We Are The Ones We Are Waiting For

13 Dec

In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Each one of us has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.  -Dalai Lama

I have a friend who constantly laments the fact that the government doesn’t take care of poverty, elder care, hunger, etc. “They should be doing something about that,” she exclaims in frustration.

That seems to be a commonly held belief. The problem with that, as I have tried to point out to my friend, is that if the government truly is “of the people, by the people, for the people” – then we, the people are responsible. We need to be active in solution finding.

As a child I was fascinated with African Cultures. I read every book I could get my hands on. I loved reading about how, in Traditional Societies, many of the “social welfare” functions handled by government agencies in our society were incorporated into the Community structure.

If a woman’s husband died, she and her children were taken into the husband’s brother’s household. There was no such thing as an orphaned child because they were taken into a household within the community. No one was left as an outsider – the circle of Family/Community simply expanded to encompass them.

We are all One in the Global Community. None has demonstrated that so clearly as the one known as Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, my Spiritual Mentor and Elder. She is in constant service to others, and encouraging those who work with her to be the same.

One weekend a group of us put together box lunches, and a bag with notebook and pencil and some other personal items, and took to the streets in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Our mission: to find homeless people to share the food and items with.

We found plenty of them – in the cold of that wintery day. There were men and women of all ages and walks of life under bridges, sleeping in doorways.  Some of them were skeptical, some of them were gruff, but they all accepted our gifts.

Some of them shared their stories. One of my associates, Michael, was so moved when he found an entire family that was trying to stay together because the father had been downsized out of a job and there were no “family” shelters for them to go to – he removed the leather coat he had on and gave it to the man. More importantly, he listened with an open heart and mind to the other man’s story and showed him respect.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like much to some. But that man got a message that someone cared that day, and my friend’s life was enriched by his experience forever.

The point is: there’s no one going to rescue us from our problems – whether they’re personal, regional, national, or planetary. As I have often heard Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha share, we are the ones we are waiting for!

As we take responsibility for our own circumstances, rather than play the victim, we free ourselves of constraints of time and resource that others buy into with a “lack” or “helpless” mentality.  Then we free ourselves to realize that as we give we receive. If we want more time, we need to give more time to others. If we want more love in our life, we need to extend love freely to others.

Giving of our time, being of service to others creates a ripple that emanates outward to impact “our global family.’ It’s in the one-on-one where we can truly make a difference.

©2010 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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