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Simplicity

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There is a kind of simplicity that is undesirable:
It’s the simple minded demand that all situations, no matter how complex they ar, be addressed with simple explanations and solutions.  “Don’t bother me with the facts,” such a person says.  “I don’t care about the details; they only confuse me.”  The lack of insight and engagement is both mind boggling and burdensome.

Soundbites and the opinions of talk show hosts will suffice for these shallow, unwise ones.  To think for themselves would probably give them a headache!

Then there is a simplicity that is beautiful and noble.
It is often quiet and unassuming; bathed in thought and prayer.
People who practice this lack of complication enjoy the good things of life; yet they are not in pursuit of prestige or extravagance.  A beautiful sunset delights them.  Time spent with family and friends is priceless.
One hallmark of such individuals is astuteness.  These ones think with both sides of their brains.  They question, explore and research; never settling for the status quo.  If you were to visit their homes, you would find shelves full of books, art and music in every room, along with creative endeavors.  They might not have the most uncluttered place you’ve ever seen.  That’s because they are busy with thought, creation and relationships.
Another quality is the very high amount of respect and honor these people have for the world:  Their fellow humans, animals, the environment, principles such as decency and generosity.
This simplicity is a paradox, filled with all shades of reality and nuance.
To know people who live this life is to be inspired and encouraged.
How very different these two kinds of simplicity are!  One word; opposite meanings.
That really describes our world, doesn’t it?  The Earth and her inhabitants are concentric systems, interwoven into complex patterns and relationships; yet there is a simple matter of watching, listening, tasting, feeling, smelling, enjoying and caring for all that is around us.

May you discover and appreciate the lovely, noble sort of simplicity that revives and nurtures you.

Writer’s Block

It seems  that there are so many fresh thoughts and ideas coming into my head;
So much new information:  News items, results of studies and research…
Yet the things that are solid enough to put on paper – or computer – seem old and stale.

The new things are like trying to catch clouds
Or hold the current of a river still long enough to be examined and described.
Does it always have to be that the newborns of life are soft and pliable?
But then, that is part of their loveliness.

Hopes, dreams, possibilities:
All like children yet to be conceived!
O that I will be able to hold some long enough to write about them!

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I Have Found My Voice

If there is one good thing that has come out of the US election, it’s that our complacency has been kicked in the butt.

For too long, it has been easy to avoid hard issues or get weighed down by cynicism.
I understand: I have been there.

Part of the challenge is that anger gives way to frustration, which eventually turns into apathy.

Well, I have found a new voice: A fresh determination to be heard.
There are a few ways for me to accomplish this:
First, in who I am, what I will or will not tolerate.
Next, in my immediate community as one who promotes honor, respect and compassionate action.
Then in a way that surprises me a bit: Involvement in organizations that stand for what is good and right. I will likely not be in the forefront, but I can support those who are.

In all of my recent searching, I have run into this question: “Are you willing to take a stand? Will you protect and help vulnerable people, even to the point of civil disobedience?”

Interesting. I am willing to take stands and come alongside people; I am not sure how far I would go in terms of civil disobedience.

 

My choices, of course, will be governed by my own priorities and sense of “right.”

Other considerations include my ability, limitations, gifting and resources.

 

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Do you have a voice?
What seems right to you?

How will you express yourself?
Will you defend and protect to the point of civil disobedience?
How can we best live out our roles as citizens?

 

Here are three organizations I have found, just to “prime the pump”:

http://ourrevolution.com

This is Bernie Sanders’ organization

 

http://sojo.net

The home of Sojourners, a magazine and movement

 

http://obama.org

The home of the Barack Obama Foundation

 

If you know of interesting organizations to explore, please add them in the comments.

 

Now, More Than Ever

I wrote this as I thought about the incredibly negative news that tends to invade our homes each day.

My hope and belief is, what gets presented is not how the majority of us think, feel or act.  It is important to realize this and keep the power of choice that we each have.

 

 

Now, more than ever,
The choices you make count:
Hold to high standards;
Raise the bar;
Don’t follow;
Instead, step up and lead out.

 

Now, more than ever,
Mercy and love we need;
Open your heart wide;
Give in love;
Don’t withhold;
Instead, give generously.

 

Now, more than ever,
We need to hear your voice,
As you speak the truth;
Say what’s right;
Without fear;
Let’s make the uplifting choice.

The Party Everyone Wants to attend

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Thursday is a national holiday in the US: Thanksgiving.

This year, I am in charge of the community dinner, which will feed around 200 people.

It’s my first time doing this.  At first, I thought we could make things a little smaller, but the community is so enthusiastic about it, we’ll have to do the whole banana.  Even the entire university football team is coming!

Historically, community Thanksgiving dinners have been for “those who have nowhere to go.”  I have been in that group:  It is a real drag!  It’s also a dilemma:  Somehow, going to the dinner for ones with nowhere to go makes the loneliness more difficult, even though the intent is good.

I am already thinking that I want to change this up for next year:  A real event.  Instead of buying all the stuff, cooking for three days and cleaning up, come party with us!  If there are just two of you and you would like something a bit festive, come on in!

This idea is inspired by one family who is doing just that.  Normally, they go out to the local truck stop for Thanksgiving, but they decided that it would be more fun to come join the community meal and help out.

The football team also inspires this.  They won their playoff game and are headed to the finals, so they had to stay in town.  It will be so much fun to have them.

Then, there are people who have stepped up to help by volunteering, donating and cheering us on.

This year’s dinner will be festive indeed; next year’s?

The party everyone wants to attend!