Saturday, August 22, 2009

Days of Transformation - 2*

Today's thoughts are inspired by my morning. I awoke, breathing. It was very early as I drove to work (day two working trauma at the hospital). I passed many, many homeless people - young, middle aged, and old - just waking up on the streets, folding up their newspapers and blankets.

And I thought: this is America. Do our politicians know that we have so many folks, in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, living on the streets, hungry, tired, dirty, down-trodden. This is America and we should be ashamed.

My thoughts for transformation today, based upon seeing the aftermath of trauma in the hospital, and the many folks who live on the streets are these:

We awake breathing. Count this as our first blessing of the day. We have been given the gift of another day of life. Take a moment each morning and breathe in the divine breath of the universe and savor its energy and healing power.

Next - you are reading this on a computer. So I presume you are under a roof -- or maybe at a coffee shop spending dollars on coffee. Be thankful. Let us count our blessings that we have a roof and a computer -- and therefore, I venture to guess that we have food, and are as clean as we choose to be.

The words of Rabbi Hillel dating from the first century are oh so powerful and relevant today.

If I am not for myself, then who is?
And if I am only for myself, then what am I?
And if I don't do what needs to get done now,
then when will I get to do it?**

Personal responsibility.
What are we doing to help others less fortunate than ourselves?
And if we cannot answer this question with social and personal responsibility -- perhaps it is time to think about how we can be the change we wish to see in the world.

Do we want to live in a country where people live on the streets? Where people are hungry? And uneducated?

I understand very well that each of us is only one person -- one flicker of a divine spark -- but that does not absolve us of responsibility.

One by one, we can make change.
If not now -- when?
If not you -- who?
If not me -- why?


*The number following the title "Days of Transformation" will be for the posting, not the day, since, as I apologized, I will not be able to post each day.

** Hillel's comment is from The Babylonian Talmud, Avot 1:14.

Go forth, knowing you are blessed, and bless those you encounter.

1 comment:

Jan said...

The problems seem so overwhelming, so insurmountable, so unsolvable that is it an act of self-preservation to shut down, close up, turn inward and try not to SEE. I think those of us who work in or help dog rescue do so because dogs are easier than people...and we are compassionate and want to help someone, something, somehow...but the homeless people problem is just so overwhelming and the people themselves are so complicated.

I know your post was about being grateful for what I have -- and I am -- but my joy will always be tempered by the lack I feel from so many others. I can give and give and give...and then possibly end up "there" myself.

What is the answer, wise friend? What to do?