With so many problems facing our country and our planet these days, from environmental crises to world hunger to horrible and tragic injustices and violence in the streets, and the disconnection we feel from our Souls and from each other, many people I talk to are feeling discouraged and hopeless. But many others are waking up to the emergency we all face, and want to find ways to make some kind of a difference. But how???
There’s been a lot of debate about the best ways to address these crises. Ideas I’ve heard from friends and seen on social media range from “Fix your own house before trying to fix the country,” to “We need more love and God in our lives,” to “Do our inner work before tackling the outer work,” to “Vote out all the politicians” to “Revolution is the only way.”
While I partly agree with all of these statements, none of them address the clear and present dangers we are facing. How can I make the world a better place, when I have so much to do with my own family and finances? What can I, someone who clearly still has a lot of inner and outer work to do on myself, do to make a difference NOW?
I realize now that I don’t have to have everything in my life all perfect and tied up with a bow before I can do SOMETHING. There’s no “perfect” anyway. There never will be. Life will continue to throw challenges at us and we will be called to respond and grow, or to remain stagnate and die. Whether we say our positive affirmations or not. 😉
We don’t have time for foot dragging. In our current climate, everyone who can needs to get on board. We must own our genius and our shadow (I’ll write more about shadow in an upcoming post).
So, what’s your genius? I’m not talking about your Phd. in neuroscience (But if you do have one, good for you!). And by all means, if you have the time, talent, and temperament, start a non-profit for struggling children in Africa…
But what I’m talking about, for MOST of us is…Do you have a green thumb? Perhaps there’s a person or group that could use your expertise. Have you learned to make a beautiful and nutritious loaf of bread? Have you taught someone else (maybe a child who doesn’t have that kind of nurturing is his/her life) to do so?
And, of course, you can use your psychology degree to be a better mom or dad, and that’s beautiful and admirable (and I know there are a lot of you out there who say it’s a junk degree because you need your masters to do anything with it). AND… could that degree also be honed to be put to use in another setting? Maybe your next door neighbor needs a listening ear, or your local school or behavioral health center needs just the gifts you’ve been hiding away for another day…just brainstorming.
America’s hoarding is getting out of hand. If you have food and shelter and even some vacation time, why do you need millions in the bank? Or to bring it more down to earth (for me at least), if your fridge is full, maybe some of your canned goods can go to someone who’s fridge is empty.
What do you love? On what do you spend your spare time? What I’m talking about is doing things that you already do! Just one step bigger. And sharing your stuff when you have enough. Perhaps evolution is all about stretching just a bit more. And giving just a bit more.
While Revolution sometimes sounds like a good way to go (since that’s how it’s always been done, and if you ignore the bloodshed), perhaps Evolution is a more solid answer. Evolutionaries promote unity, rather than the divisiveness that fuels revolution. And Evolutionaries incorporate all of our gifts and resources for on outcome we’re all hoping for anyway: Peace and Prosperity. Love.
Though you might be thinking this right now, I’m really not naive. Today the center of consciousness in America is showing itself to be lower than I had hoped it to be. Much lower in fact. Perhaps you are discouraged as I have been. Revolution may indeed, be in the cards for us. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t hope and work toward something better. When enough of us evolve, there’ll be a tipping point. So teach, give, grow.
Maya Angelou said this simply:
“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”
When America finally gets this right, maybe we can stretch beyond our borders just a bit more…and on and on.
I know I can’t stretch though, without support. Without spiritual practice and a community of like-minded stretchers. That just leads to burn-out. Trust me, I know.
So, find yourself a practice (Prayer, meditation, journaling, dancing, lectio divina, spiritual direction, hiking, yoga…what’s your cup of tea? Or can of Tab, as the case may be…). And some other people who feel the same way you do about your genius.
And stretch. 🙂