Friday, April 2, 2010

What can I do?

Wow! A comment I left on Aine's blog really has me shaken, the more I think about it. I asked her for ideas on how to affect change in a loving way. That's so sad! Where are we as a society that we can't envision change coming from a positive, loving action? Is it just me? I truly believe that love is the most powerful force there is. I believe God IS love. So what does it mean when I say that if I can't back it up by believing in the power of love? I see it so clearly in small ways. Or maybe I should say in my smaller environment. When I am radiating love - and I know when I am, everything feels right - the whole world looks brighter. Other people really do appreciate a smile. If you pay attention, sometimes you can even see the ripple effect of your kindness.
     Then there is that big environment, the 'world'. How can social truths translate to the political stage? I have to preface any political discussion with the guilty admission that I have avoided learning about politics for most of my life because it all overwhelmed me. I get frustrated and angry at the way things are. Not only how they are, but how hard it is to change anything. Everything is wrapped in laws and processes. It's all gotten so big, so out of hand.
     I believe that the cause of most suffering and war on this planet is the un-balanced distribution of resources. If every country had enough food and water and their basic needs met, there would not be a climate that lends itself to terrorism. These are things people resort to when they're desperate. When they feel they have nothing to lose. When they feel nobody is hearing them. Then they are taught about America and all the abundance and 'decadence' we live in. Truth told, I'd be angry too. Simply because of where we were born, we have a lot or a little. It's easy to see people living in distant places as 'other' but that's simply not true.
     So what if we considered all of humanity our brothers and sisters? And what if politics no longer existed?  I know we supposedly need their structure to govern us all because we can't be trusted to just be decent human beings, but what if? What if instead of telling us all how it's going to be, the job of politicians was really to be a public servant? And what if we, the public, decided that what we want them to do is to re-think the distribution of resources. Not just 'over borders' because they're irrelevant. If we were willing to give just a little. If we realized that we don't really need that many pairs of shoes. That a six thousand square foot house may be a bit big for a three person family. That we can only drive one car at a time. That the gluttony we've cultivated in this culture is going to be the downfall of humanity if we keep feeding it.
    These are big words but it's true. The major real problems we have today (not the "problems" the media would have us focus on) have to do with sustainability. Well, our way of life is simply not sustainable. Maybe that's my cause. In an article by Linda Sechrist in Natural Awakenings magazine (, Andrew Harvey talks about Sacred Activism. He says we should "understand that the deepest service rises out of our deepest compassion, which is born out of our deepest heartache.".  It has always been my deepest heartache to see people going without. People are starving, thirsting to death, dying without simple medicines, living without homes or clothing, unaware of education and health care. People. These are people, just like you and me! So, I think it's time for me to pick up a copy of Mr Harvey's book, "The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism" and figure out what I can do to help. In the article he talks about having a deep spiritual practice because that is where the ideas for change that will work come from and the spiritual practice also supports us through the slings and arrows of activism. I need to do something! Aside from blogging about it :).
     I want to prove that LOVE CAN be a force for change! I want to learn how to live in a way that doesn't consume unnecessary amounts of anything. I am not a saint. I have to be reasonable about what I can do, but knowing that, I have to remember what great feats others have preformed and not limit myself. I hear all the trepidation in these lines. Who else is out there, ready to help make change?

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