Service Spirit - A Path for the Leather Heart, SWLC 2006 Keynote, by Master Z

2006 SOUTHWEST LEATHER CONF. KEYNOTE ADDRESS

GIVEN BY MASTER Z OF DALLAS

JANUARY 22, 2006

REVISION #13 – 1/17/06

 

 

“SERVICE SPIRIT-A PATH FOR THE LEATHER HEART”

 

GREETINGS LEATHER SISTERS AND BROTHERS AND THANKS FOR THAT KIND INTRODUCTION. 

 

I WAS MOST HUMBLED TO BE ASKED TO ADDRESS THIS GATHERING OF THE CLAN AT THE SOUTHWEST LEATHER CONFERENCE. . . AND TO BE HONEST, SOMEWHAT INTIMIDATED TO DO SO.  I MEAN THIS IS THE HOME OF THE ENLIGHTENED WOOF WOOF PEOPLE… AND I WONDERED WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD I HAVE TO SAY TO ALL OF YOU THAT MIGHT HAVE SOME IMPACT ON A MACRO LEVEL AND BE RELEVANT TO THOSE OF YOU HERE.

 

I SHARED THESE FEELINGS OF INSECURITY WITH MY SPIRITUAL TEACHER, SLAVE ROBERT AND WITH MY FRIENDS, MASTER STEVE AND MASTER SKIP AND WITH MY LEATHER BROTHER ROY AND MY TREASURED SLAVEBOY.  THEY ALL HAD ABOUT THE SAME ADVICE WHICH WAS . . . SPEAK FROM YOUR HEART AND SPEAK ABOUT THAT WHICH DRIVES PASSION IN YOUR LIFE.  SO THAT IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO TODAY . . . SPEAK TO YOU FROM MY HEART.  AND I HOPE SOMETHING OF WHAT I SHARE TODAY WILL RESONATE IN SOME WAY WITH YOUR HEART AND SPIRIT.

 

 

I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME THOUGHTS I HAVE ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE AS A PATH ONE CAN TAKE THAT PROVIDES FUFILLMENT AND DIRECTION AND HOW THAT IS PLAYING A HUGE ROLE IN MY LIFE.  I AM SHARING THIS WITH YOU NOT BECAUSE I AM AN EXPERT OR SOME AGED SAGE HERE TODAY – WELL MAYBE AGED.

 

I AM SHARING THIS CONCEPT OF “SERVICE SPIRIT” WITH YOU BECAUSE IT DOES DRIVE PASSION IN MY LIFE.

 

YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU REACH A CERTAIN AGE YOU SPEND MORE TIME THINKING ABOUT GETTING OLDER AND WHAT THAT PROCESS OF AGING ACTUALLY MEANS.  SOMEONE SENT ME SOME SAYINGS ABOUT AGING THAT ARE ATTRIBUTED TO WILL ROGERS.  SOME OF YOU MAY BE TOO YOUNG TO KNOW WHO WILL ROGERS WAS.  HE DIED IN A PLANE CRASH WITH WYLIE POST IN 1935, AND HE IS RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST POLITICAL SAGES AND HUMORISTS THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER KNOWN. HIS POPULARITY WAS PARTIALLY ATTRIBUTED TO THE MEANINGFUL THINGS HE SAID AND THE HUMOR HE USED IN COMMUNICATING HIS THOUGHTS.  I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE JUST A FEW “WILL ROGERISMS” ON AGING WITH YOU. IF THEY DON’T MEAN A LOT TO YOU NOW, BELEVE ME, IN TIME, THEY WILL . .

 

WILL ROGERS IS ATTRIBUTED WITH HAVING OFFERED THE FOLLOWING QUOTES ON AGING:

1.      EVENTUALLY YOU WILL REACH A POINT WHEN YOU STOP LYING ABOUT YOUR AGE AND START BRAGGING ABOUT IT.

 

2.      THE OLDER WE GET, THE FEWER THINGS SEEM WORTH WAITING IN LINE FOR.

 

3.      SOME PEOPLE SET BACK THEIR ODOMETERS.  NOT ME . . . I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY.  I’VE TRAVELLED A LONG WAY AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN’T PAVED.

 

4.      WHEN YOU ARE DISSATISFIED AND WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK TO YOUR YOUTH, THINK OF ALGEBRA.

 

5.      YOU KNOW YOU ARE GETTING OLD WHEN EVERYTHING EITHER DRIES UP OR LEAKS.

 

6.      I DON’T KNOW HOW I GOT OVER THE HILL WITHOUT GETTING TO THE TOP.

7.      ONE OF THE MANY THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT AGING IS THAT IT IS SUCH A NICE CHANGE FROM BEING YOUNG.

 

8.      ONE MUST WAIT UNTIL EVENING TO SEE HOW SPLENDID THE DAY HAS BEEN.

 

9.      BEING YOUNG IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT BEING OLD IS COMFORTABLE.

 

10.            LONG AGO WHEN MEN CURSED AND BEAT THE GROUND WITH STICKS, IT WAS CALLED WITCHCRAFT.  TODAY IT’S CALLED GOLF.

