a dinner party this past week, there were a group of us talking
politics—an often fiery and frustrating discussion, at best. One of the guests, a person I’ve known and loved for years,
admitted with a heavy heart that she has basically given up hope. She
views the insanity on a global level as a sign that we have simply
gone too far and there is no way out.
carried her words into my dreams that night. And awoke that next
morning still contemplating them. And I continued to ponder them for
another day or so. It was uplifting to realize that my own reflection
is really quite the antithesis of hers.
I find that there is little I can do to impact the world on a large
scale, I know that my daily actions are vitally important. The way we
conduct ourselves—in our interpersonal relationships, in our
business, in our buying power, in our political actions and more—is
what carries out into the world. That ‘ripple effect’, in essence.
Activism by lifestyle, I call it. The
eightfold Buddhist path asks its followers to cultivate: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right
Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
The right livelihood aspect resonates especially with me. Being able
to grow good food in a conscious way and know that people are eating
and enjoying it is one way I can impact the world, at least the
northshore of Kauai! Having intrepid travelers come and stay in our
cottages and experience a lifestyle consistent with sustainable living
and take that concept back to their world is another way I can reach
out to try and influence thinking outside of the box. Choosing to buy
and consume primarily organic products and environmentally friendly
cleaning products can make a huge difference. And, always the most
challenging—parenting in a way that encourages mutual cooperation
and respect, relinquishing control in favor of influence and making
each moment an exercise in love and clear thought—that really could
change things in years to come.
My dear friend from Alaska tells me there is a
concept in Judaism that is
called tikkun olem. As I understand it, it means healing the
world. Now, in my own
small, humble way, that is what I’m aspiring to do. . . one day at a
time, one conscious moment at a time. I truly haven’t given up hope.
I have worlds of hope, a great deal of faith and even some patience.
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Food for Thought
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