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Think of Others

Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in a way that stands out for me. He bracketed every second line as a gentle reminder to remember those who have less than us.

Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, but part of the celebrating is thinking about the good fortune we have and how others may be missing what we call good fortune.

Perhaps, the measure is not material. Perhaps, the measure is in those people and things that are immeasurable.

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark).

Wisdom

Wisdom.

Dr. Seuss’, Theodore Geisel, books explained abstract concepts fairness, being honest, and accepting differences for children and parents. The irony was for most of his writing career he had no children of his own. It was only when he married a second time that he had two step-daughters.

Whether he intended to or not, Seuss was a social justice teacher. He introduced children and their parents with his writing to unforgettable characters who demonstrated what we could learn on Mulberry Street.

His unforgettable lyrical prose imprinted itself on children in ways they were recalled and, even if misspoken, it made little difference. After all, the words were often made up by Dr. Seuss. Perhaps, we find wisdom in our imaginations? Imagine a world where we treated each other with respect and dignity.

A Smile To Remember – Charles Bukowski

A Smile To Remember – Charles Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski is a poet who uses wit, sarcasm, and everyday experience, good and bad, to catch my attention. In this poem, domestic violence is the topic he explored.

I don’t know if he was a product of this violence, but he provides an insight that is perhaps a survivor’s insight and poses a question that needs exploring.

What do we notice in life? Is it the trivial things? Or, is it the major things? What happens in a child’s life when she/he live in violence? What can we each do to reach out and touch the lives of those living in violence? Perhaps, it is a smile to remember making the difference.

Day of the Imprisoned Writer: a letter to Mahvash Sabet

Day of the Imprisoned Writer: a letter to Mahvash Sabet.

We have many people around the world who are imprisoned for their political and religious beliefs. Usually, I find when we put a face on those that are somehow different they become real and human. It is important to reach out and take the hand of those who suffer persecution at the hands of others regardless of the reasons. It is important to make people real and human.

When I did my undergraduate work, I was able to take one special education course. In the course, a point that was made several times and stuck with me was that we are more alike despite obvious differences than we are different. It is overwhelmingly so.

Do we need science to tell us the obvious? Or, can we see the humanity that lies beneath the differences we want to see?

quotation: Don’t put money before everything else -Pope Francis

quotation: Don’t put money before everything else -Pope Francis.

In the West, this is a hard concept to understand and grasp. We need money to live and perhaps even survive. What about when money becomes our raison d’etre? What happens when money takes over our lives and, for that matter, we obsess over one thing at the expense of living?

This is an open question we should live with, embrace, and explore daily. How does our living make the living of others better? There are no easy answers. In fact, there may not be an answer. Each time we explore this question, it may pose new questions.

Once you realize…

Once you realize….

Nisargadatta is new to me, but the short message is inspirational. Responsibility for who we are and the way we live is essential to living. Emmanuel Levinas called it being response-able. We are able to be responsible for living and becoming the person we are.

When we let the world inside shine onto the world outside, we are able to respond to the world more fully. Levinas’ work is often connected to ethics and living a good life. Ethics is about a practical rather than theoretical way of living. It is easy to take the moral high ground. It is not so easy to live the moral high ground. Being able to respond, to be mindfully responsible is essential to living well and fully.

Your Sunrise

Your Sunrise.

Rumi speaks about paradox in the quote introducing the poem. We often think of entrances as being an external portal but, when we seek sanctuary, we turn in looking for the entrance to that sanctuary. The entrance is inside us leading further inside.

As the poem suggests, to be human is to be sacred. It is the coming together of two worlds, one outside and one inside. The inner one is much harder to reach as we try opening the door the wrong way quite often. We push out rather than turning in and pulling gently revealing light from the inner sanctuary that shines on us as we sit quietly waiting for silence to speak.

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