to conditions on the ship, to entering a strange land, to now what – the immigrants of that era have quite a story. … and to think that story has told millions of times not only in North America, but across the world. Yes – much sadness and difficulty -but let us not forget the triumph that came to many over time.

      Meanwhile, Matt – the Ambassador of Creating Unity is a fitting title!!! Many thanks for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the “where’s Matt” videos though I have not watched them in a while. The ‘silliness’ of his funny dance moves seem very simple, but it is interesting to see how they unite him and people from various cultures. I remember being in Riga, Latvia during a winter solstice dance and I was invited to dance. There was no shared language with the local dancers, but we all enjoyed dancing together though I did not know their traditional moves.


  11. Well done, Frank. These videos are well placed together as a message: the virtually unlimited scope of human potential for good, for peace, for shared values. The yin to that yang is also obvious.

    The Ellis Island piece made me think of the immigration debate and of the curious notion of eliminating birthright citizenship, now elevated in the national consciousness by a surging demagogue. I am looking forward to the public dialogue. When stripped to its basics, the rule appears to me to be arbitrary and subjective. When America was young, she needed those legions of desperate foreigners to complete our manifest destiny. No more.

    Why should not the rule change now? One reason not to might be altruism, the notion that America ought to promote world peace, as in the Matt clip, by encouraging the melding of cultures. But altruism on a national scale is a hard sell, evidenced by weak support of single-payer healthcare and climate change initiatives. Xenophobia runs deep in the body politic. Nation-building doesn’t work, values can not be externally imposed. I have to wonder what Trump’s world would (will) look like behind its 2,000 mile barricade and armored shores?


  12. Always liked that movie Field of Dreams. Wonder if unplugging and sitting outside might awaken the memories and potential of good in the world.
    Would help if EVERYONE decided to get along and find more alike than different. Tall order. Great post


    • Mouse,
      I like Field of Dreams too, but I don’t think it gave me the moment that The Natural does. Meanwhile, leaders will continue to put a wedge between people. For example, many of us cannot image good Iranians or good North Koreans … but I’m confident there are many!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right. Individuals need to get out more and meet individuals. Difficult in places where there traditionally have been uniform “like” populations. Most people just want to get through life as gently and happily as possible and be left alone. There’s good and bad in every groups – the problem is too many seek to control/have power over the general masses by demonizing a targeted group and uniting the main body against them.
        Individuals must wake up and stand against being manipulated – as well as recognizing the motives of others. Hopefully dreaming …someday?


  13. You sure know how to pick ’em!

    All wonderful, straight to the heart and soul videos.

    But my favorite has to be the one of Ellis Island. Why? My mother (just turned 82) spent a night there with my grandmother on her way from Paris, France to her eventual home in way upstate NY. She remembers being in the women’s dormitory, top bunk. There was a bare electric light bulb right above her head with a chain. She didn’t speak a word of English, but it didn’t matter. All she heard were varying volumes of gibberish as evening wore into night and she just pulled that chain. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Until she finally fell asleep (much to the delight of the frustrated and strobe-weary women and girls in that dormitory. I’m sure she wasn’t allowed to do it for long, but she remembers being fascinated by the light and having control over it–something grand for a 14-year-old girl who had just spent most of her life in a Catholic convent during the war.


  14. ,Frank,
    I first saw this post on my phone, right after you posted it. I couldn’t watch the videos then, but made sure I came back. And I’m so glad I did.

    These videos are wonderful. Each of them, all for such incredibly different reasons, and you strung them together in your post beautifully.

    Do I have a favorite? Well, it’s a tough call. I loved the Ellis Island video — I assume that my east coast only family passed through there, but I don’t know. (Perhaps I will learn some day. As I age it sounds more appealing.)

    And Robert Redford is always a welcome sight — especially the young version. (I am pretty sure that I saw an anachronistic moment in that clip, though, when one of the spectators can clearly be lip-read to say “Holy SHIT!”

    I loved the Sagan clip, too.

    But, although I had never heard of Matt until today, I love, love, love Matt. I just can’t get enough of watching him bring/join/spread joy through music and dancing. That is the answer to all the world’s problems — joy and laughter.

    Thanks Frank. You bring joy and laughter to me so very often!


  15. The first video, Ellis Island is wonderful because it highlights the hustle bustle excitement of the new land and future. Even though it depicts the harshness gone through, it confirms the hope coming true.


    • Resa,
      I can’t imagine the totality of the emotions of their journey – let alone the actually time on the ship … and all with hopes of a better tomorrow – which came to most families over time. … and yes – it sure is a wonderful video!


  16. I love your messages in this post as well as the messages in each one of the videos. Truly an inspirational, uplifting post you’ve put together here, Frank. Thank you for “touching my core” as well. 🙂


  17. I really love “The Pale Blue Dot.” It always moves me. And the final home run in The Natural is a wonderful screen moment. All of these videos are spectacular and I can see why they touch you to the core. They are that powerful. I can’t think of a particular video, but the movie “Reign Over Me,” with Adam Sandler in a surprisingly powerful dramatic role and Don Cheadle as his good friend is a movie that comes to my mind no less than once a week. It completely touched me to the core and turned my thinking upside down in the context of how people in emotional pain need to be allowed their own coping mechanisms. That’s an oversimplification of a deep subject, but when you say “touched to the core,” this movie did it for me!


    • Debra,
      Pale Blue Dot gets me every time – especially this version because of the involvement of space. I’ve seen other versions, but they don’t have the same effect on me as this outstanding combination of sight and sound. Besides, you’ve been around here long enough to know I’ve used it many times.

      Thanks for the movie recommendation. I don’t know that one, but I imagine Netflix will come through.


  18. As I always am these days, I am playing catch up. I am so glad I didn’t miss this one. I don’t think I could pick a favorite out of this group if I tried, though Ellis Island and Carl Sagan both are running closely in first place. They are all so very good, each for very different reasons. You are right, each are powerful and each are moments in time that show us humanity at its best.


    • Val,
      Yep – all powerful for different reasons – in their own way We know there’s plenty examples of humanity at its worst, but that’s not who I am. Cheers to your love for Sagan and the Ellis Island clip.


  19. I just realised I hadn’t commented on this one. Great videos. I remember seeing the apology one recently: truly moving. Ironically, I re-watched “The Natural” just a few weeks ago! The Carl Sagan one is great too…and that Matt one…Wow! But the eyes in the faces of the Ellis Island one just pierced me. Very moving.


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