One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

one circle

A friend of mine gave a talk at a Quaker meeting on Sunday, and I was late to his talk but heard the last bit, and from what I heard and judging from the reactions of others after his talk, it was a remarkable experience. This friend of mine is indeed a Quaker, and he's also influenced by Taoism. He works to save the planet and all around is a really neat guy. Several things he said stood out to me when I was listening to him, and I couldn't help but write them down during my own personal reflection.

Unkindness toward others is unkindness towards yourself.

When you realize you have everything you need, you realize the whole world is yours.

Giving isn't better than receiving; giving is receiving.

He also talked about how living simply with honesty and integrity provides one with the ability to give more and to receive more. I thought about this during our Meeting, when it was silent and others were not talking, and I tried to work it out in my head. To me, it means that living simply means we're not always wanting...wanting the latest trends in fashion, the most expensive smart phone, the latest computer or TV model, the flashiest of cars, a huge house that's more than enough room for what we really need, and etc. What we're not spending is available to be used as a gift or to care for others. Giving would just be another daily action. No joke--as much as I was thinking about living simply, the words from that Sheryl Crow song started playing in my head ("it's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got...").

I also believe that when people recognize honesty and integrity in others, they are much more likely to trust those people...with information, with responsibility, with data, with a can lead to opportunity, and it might be ones that were never sought out in the first place but end up bringing a blessing.

I also thought about how funny it is that we feel the need to be recognized or sometimes feel obligated, whether by personal pressure or peer pressure, to go above and beyond a simple thank you and publicly praise a good deed. Extreme generosity that stems from altruism is, in my opinion, a tremendous gift and rightfully so the giver should be thanked. But, also, what if simple giving was so common a practice and everyone did it every day without hesitation or complex thought--what if we didn't think twice about acting in kind and lending a helping hand to others? What if we were all true stewards of each other and of the entire planet and all its creatures and living things? It blows my mind when I think of that kind of world...just think of what we could have...

This leads me to share a quote that my friend shared (he actually shared a packet of poems and quotes, but I'll just share one here). It's from Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1863-1950):

"I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy."


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