 

AND FINALLY, ONE OF MY FAVORITES -

 

11.      IF YOU DON’T LEARN TO LAUGH AT TROUBLE, YOU WON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO LAUGH AT WHEN YOU ARE OLD.

 

 

THOSE “ROGERISMS” SAY A LOT IN JUST A FEW WORDS AND IN SIMPLE WAYS.  I THINK THAT IS WHAT HAS MADE THEM AGELESS.  I DON’T THINK I CAN SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU TODAY AS SUCCINTLY, BUT WHAT I DO WANT TO SHARE IS A RELATIVELY SIMPLE CONCEPT.   I ENTITLED THIS ADDRESS,

“SERVICE SPIRIT-A PATH FOR THE LEATHER HEART

 

IF YOU WOULD PERMIT ME, I WOULD LIKE TO START BY SHARING SOME PERSONAL HISTORY.

 

WHEN I FIRST CAME INTO THE LEATHER SCENE ABOUT 7 YEARS AGO, I WAS SEARCHING FOR SOME SORT OF MEANING IN MY LIFE.  THAT DOESN’T MEAN I DIDN’T HAVE A SENSE OF MEANING OR PURPOSE BEFORE.  IT WAS JUST THAT THERE WAS A HOLE IN MY HEART AND MY SPIRIT AND I HADN’T FOUND A WAY TO FILL IT.  ACTUALLY WHEN I REFLECT BACK ON MY LIFE “BL” (THAT’S MY CODE FOR “BEFORE LEATHER”), I THOUGHT I HAD A PRETTY DECENT LIFE.  I HAD FRIENDS, GOOD HEALTH, A GOOD CAREER, SOME FINANCIAL STABILITY AND AN ESTABLISHED SPIRITUAL PATH AS A PRACTICING CRADLE TO GRAVE CATHOLIC.  BUT MY HEART WAS UNSETTLED AND THE OLD PEGGY LEE SONG,”IS THAT ALL THERE IS?” KEPT COMING TO MIND AND THE LYRICS MADE ME SAD.  IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD THEM BEFORE IT GOES - 

”IS THAT ALL THERE IS?   IS THAT ALL THERE IS.”  IF THAT’S ALL THERE IS MY FRIENDS, THEN LET’S KEEP DANCING . . . LET’S HAVE US A BALL... IF THAT’S ALL . . . THERE IS”.

 

I WAS LITERALLY HAVING THAT BALL...HOWEVER, IT SEEMED LIKE I WAS JUST CONTINUALLY DOING THE SAME DANCE – WITHOUT FEELING THE RHYTHM OR UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING.  I FELT THERE HAD TO BE MORE.

 

IT WAS AROUND THIS TIME, THAT I LOST MY SECOND PARTNER TO AIDS. I NOW KNOW IT WAS THE UNIVERSE THAT PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH TWO LEATHER FOLK WHO HAD A BUDDING DADDY/BOY RELATIONSHIP.  I MET THEM ON AN AIDS CHARITY BIKE RIDE AND THE SIR AND I WERE PART OF THE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY CREW.

I REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED AS IF IT WAS YESTERDAY.  I WAS SITTING IN THEIR LIVING ROOM AND THE BOY CAME OVER, KNEELS AND LOVINGLY REMOVES THE DADDY’S BOOTS.  IT WAS SO SEXY AND BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH.  AT THAT TIME, I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE GIFT OF SERVICE THAT THE BOY WAS PROVIDING.  ALL I KNEW WAS THAT IT LOOKED HOT. MY NEW MANTRA BECAME…..”I NEED ONE OF THOSE”.  I ADJUSTED THAT MANTRA LATER ON TO “I NEED SOME OF THEM”.  NOTICE HOW THE SINGULAR BECAME PLURAL.  AND THE PEOPLE SAID . . . PIG!!

 

IT WAS SHORTLY AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE THAT I ACTUALLY ENTERED THIS WORLD OF LEATHER AND STARTED OFF ON THE HUNT FOR A BOY OF MY OWN.

TO MAKE ME MORE DESIRABLE TO A SUMBISSIVE I WENT ABOUT LEARNING EVERYTHING I COULD ABOUT LEATHER AND BDSM.  I READ THE BOOKS, JOINED THE CLUBS AND CLOSELY WATCHED AND MAYBE EVEN STALKED THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY THAT I RESPECTED.  I LEARNED TO THROW A FLOGGER SO I DIDN’T LOOK LIKE A COMPLETE ROOKIE IN A DUNGEON.  I LEARNED AND ADOPTED A NEW DRESS CODE WHERE THE PROTOCOL OF THE LEATHER WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY HAIRSTYLE OR THE FINE JEWELRY I WAS KNOWN FOR WEARING.  I LEARNED TO STOP STANDING WITH MY HANDS BEHIND MY BACK.  I LEARNED THAT SMELLING NATURALLY WAS MORE CONDUCIVE THAN WEARING DESIGNER SCENTS.

