Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Compassion served here! Now there's a drive up window!

Do you often wonder whatever happened to honor and integrity? Altruism? Compassion?

Are you just plain tired? Some days, dog tired? Were you up all night with a sick child? With your children and family responsibilities is it enough just to get the groceries purchased, food on the table, the car payment made, the lawn mowed in Summer or sidewalk shoveled in Winter?

Can you stand one more thing on your list of things that you have to check out? Is it too much to ask you to be informed on every single issue that affects you-- in the financial world, the political climate, your school system, the news, weather and climate change, what products you use that may be toxic, what is being recalled for what reason and that your food is safe?

Don't you wish people would "do the right thing" simply because it's the right thing to do? Wouldn't it be nice to expect the truth because that's just how things are done-- with unimpeachable honor? With impeccable integrity?

Don't you just wish that everybody on this sandbox we call "Earth" would just get along and play nice?

Wouldn't you like to reclaim your idealism or at least retract your cynicism and ...

rely on the "experts" to tell it like it is and on the media to tell you the truth? You just don't have the time or energy to look up everything or vet all the information or check on the background or political slant of each journalist who taps your mind because the kids need baths and the septic tank is sputtering or the pilot light is out again and the neighbors are mad at you for some imaginary infringement...  You're doing your best to keep up. Some days it's tough.

Don't you wish that everybody who does business would place their heart ahead of their wallet or care about the environment because it's the right thing to do? Don't you wish the politicians had integrity and would just behave themselves and would stop fighting long enough to actually get the peoples' business done? Why is Washington always at a stalemate? Have you just stopped voting because you think it doesn't count and they don't listen anyway?

Wouldn't you like to find honor and integrity in all the transactions you navigate on a daily basis from your car dealer to the butcher, to your civil servants and the corporations who make all your "stuff" to the neighbor who is now speaking to you this week? And don't you want the rest of them to just grow the hell up?

More and more I hear about how people are tired. Tired of corruption, tired of unequal pay for equal work, living paycheck to paycheck, tired of politicians getting nothing done, corporations who cheat or pollute or hide reports about deficiencies, the obscenely rich person who is trying to buy an election by throwing obscene amounts of cash at a campaign or candidate. They are tired of people who should know better behaving like juveniles, of police who overstep their power and misuse their authority, of a media that is out of control and attacks, sensationalizes, or exaggerates to get eyes on the page or viewers to the screen.

More and more people are tired of the games, tired of being pawns in the games. They are weary of mass shootings, unsafe schools, war, poverty and lack of opportunity. They are tired of a coffeehouse magnate making $9,000 per hour while opposing a fair minimum wage.

Is there a cure for that creeping unease sometimes become despair? Is there hope? Hell, is there even a future for the human race given the rate of deforestation, use of fossil fuels, nuclear leaks, global climate concerns, rapid extinction of species, land and water grabs by corporations, displacement of the Indigenous and gentrification of cities?

Can you afford to allow your mind to wander into what kind of future your children will have or is that territory just too scary? Are you afraid of your own creeping cynicism?

Are you just tired? Exhausted?

Are you hungry for the antidote? A cure? A cause for hope?

Then come to the drive up window! Sign in and place your order! There's a place where compassion is being served... It's called the Charter for Compassion and the global compassion movement. If you're not part of it, you should be. Check it out. You'll feel a whole lot better knowing there are people in this world who care. No, not that kind of care-- the minimal and lip service caring. The real kind.

And they are doing something to change the world.
Hungry for that? Come to the party. Come hungry.
 And bring your red shoes; you're going to want to dance.

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A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...