I have been doing some reading since I went on my June sabbatical. Lately, I find myself drawn to the writings of people who are exploring the idea that through our thoughts, emotions and actions humans can change the current course of mankind. That seems like a no-brainer – right? Of course how we think, feel and act determines the course. As obvious as that concept appears to be, I simply cannot wrap my mind around why humans have chosen to think, feel and act in a way that is apparently bringing us, thousands of other species and perhaps the entire planet to extinction. Do we simply forget to think, feel and act in every moment as a guardian of earth and all its inhabitants? Is the house we live in, the clothes we wear, the things we own, the PROFIT of it all truly the motivation for why so many people do the things they do?
It is easy to get caught up in a wave of concern especially given the state of our ecology, economy, community, health and dwindling water and food resources. Add to that the very scary reality that someone (no names mentioned), with the barest understanding of what the long-term consequences are, is altering the very genetic code of many of our food crops. Does anyone else have a concern about this? Really, a judge would rule that now “corn” can be owned by a single company. Ahh, the forest seems to be obscured by the trees. Yes, I have to stop quite frequently, take a deep breathe, and remind myself that at this moment I am ok, for now.
So many of our greatest mentors simply lived it, led by example, and yet the message of how to live in harmony with one another and with the planet appears to have fallen on largely infertile soil. I say largely because there are so many people out there who get “IT”.
Folks are consciously choosing to think in ways that are loving, healing, compassionate and connected. People are teaching what they know to anyone who will listen. We are buying local and not to excess. Many are walking, riding a bike, car pooling and using public transportation whenever possible and often choose to not own a car. We plant food whenever possible and share the extra. People are helping and volunteering in their free time to care for our homeless, our unwanted and unloved children, our elderly. They put no time and energy into mindless media and do not allow themselves to be brainwashed into purchasing things that only speed along the destruction of our planet and its inhabitants. What else? They recycle, cooperate, accept, love and live consciously.
There is a snippet of a conversation my sister and I have a couple of times a year. I cannot remember how we get to this in each of our conversations but we end up discussing how people seem to want to deny their darker side preferring instead to pretend it simply does not exist or drug it away, shop it away, eat it away, play it away – anything seems better than to have to look at it and exist with it. And I intentionally do not define “darker” side because that is an individual perception. I think it is whatever we are taught or believe should not be there – and that differs based on the societal wave.
But, all of this brings to my mind, a Native American proverb, and I do not know which tribe this should be credited to nor how it might have changed in the telling, but I hope I have the essence. It is of Grandfather talking to grandson. Grandfather, who is always wise, says, “Inside of me live 2 wolves and they always seem to be at war with one another”. Grandson’s eyes grow big and round at the thought of wolves living inside Grandfather. Grandfather takes his long pause and gazes at the sky and just when grandson thinks Grandfather might have fallen asleep he speaks again, “One of the wolves is greedy and finds fault with everyone, he feels he never has enough although he has more than any other wolf, he cares not for where he lives and leaves the bones of his kill lying around.”Grandson asks, “And the other one?” Grandfather is quiet for a minute but then he says, “Ah, the other is completely the opposite – he is steadfast, calm, kind, loving, forgiving, cares for the mother earth and is all a wolf could hope to be.” Grandson thinks about this for awhile as he watches sun travel across the sky. Finally he asks, “Grandfather, do you know which wolf will win?” And Grandfather turns, “Of course.” He smiles at his most loved grandson, “Which ever one I feed.”