 

 

(I’LL SHARE WITH YOU THAT ALL THOSE CHANGES I WAS MAKING IN MY APPEARANCE DID DRASTICALLY REDUCE MY YEARLY COLOGNE AND HAIRSPRAY EXPENSES, NOT TO MENTION THE ELECTRIC SAVINGS I REALIZED FROM GIVING UP THE BLOW-DRYER.) 

 

I DID MANAGE TO HAVE A NUMBER OF PSEUDO DOMINANT/SUBMISSIVE RELATIONSHIPS ALONG THE WAY.  AND YET WITH ALL THESE NEW DIRECTIONS IN MY LIFE, THERE WAS STILL SOMETHING MISSING.

 

I CONTINUED MY LEATHER EDUCATION SO HOPEFULLY I COULD STAY ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE BOYS.

 

I WENT TO MY FIRST MASTERS RETREAT AND I FOUND MYSELF IN A ROOM WITH 30 OTHERS OF DOMINANT HEART AND VARYING EXPERIENCE.  I WAS SCARED SHITLESS TO TELL THE TRUTH.  I GUESS THAT’S BECAUSE I DIDN’T FEEL AUTHENTIC.  I MEAN I WAS LISTENING TO THE WISDOM OF LEATHER SAGES TALKING ABOUT THE OLD GUARD TRADITIONS AND RITUALS OF EARNING AND PASSING OF LEATHERS.  AND THERE I WAS, SITTING IN MY LEATHER VEST AND PANTS, THAT HAD BEEN PASSED DOWN BY AN INTERNATIONAL MALE CATELOG AND EARNED THROUGH THE VIRTUE OF MY CREDIT CARD.  YIKES….

 

 BUT IT WAS ALSO AT THIS MASTERS RETREAT THAT I FIRST HEARD AND MADE A CONNECTION TO THE WORDS “SERVICE TOP”.  THE FACILITATOR WAS PROSLYTIZING ABOUT HOW OTHERS HAD TO STEP-UP AND TAKE THE REINS BECAUSE THOSE WHO HAD BEEN IN LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE ROLES FOR YEARS WERE READY TO STEP BACK AND ENJOY A WELL DESERVED REST.

 

BINGO... THAT HIT THE TARGET AND SO RESONATED WITH MY HEART.  I NOW HAD A VISION, A PLAN... A PATH TO FOLLOW.  IT WAS BEING OF SERVICE.  I VOWED AT THAT MOMENT TO MAKE “SERVICE” TO THE COMMUNITY AND TO A LEATHER LIFESTYLE, MY VISION AND A LIFE GOAL.  LITTLE DID I REALIZE AT THE TIME HOW ALL OF THIS WOULD ALSO CONNECT WITH MY SPIRITUAL PATH!

I KNOW AT THAT MOMENT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THAT VOW TO SERVICE WERE GOING TO BE OR WHAT WOULD BE THE PERSONAL IMPACT OF THIS NEW PATH.  I NOW KNOW IT COSTS YOU EVERYTHING AND, I HAVE LEARNED, IT IS WORTH EVERYTHING.  THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE BECOMES THE DRIVING FORCE OF YOUR VERY BEING.

 

I ALSO KNOW THAT TAKING THAT FIRST STEP ON A “JOURNEY OF SPIRIT THROUGH SERVICE” SEEMED TO PLUG THAT HOLE IN MY HEART.  I FELT VALIDATED AND NO LONGER A COSTUMED OUTSIDER TRYING TO FIT INTO THIS COMMUNITY.

   

THROUGH SERVICE, I WAS FINDING THE OUTLET TO HONOR MY LEATHER AND I BELIEVE, THE OPENING OF MY SPIRIT AND HEART TO THE WILL OF THE UNIVERSE.  I HAD FOUND A WAY TO HONOR ALL THOSE WHO HAD COME BEFORE ME AND A WAY TO BE A RESOURCE FOR THOSE JUST STARTING THEIR QUEST OF SPIRIT AND HEART THROUGH LEATHER.

 

IT IS MY HUMBLE OPINION SISTERS AND BROTHERS THAT THE TRUE VALUE OF LEATHER AND BDSM IN OUR LIVES ONLY BEGINS TO BECOME EVIDENT THROUGH THE JOURNEY OF SERVICE AND A WILLINGESS TO OBEY THE CALLINGS OF THE SPIRIT.  THIS IS AS TRUE FOR THE BIG BAD DOMS AS IT IS FOR THOSE WHO IDENTIFY AS SUBMISSIVE.

AND I USE THE TERM SUBMISSIVE IN ITS’ BROADEST SENSE, BELIEVE ME!  IF YOU HAVE SLAVES LIKE MY SLAVEBBOY OR SLAVE BILL, OR ARE BLESSED IN OWNERSHIP AND SERVICE WITH SOMEONE LIKE A SLAVE KIKI, SLAVE MARSHA, SLAVE ALIA OR A SLAVE KIRK, YOU KNOW THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT ATTITUDINALLY SUBMISSIVE.  AND THAT’S WHY WE TREASURE THEM.

