“What would my world be like if I didn’t think this thought?”
The hero is the one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light.
— Felix Adler
“Transform your perception like a flower that freshly opens every morning with the rising sun”
“The work an unknown good man/woman has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.”
— Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer
I had to update Carlyle’s quote to include “an unknown good woman”, but I like the sentiment of his saying.
Some days I feel hopeless, as if what we do does not make much of a difference. I mean how do we go up against those that make decisions based on making more money for the rich? Those that make decisions that hurt the earth and the other residents on the planet?
I just read a piece on “resilience” by Carissa Wieler, a Integral Psychology student at JFKU. Her writing really resonated with me and reminded me of this important word. She says resilience is “the ability to be present in ambiguous situations with no clear outcome by developing realistic faith and hope and tempering the need to control.”
I get this concept of resilience when we garden. When we plant the seeds and have no idea if they are going to like our soil or if it will be sunny this summer or if the salty wind is going to affect the growth. We water and wait to see what comes up and are delighted when we see the green shoots peeking through the dirt. We continue nurturing the seedling till we can harvest the lettuce, tomatoes, chard, or whatever. There is great delight in eating what you have help create.
We want to sustain this resilient spirit by recycling the kitchen and shower water for the garden instead of letting it go down the drain. Ander is setting up rain catch so we can harvest what falls from the skies this winter and use it for gardening when it is dry. We hope to continue eating from our garden and using little energy, by living our small footprint live style. It is our small attempt at doing what is right for us in the world.
Does any of this make a difference in the world? Is the effort worth it? I believe it is with the many gardening folks doing the same thing in their backyards and on their balconies. Our resilience can pay off. Just putting your hands in the soil can change your energy and that of the land you live on. Connecting to the earth and her goodness can only make one smile and that has to be good!
“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”
— Margaret Drabble (1939-) English Novelist
I think it is interesting that most of us do not think this way. We want to “know” what is going to happen. It is uncomfortable when we do not have a clear direction or answer. I wonder if this is an American pattern? Or is it a human way? What do you think?
The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.– William Arthur Ward
I think we have all had different kinds of teachers in our lives. I thought it would be interesting to share a positive learning experience. Please offer your stories in a comment.
“The ideal society of the Taoists was cooperative, not acquisitive.”
– Joseph Needham
Today the corresponding Tao Te Ching reading is #34:
The Great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.
The ten thousand things depend upon it, it holds nothing back.
It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim.
It nourishes the ten thousand things,
And yet is not their lord.
It has no aim; it is very small.
The ten thousand things return to it,
Yet it is not their lord.
It is very great.
It does not show greatness,
And is therefore truly great.