City of Winter Garden (FL) Commission Meeting
22 October 2015

Ed Lynch (286 words - 3:08)

Before I begin the invocation, I would like to briefly give thanks. This will be the first non-religious invocation before a government meeting in this city—as far as we know.

For their role in getting us to this point, after countless religious invocations and a few recent moments of silence, I would like to thank Joseph Richardson—for blazing the trail; David Williamson and the Central Florida Freethought Community, along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, for all their hard work supporting the Constitution; city staff for their work on this issue and this Commission for inviting me to do the invocation today. Thank you all.

(Mayor interrupts: “[Commissioner] Colin Sharman did.”)

'Thank you' to you, double.

Thanks also to everyone here today for taking the time to participate in our democracy. Winter Garden is a great place to live, work, and play. With that, let me begin the invocation:

Let us play.

There is work to be done but let's not forget to play. One of the greatest human accomplishments took a great deal of work but started with a most playful idea, "Let's fly to the moon and back."

Let us play.

From the first time we touched the mobile hanging over our crib, we learned that effort is rewarded. As toddlers we were constantly learning mostly through play. Throughout childhood we learned many lessons through play:
Share, take turns, play fair.
Control your emotions!
The importance of a level playing field.
The importance of teamwork.
Play by the rules. Don't cheat.
Learn from your mistakes.
Make sure everyone is included.
Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
In other words, treat others how you would want to be treated.
All learned through play.

Each of us here won the lottery…to be here, in this moment, each moment of awareness. Focus on each moment and be thankful for it. We won the lottery.

Think about it; we are literally stardust. Only as a result of incredible luck: the unlikely conditions for the beginning and continuation of life, followed by billions of years of evolution. Here we are. Stardust. Capable of playing--Angry Birds, Minecraft, Fallout 4, Orlando City, Solar Bears, right here in Winter Garden.

Capable of learning. Capable of, thereby, learning. Capable of making up our own minds. Capable of kindness. Capable of getting past our differences and creating a better town, a better world, for all of us.