 

I DO BELIEVE THAT ONCE YOU SAY “YES” TO THE UNIVERSE THROUGH OBEDIENCE, OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL KINDS OF SERVICE WILL ALMOST OVERWHELM YOU AND YOU WILL SEE LIFE AND THIS WORLD IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY.  AND WHO DOESN’T WANT TO SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY THAN WHAT WE SEE AND EXPERIENCE TODAY?

 

I AM REMINDED OF A SCENE FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES CALLED, “FIGHT CLUB”.  NOW TALK ABOUT SM WITH A PURPOSE!!  IN ONE SCENE, TYLER DURDEN, THE SCHIZO-OTHER-PERSONALITY OF THE UN-NAMED NARRATOR IS ADDRESSING A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE GATHERED TOGETHER IN THIS NEWLY FORMED CLUB THAT HAS THE EXPRESS PURPOSE, THOUGH NO ONE REALIZES IT AT FIRST, TO BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER AS A MEANS OF RELEASE AND ENLIGHTENMENT.  DURDEN SAYS TO THE GATHERED GROUP. . .

 

“I SEE ALL THIS POTENTIAL AND I SEE SQUANDER, GOD DAMN IT.  AN ENTIRE GENERATION PUMPING GAS – WAITING ON TABLES – SLAVES WITH WHITE COLLARS.

 

ADVERTISING HAS US CHASING CARS AND CLOTHES – WORKING JOBS WE HATE SO WE CAN BUY SHIT WE DON’T NEED.  WE ARE THE MIDDLE CHILDREN OF HISTORY MAN.  NO PURPOSE OR PLACE.  WE HAVE NO GREAT WAR – NO GREAT DEPRESSION.  OUR GREAT WAR IS A SPIRITUAL ONE.  OUR GREAT DEPRESSION IS OUR LIVES.”

 

A LITTLE STRONG . . .TO BE SURE AND, THE SPLIT-PERSONALITIES OF THE UN-NAMED NARRATOR AND TYLER DURDEN THAT ARE PORTRAYED IN THE MOVIE ARE STRONGLY FLAVORED WITH DYSFUNCTION AND PSYCHOSIS.

 

BUT IF YOU LISTEN TO THE WORDS, YOU CAN CATCH SOME RELEVANCE TO OUR WORLD TODAY AND THE QUEST MANY OF US ARE ON; SEARCHING FOR MEANING AND SUBSTANCE BEYOND THE ORDINARY.  I BELIEVE ONE WAY OF FACILITATING THAT SEARCH IS THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE. 

 

YOU CAN EASILY SEE THAT IN OUR GLOBAL WORLD OUTSIDE OF OUR LEATHER AND KINK COMMUNITY, THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES EVERYWHERE TO BE OF SERVICE.  IT IS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, A MATTER OF SURVIVAL THAT SHOULD DRIVE US, AS KINKY LEATHER PEOPLE, TO BEGIN TO FIND SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE VANILLA POLITICAL WORLD WITH THE GOAL TO PROTECT OUR HISTORY, OUR RIGHTS AND, IN TODAY’S ENVIRONMENT, OUR VERY EXISTENCE.

 

HOW MANY OF US LOOK OUTSIDE OUR LEATHER / BDSM LIFE AT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD TODAY AND ACTUALLY BECOME ENGAGED?  DO YOU SEE THE CORRELATION OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR VERY OWN COUNTRY AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT US GLOBALLY AND THREATEN OUR ABILITY TO BE WHO WE ARE?  ONE WOULD THINK THAT THIS SHOULD DRIVE US TO BECOME MORE ACTIVE IN SOME OF THE POLITICS THAT WILL SURELY COME BACK TO HAUNT US IF WE DON’T.

 

BUT, YOU ONLY NEED LOOK AT THE VOTING TRENDS TO EASILY TELL THAT FOR MANY OF US, WHAT IS ACTUALLY OCURRING IS MERELY ANOTHER  STORY ON THE 6 O’CLOCK NEWS THAT IS ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE, AFFECTING SOME OTHER GROUP, SOMEWHERE, FAR AWAY FROM US.

 

AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY WE MAY TRY AND INSULATE OURSELVES FROM THE GLOBAL INSANITY THAT IS OCCURRING TODAY.  SISTERS AND BROTHERS, YOU MUST REALIZE THAT THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE ACTIVELY SEEKING WAYS TO LIMIT OUR FREEDOMS, RESTRICT OUR ACTIVITIES, AND CRIMINALIZE THAT WHICH WE DO IN DUNGEONS, IN CONFERENCES LIKE THESE AND IN OUR VERY BEDROOMS.

