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Serving The Earth

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  • GraceWatcher@aol.com
    A simple life is a life lived in harmony with the natural world. Savoring the moment, meeting our needs creatively, knowing when enough is enough -- in all
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2004
      A simple life is a life lived in harmony with the natural world.
      Savoring the moment, meeting our needs creatively, knowing when enough
      is enough -- in all of these ways we take responsibility for the impact
      of our daily lives on the planet. In addition, we prepare ourselves to
      look beyond our individual lives and ask, "What more can I do for our
      endangered earth?"

      One key to serving the earth can be found in the old expression: "Give
      me a lever long enough and I can move the world." We wonder what that
      action or set of actions is that can actually shift the course of
      history. Is the secret in using the longest lever? Not entirely. The
      secret is in what's missing from that quote, which actually said, "Give
      me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the world."

      We call that place to stand "service." The dictionary definitions of
      service include "contribution to the welfare of others" and "a helpful
      act, a good turn." To which we have added:

      Service is giving back to Life the gift of life -- with interest.

      Service is the natural impulse to care for what we recognize is
      connected to us, for what we see is part of ourselves.

      Service is doing whatever is needed and wanted, through our talents and
      capabilities, to create a healthier planet, to create more of a sense of
      oneness among people as well as between people and the rest of the
      living body of earth.

      Service is relieving suffering wherever you find it. In broken bodies.
      In troubled minds. In empty bellies. In empty lives. Service is love
      made manifest.

      Service is where we come from, as well as what we do. It is right
      attitude and right action, and both need to be fully engaged for us to
      be effective. Attitude precedes action, and allows you to see what to
      do. Attitude is also the first key to going from being a sprinter to
      being a long-distance runner who can sustain action over the long haul.

      We've known for a long time that compassionate action and service to
      others is necessary. How "in the world" do we so often manage,
      generation after generation, day after day, moment after moment, to
      overlook this? Part of the answer lies in our own low estimation of
      ourselves.

      We feel inadequate. We question Life's wisdom in selecting schmucks like
      us to accomplish such an awesome task as saving the planet. But the
      earth is too precious, her situation too urgent, to leave in the hands
      of professionals. All hands are needed. Our hands. We are beyond the age
      of hierarchies where experts weave solutions while the peasants sleep.

      We feel afraid. Afraid of losing all we have built up -- our
      possessions, prestige, position, preferences. We plead for a bit more
      time to get ready for the journey into unknown territory -- just one
      last fling! One more workshop, one more academic degree, one more
      session with the therapist, one more trip to Hawaii . . . then I'll be
      ready.

      We feel small, powerless, impure, unready. But as personalities, we will
      never be pure enough, we will never be ready. Yet we must begin. How? If
      we recognize ourselves as part of a larger whole, the entire picture
      shifts. We are not "just one person." We are part of Life -- one thread
      among millions in this unfolding that is already whole. We don't need to

      change ourselves, we just need to change our address, our place to
      stand. We need to stand in service.

      When we do, we see opportunities where before there were only obstacles.
      We find hidden talents and hidden reserves of energy. We begin to know
      ourselves as sufficiently creative, noble, industrious, wise and wily to
      get the job done. Through a commitment to service, we learn right
      relationship with all of life -- how we "fit," what we're "fit for" and
      what choices are "fitting."

      Service to others and to the planet provides the perfect tempering
      environment wherein individuals of real mettle are forged. It is the
      obvious and essential follow-through for people who have taken the first
      step of personal lifestyle change.

      The beauty, magic, poetry and economy of service is that it works either
      way: If we expand our affinities, our boundaries and our understanding
      of who we are, we naturally and effortlessly want to increase our
      service. We are more generous, more kind, more "out there," more
      passionate in championing causes we care about. At the same time, a
      commitment to service naturally expands our horizons. Just a small
      extension of caring, with no concern for recognition or gain, opens a
      bit wider the channel into our hearts. And our love increases, our
      hearts open further, as we risk ever bolder acts of caring and concern.

      The secret, then, is to be willing to step out into the unknown -- to
      direct one's doings toward the highest vision one can see, ignoring the
      rational mind's attempts to impose limitations based on current skills,
      aptitudes or credentials. Do it, and the necessary faculties will come.

      As Mahatma Gandhi said: "Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us
      does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing
      this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow
      stronger, and will make not only for our own happiness, but that of the
      world at large."

      The only requirement in service is that your heart stay open and your
      focus stay on the good of the whole. Eventually the dance becomes an
      upward spiral -- serving creates greater clarity and maturity, which
      leads to even more effective contribution.

      There is a joy in interacting with life from a stance of service that
      opens up the kind of energy we experience when we are in love. In fact,
      we are in love! It's this love for Life itself that allows us to go from
      sprinters to long-distance runners. And remember, you can accomplish
      anything if you are willing to take credit for nothing.
       
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      .,¸¸,.»§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§« »§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§«·.,¸¸,.
      For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
      For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
      For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.
      ·.,¸¸,.»§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§« »§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§«·.,¸¸,.
      "God grant me the vision to see beyond the illusions of this world,
      grant me the ears to hear beyond the words to the true meaning and grant me
      a voice in which I can speak truth and compassion in your name.
      ·.,¸¸,.»§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§« »§«,¸¸,.·´¯`·.,¸¸,.»§«·.,¸¸,.

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