March 23, 2017
LOST FOR WORDS @NDAwards ENDORSEMENT
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m never stuck for words but this endorsement from Sherri Gray, a dedicated equality advocate, songwriter and therapist who has gifted our campaign with numerous videos, has me at a loss for what to say. It’s difficult to comprehend that someone can think and feel this way but I will stay grounded and not let my ego inflate and carry me away!
Thank you Sherri.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – “I am a 76 year old peaceful activist myself so I learned about David Watters’ work a few years ago when I wrote a song in favor of marriage equality for my niece and her (then) fiancee. I’m also a licensed, very experienced therapist who has worked with many LGBT clients in my practice, so I became more active in my advocacy and created even more music relating to the shaming and discrimination this community experiences. The point is, one becomes quite familiar with the names of other folks who work for equality–and even if you’ve not officially ‘met’ them, you definitely feel a connection. Especially with social media, you can find out ‘who’ is working on ‘what’ issues and ‘where in the world they are’. As David says, our work can be very tiring, time-consuming, and exasperating. But I know, just for myself, I cannot NOT do it! There is a ‘drive’ inside you that keeps you “in the trenches, no matter what”. I believe David Watters has that internal motivation. As I began to learn more about him, I was in awe of how in the world he crammed so much into a single day. (As a therapist, I hoped he was taking at least SOME time to kick back and relax). Then I found out that he has been involved in diversity training and fundraising for a plethora of community causes for the past quarter of a century…so i figured he must be a human being who has learned to incorporate common sense and ‘balance’ into his life! I no longer worry about his getting ‘burnout’ — Obviously, his path is working well for him! I’m pretty skilled intuitively, and though I’ve not met this gentleman face-to-face, I admit I have a kind of “motherly affection” for him. I have read his posts on “Give Em Hope” and “Never Blend In”, watched his videos, seen news media stories about him and his work, and I am convinced that David Watters is truly ‘The Real Deal’. I don’t believe there is a phony bone in his body–he is “authentic” — what you see is what you get. It goes without saying that he is bright, energetic, handsome, articulate, and talented. He’s a fantastic motivator, and I know his students adore him. Beyond that, the comments on his sites expressing admiration and gratitude for his efforts are endless. People all over the world appreciate what dear David is doing for marginalized populations. He works for EVERYONE who has experienced ANY type of bullying or abuse…and he does so cheerfully, with patience, compassion, and professionalism. Yes, David has featured my LGBT-related songs on his site, but I promise you, even if he hadn’t, I would be writing this endorsement of his deservingness for your Positive Role Model Award. My training is in Psychology, and one of my favorite ‘virtual mentors’ is a gentleman named Albert Bandura, who developed the theory of “Modeling Behavior”. We humans are a social family, and we truly do learn to live in our world largely by watching others. I would be supremely happy for my children and grandchildren to be around David Watters on a daily basis, and, eventually, exhibit his determination, strength of character, and intelligence, as he pursues his daily mission to make our world a better place for every single man, woman, and child. So, we have actual, quantifiable evidence that David Watters does superb work–in many areas–with, and for many people. He is ‘wise beyond his years’, in my opinion — generous with his time and energy, but not a ‘pushover’. He is extremely serious about this ‘Equality Stuff’ — it’s not a ‘whim’ for him — it’s his life! I genuinely sense that, and I totally understand his commitment. But my final words will be about his heartspace. I don’t believe your Positive Role Model Award could be in the hands of anyone more worthy of it than David Watters. His life experiences, his track record, and his current work speak for themselves. He lives his life in a mature, responsible, balanced manner. He has earned the love and respect of folks all over our planet, but, with humility, always finds a way to give credit to someone else. A role model is someone about whom we elders whisper into young folks’ ears, “Psssst… watch that one… there’s someone from whom you can learn how to live a good life.” Then I’d nudge that young person to just follow wonderful DW around for a day or so…and my guess is, the young person would come back to me and say something like, “You were right, Sherri…he is everything you said he is. I can understand why he received that Positive Role Model National Diversity Award in 2017!” OH…and that heartspace I mentioned… that’s the foundation for it all. David Watters’ heart is big enough to love this whole wide world. I see it, and I hope you do too:). Thank you for celebrating diversity and unity! (about my ‘details’ — you have my name and email, I’m on Facebook,I have a youtube site, I live in Nashville TN, USA. If you require address and phone # or need to speak w/me, pls send email and I’ll get back with you. Hope that’s enough.) “
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