 

IT DOES SEEM SOMETIME LIKE IT’S OUT OF CONTROL AND REALLY, WHAT CAN ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL DO TO AFFECT CHANGE IN WHAT SEEMS TO BE A TIDAL WAVE OF FUNDAMENTALIST / RIGHT WING INITIATIVES TO PUT US DOWN AND PUT US AWAY?

 

ONE ANSWER I BELIEVE IS TO BECOME INVOLVED IN SERVICE OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY.  FIND ORGANIZATIONS, MOVEMENTS AND POLITICIANS THAT SUPPORT OUR GOD GIVEN FREEDOM AND VOLUTEER YOUR SERVICES, YOUR TALENTS AND YOUR FINANCES.  HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER WORKED ON A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OR ISSUE?

 

HOW MANY HERE ARE BONAFIDE MEMBERS OF NCSF?  I WOULD HOPE THAT IF YOU DIDN’T RAISE YOUR HAND TODAY, THAT YOU REMEDY THAT THIS WEEKEND BY JOINING AND SUPPORTING THIS GROUP THAT ARE IN THE TRENCHES FIGHTING FOR OUR FREEDOMS.  I WOULD OFFER THAT THIS TYPE OF SUPPORT IS JUST ONE FORM OF SERVICE YOUR SPIRIT AND THE COMMUNITY WILL BENEFIT FROM.

 

IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME THAT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SERVICE IS BEFORE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US TO BE MORE POLITICALLY ACTIVE BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY.  WE CAN WORK TO HELP ELECT OFFICIALS WHO SUPPORT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS.  WE CAN MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD BY WRITING OUR REPRESENTATIVES WHEN CRITICAL ISSUES ARE AT HAND THAT AFFECT ALL OF OUR RIGHTS TO BE WHO WE ARE, TO LOVE WHO WE WANT TO AND IN ANY WAY THAT IS CONSENTUAL BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED.

 

IN EARLY NOVEMBER, THE STATE OF TEXAS PUT FORWARD AMENDMENT 2 TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION.

 

THIS PROPOSITION MADE MARRIAGE VALID ONLY BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, THEREBY EXCLUDING MANY NON-TRADITIONAL TYPE RELATIONSHIPS FROM ENJOYING THE PRIVILEGES OF MARRIAGE. IT ALSO THREATENED THE VALIDITY OF ESTABLISHED PROGRAMS LIKE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS THAT ALREADY EXISTED.  AND THE SAD PART WAS THAT IT WAS OVERKILL. THERE ARE ALREADY LAWS ON THE BOOKS IN TEXAS THAT PROHIBIT MARRIAGE BETWEEN ANYONE BUT ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.  THIS ATTEMPT AT CHANGING THE STATE CONSTITUTION WAS TRULY A MOVE TO DENY RIGHTS TO OTHERS.  IT WAS ORGANIZED AND SUPPORTED BY BIGOTED AND RADICAL RIGHT WING RELIGIOUS AND REPUBLICAN FACTIONS. 

 

AND OF COURSE, TEXAS ISN’T THE ONLY STATE THAT ATTEMPTED TO DO THIS.  THERE WAS A FAIRLY WELL ORGANIZED GROUP THAT WORKED TO GET OUT THE MESSAGE OF VOTING “NO” ON PROPOSITION 2.  DESPITE THOSE EFFORTS AND THE DOLLARS SPENT ON ADVERTISING AND THE LIKE, OVER 75% OF TEXANS WHO VOTED, VOTED FOR PROPOSITION 2.  HOW SCARY... AND HOW ASHAMED WAS I TO CALL MYSELF A RESIDENT OF TEXAS ON THAT DAY.  SLAVEBOY AND I VOTED AND I SENT LETTERS TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES IN AUSTIN.  I EVEN STOOD UP IN A GROUP IN MY CHURCH AND SPOKE ABOUT WHY THIS PROPOSITION WAS DISCRIMINATORY AND HIGHLY PREJUDICIAL.

 

 BUT LOOKING BACK ON IT NOW, WAS THAT ENOUGH?  I KNOW I HAVE WORKED HARDER ON LEATHER EVENTS AND CONFERENCES AND CLUBS IN THIS LIFESTYLE THAN I ACTUALLY DID ON DEFEATING PROPOSITION 2.  I WORKED HARDER ON THIS KEYNOTE ADDRESS THAN I DID ON PROPOSITION 2.

 

DID I HAVE MY PRIORITIES STRAIGHT?  I KNOW I COULD HAVE BEEN MORE INVOLVED AND BEEN MORE OF SERVICE IN THE EFFORTS AGAINST PROPOSITION 2.  I KNOW FOR MYSELF, BECOMING MORE ACTIVE IN THE OUTSIDE, VANILLA WORLD AS A KINKY LEATHER PERSON HAS TO BE MORE OF A CONCERN FOR ME FROM NOW ON.  THAT IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE ABOUT BEING OF SERVICE IN THE VANILLA GLOBAL COMMUNITY THAT WE ALL ARE A PART OF.

 

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I BELIEVE WE CAN NO LONGER BE SATISFIED SIMPLY TRYING TO INSULATE OURSELVES IN OUR OWN LITTLE WORLD.  WE MUST FIND WAYS. . . SIMPLE WAYS OF BECOMING INVOLVED AND OF SERVICE GLOBALLY BEYOND OUR LEATHER AND KINK COMMUNITIES.  IF WE DON’T, WHO WILL?  I AM REMINDED OF SPEECH JILL CARTER GAVE, WHERE SHE SHARED A QUOTE FROM ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED PROTESTANT PASTORS IN GERMANY.  THESE REMARKS WERE SPOKEN BY HIM REGARDING THE NAZI TAKEOVER OF HIS COUNTRY.  IN THE SPAN OF TIME, IT WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO.  HIS NAME WAS MARTIN NIEMOLLER.

  

HE SAID -

 “FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE JEWS AND I DID NOT SPEAK OUT BECAUSE I WAS NOT A JEW.

 

THEN THEY CAME FOR THE COMMUNISTS AND I DID NOT SPEAK OUT BECAUSE I WAS NOT A COMMUNIST.

THEN THEY CAME FOR THE TRADE UNIONISTS AND I DID NOT SPEAK OUT BECAUSE I WAS NOT A TRADE UNIONIST.

THEN THEY CAME FOR ME AND THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO SPEAK OUT FOR ME!

  

WHO WILL SPEAK FOR US?  I THINK YOU KNOW THE ANSWER.  WE “CAN” MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY FINDING WAYS TO BE OF SERVICE OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY ON BOTH A NATIONAL AND LOCAL FRONT.  THE SERVICE YOU OFFER WILL NOT ONLY BE FUFILLING, IT MAY BECOME A MATTER OF SURVIVAL.

AND ONCE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE IN GLOBAL WAYS, DRILLING DOWN TO SERVE IN YOUR LOCAL LEATHER AND KINK COMMUNITY WILL BECOME SELF-EVIDENT.  IF YOU VALUE THINGS LIKE THIS CONFERENCE, OR YOUR LOCAL LEATHER OR KINK ORGANIZATION, IT IS TIME TO BECOME INVOLVED IN MORE WAYS OTHER THAN JUST BEING AN ATTENDEE. 

 

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED HOW IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME INDIVIDUALS WHO, TIME AND TIME AGAIN, ARE VOLUNTEERING TO ORGANIZE CONFERENCES, CONDUCT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND PARTICIPATE IN CLUB ACTIVITIES?  WHY IS THAT?  I BELIEVE IT IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE FOUND THAT THEIR SPIRITS ARE FED THROUGH THE SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY UNDERTAKE AND CONTRIBUTE TO.

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE REST OF OUR COMMUNITY?  ASK YOURSELF WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU STEPPED FORWARD AND SAID I WILL HELP OR I HAVE AN IDEA TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

 

 

 

DO YOU MAKE AN EFFORT TO SUPPORT THE VENDORS, BARS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT OUR LIFESTYLE?  I BELIEVE FINDING WAYS OF BEING IN SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY WILL BE ANOTHER MEANS OF USING SERVICE TO FEED OUR SPIRITS AND STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY AS WELL AS PROTECT THAT WHICH WE CHERISH.  SERVICE CAN BE A PATH FOR YOUR LEATHER HEART.  IT HAS BEEN FOR MINE.

 

THROUGH SERVICE AND BECOMING INVOLVED IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES WE CAN FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO NURTURE AND PROTECT THAT WHICH WE UNILATERALLY ACCEPT AS OUR LEATHER DOGMA IN THE VALUES OF RESPECT, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY.

 

 

I HAVE HEARD AND TAKEN PART IN MANY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT “OLD GUARD” vs. “NEW GUARD”.  I WASN’T INVOLVED IN THIS LIFESTYLE DURING THE TIME OF THE “OLD GUARD” THOUGH CHRONOLOGICALLY, I COULD HAVE BEEN.  WHAT HAS STRUCK ME HOWEVER IS THAT THE WORD “GUARD” IS COMMON TO BOTH.  I THINK THAT IS THE MEANINGFUL PART OF BOTH TERMS.  NO MATTER WHAT GENERATION YOU BELONG TO, OR WHEN YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN LEATHER OR KINK BEGAN, WE MUST ALL BE RESPONSIBLE TO “GUARD” THOSE TREASURED VALUES, PRESERVE OUR HISTORY AND PROTECT THAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO WANT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT WHAT ATTRACTS THEM TO THIS LIFESTYLE.

AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT MAKING YOURSELF AVAILABLE TO BE OF SERVICE.  AND WHEN WE DO, THE REWARDS ARE ABUNDANT.

 

IF YOU PERCIEVE YOUR COMMUNITY AS WEAK OR IT DOESN’T PROVIDE WHAT YOU SEEK, ASK YOURSELF. . . “WHAT HAVE I DONE TO TRY AND MAKE IT BETTER?  HAVE I OFFERED MY TALENTS AND ABILITIES IN SERVICE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

 

YOU WILL RECEIVE A DOUBLE REWARD WHEN TAKING THE PATH OF SERVICE.  YOU CAN FIND MEANING, FUFILLMENT, SATISFACTION AND A PATH FOR YOUR LEATHER HEART AND YOU WILL BE STRENGTHENING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY.

 

 

FOR THOSE OF US WHO WORK TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN EXTENDED LEATHER FAMILIES IN THIS COMMUNITY I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THAT SERVICE HAS TO BE AN ITEGRAL PART OF THE FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND AGAIN, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU ARE THE DOMINANT OR THE ONE IN SERVICE.  IT CAN BE KEY TO HAVING A HEALTHY, COHESIVE AND VIBRANT EXPERIENCE AMONG THE INDIVIDUALS WHO COMPRISE THE EXTENDED FAMILY.  SUPPORT OF GROUP OR PERSONAL ISSUES IN AN EXTENDED FAMILY ARE TRUE EXPRESSIONS OF SERVICE.  I BELIEVE THAT THE EXAMPLES OF SERVICE THAT AN EXTENDED LEATHER FAMILY EXHIBITS BECOMES THE HALLMARK, IF YOU WILL, THAT IDENTIFIES WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY COLLECTIVELY BELIEVE IN.

 

IN MY OWN EXTENDED FAMILY, THE TEXAS LEATHER TRIBE, BEING IN SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY AND TO EACH OTHER HAS STRENGTHENED OUR BONDS AND PROVIDED A VISION FOR WHAT WE WISH TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR.  WE BELIEVE IT WILL BE PART OF OUR LEGACY.

 

I HAVE FOUND THAT BEING OPEN TO THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE ALSO PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN OUR IMMEDIATE AND INTIMATE LEATHER FAMILY.  LIKE THE OLD SAYING “. . . CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME . . .”, SO TOO, DOES A SPIRIT OF SERVICE BEGIN AT HOME IN OUR OWN INITMATE LEATHER FAMILY.

 

 

WHEN WE VIEW OUR UNSELFISH INTERACTIONS WITH EACH OTHER AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SERVICE, WE ARE ABLE TO REMOVE OUR EGO AND TOUCH ANOTHER’S SOUL IN LOVE.  ONE TANGIBLE EXAMPLE OF THIS SPIRIT OF SERVICE IS ENSURING THAT ALL IN THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND THOSE, FOR WHOM WE ARE RESPONSIBLE, ARE LEGALLY PROTECTED.

 

VI JOHNSON, WHO WAS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT THE MASTER/SLAVE CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON THIS YEAR GAVE A WONDERFUL ADDRESS ON THE ISSUE OF LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES IN OUR FAMILYS.  WE ALL HAVE TO ENSURE THAT OUR WILLS ARE IN PLACE, PAPERWORK IS IN ORDER AND MEDICAL AND DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY ARE ENACTED TO PROTECT THOSE WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR.

ON THE SURFACE, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A DOMINANT ISSUE BUT IN REALITY, THOSE IN SERVICE ALSO HAVE AN EQUAL OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THOSE TYPES OF ISSUES ARE TAKEN CARE OF, KEPT UPDATED, AND THAT ALL THOSE AFFECTED ARE AWARE OF THE INTENDED PROVISIONS.  IT IS NOT ONLY A SPIRIT OF SERVICE, BUT A MATTER OF MORAL OBLIGATION TO ADEQUATELY TAKE CARE OF THESE TYPES OF ISSUES FOR THOSE IN YOUR CARE OR FOR THOSE TO WHOM YOU SURRENDER.  I KNOW I STILL HAVE LOOSE ENDS IN THIS AREA IN MY OWN IMMEDIATE FAMILY THAT NEEDS WORK.  LUCKILY MY LEATHER BROTHER IS A DAMN GOOD ATTORNEY.

 

 

 

ANOTHER FORM OF SERVICE FOR THOSE IN A LEATHER FAMILY, IS FOR ALL MEMBERS TO BE AWARE OF AND INVOLVED IN OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH AND SUPPORT FOR OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY.  IT TAKES AN UNSELFISH APPROACH TO BE OF SERVICE FOR SOMEONE ELSES’ PERSONAL GROWTH, MANY TIMES REQUIRING THE SACRIFICE OF ONE’S OWN AMBITION AND NATURAL COMETITIVE DRIVES TO FOSTER THE GROWTH OF ANOTHER.  MAYBE YOUR MOTHER OR FATHER TAUGHT YOU THE TENET THAT . . . IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE . . .  THOSE OF SERVICE HEART AND INTENT WILL FIND THAT PHRASE BECOMES A MANTRA FOR FUFILLMENT.

 

 

 

AND FINALLY, TO BE TRULY FULLY ENGAGED IN SERVICE SPIRIT, YOU CANNOT FORGET YOURSELF.  YOU WILL FIND IT DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO EFFECTIVELY EXHIBIT YOUR SPIRIT OF SERVICE TO OTHERS IF YOU DON’T ADEQUATELY CARE FOR YOURSELF.  I THINK ABOUT MANY OF THOSE THAT I ADMIRE BECAUSE OF THEIR DEDICATION TO SERVING OTHERS.  AND I WORRY ABOUT THEM IF THEY ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO PERSONAL ISSUES LIKE HEALTH, FINANCES, RELATIONSHIPS, AND, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, THEIR SPIRITUAL GROWTH.  THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR SERVICE IN ALL ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE COULD BE IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY IF THEY IGNORE SERVICE TO SELF. 

 

 

SERVICE SPIRIT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE MARTYRDOM.  IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO RECOGNIZE THE JOY THAT ONE CAN EXPERIENCE WHEN ONE CHOOSES A PATH OF SERVICE IF YOU ARE KILLING YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IN THE NAME OF BEING IN SERVICE.

 

IN THIS COMMUNITY, THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO STAND OUT FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS.  IT MIGHT BE THEIR INTEGRITY, THEIR WISDOM, OR SIMPLY THEIR PRESENCE.  IT MIGHT BE THAT THEY ARE DYNAMITE IN THE DUNGEON AND POSSESS THOSE BDSM SKILLS THAT WE ALL ADMIRE.

 

 

 

HOWEVER, SINCE THAT DAY AT MY FIRST MASTERS RETREAT, WHEN MY HEART AND SOUL RESONATED WITH THE FACILITATOR’S EXPLANATION ABOUT BEING A “SERVICE TOP”, MY ADMIRATION HAS BEEN MOSTLY RESERVED FOR THOSE WHO QUIETLY EXHIBIT THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE IN WAYS TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION.  FOR ME, THEY ARE THE TRUE HEROES IN OUR COMMUNITY.

 

THEY ARE SIRS AND MASTERS, MA’AMS AND MISTRESSES, GIRLS, BOYS, SLAVES, PUPPIES, KITTIES, PONIES AND THE LIKE WHO, THROUGH A SPIRIT OF SERVICE, HAVE FOUND A PATH TO FUFILLMENT AND AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF US TO EMULATE.

 

 

I INVITE ALL OF YOU TO COMMITT YOURSELF IN SOME WAY TO THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE AND, IN DOING SO; INCREASE OUR HEROES BY TEN-FOLD.  OUR COMMUNITY CAN ONLY BE BETTER FOR IT.

 

I WOULD LIKE TO CLOSE WITH A QUOTE ABOUT HEROES FOUND IN THE MOVIE, SPIDERMAN 2 AND SPOKEN BY THE CHARACTER, MAY PARKER, THE AUNT OF PETER PARKER, WHO IS SPIDERMAN.

 

PETER HAD HIT ROCK BOTTOM IN HIS LIFE AND LOST MEANING AND PURPOSE IN WHO HE WAS AND WHAT HE WAS ABOUT.  AUNT MAY, WHO HAD RAISED HIM LOOKED LOVINGLY AT HIM AND SAID:

 

 

 

“HEROES ARE THOSE COURAGEOUS, SELF-SACRIFICING PEOPLE SETTING EXAMPLES FOR ALL OF US.

EVERYBODY LOVES A HERO.  PEOPLE LINE UP FOR THEM, CHEER THEM, SCREAM THEIR NAMES AND YEARS LATER, TELL OTHERS ABOUT STANDING IN THE RAIN FOR HOURS; JUST TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE ONE WHO TAUGHT THEM TO HOLD ON A SECOND LONGER.”

 

SHE CONTINUED BY SAYING:

I BELIEVE THERE IS A HERO IN ALL OF US.   IT KEEPS US HONEST. . . GIVES US STRENGTH. . . MAKES US NOBLE. . . THEN FINALLY ALLOWS US TO DIE WITH PRIDE, EVEN THOUGH SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BE STEADY AND GIVE UP THE THINGS WE WANT THE MOST.  EVEN OUR DREAMS.

THAT SACRAFICE IS THE PRICE THAT GREAT ONES PAY – WE NEED HEROES TO BELIEVE IN...”

 

THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE IN THIS COMMUNITY WHO GIVE UNSELFISHLY OF THEMSELVES AND UTILIZE THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE AS A PATH FOR THEIR LEATHER HEARTS.  YOU ARE ALL MY HEROES. 

 

AND, I THANK ALL OF YOU FOR LISTENING THIS MORNING TO ONE OF THE PASSIONS OF THIS LEATHERMAN’S HEART AND SPIRIT.  I WISH ALL OF YOU THE BLESSINGS OF THE UNIVERSE AS YOU DISCOVER THE PATHS OF YOUR LEATHER HEARTS THROUGH THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE SPIRIT OF SERVICE CAN OFFER.

 

NAMASTE

(c) Tribal Productions 2010   Privacy Policy