Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Coming Anastrophe

I came across this inspiring and thought-provoking video yesterday: The Coming Anastrophe by James Corbett.

Image: Sundara Fawn - 2007
Some people think that we can't really move forward, to heal society and all its ills, until there's a 'collapse' or 'catastrophe' of some kind; otherwise (the story goes) we'll just keep putting patches on a system that's so broken that anything built on top of it will inherently be flawed.  Corbett offers an alternative story: that an 'anastrophe' would be a sudden and rapid awakening of humanity that would lift us unified out of the many troubles facing the world.
He says that the change must begin at the community/neighborhood level. I admit that his views can seem a bit utopian but I appreciate him for shining a spotlight in a new direction -- away from the fascination many people feel in waiting for 'the BIG one'; the catastrophe that will hopefully, finally catalyze us out of the many messes the world is in.

I think he touched on what many intentional communities, and people living in the alternative culture are feeling these days. There's a feeling of waiting; that it's not quite time to act; that we need a 'sign' from outside ourselves.

I know that, here at the Sharing Gardens we sometimes find ourselves waiting for a big external stimulus to move us to the next level. We built up something to a certain crescendo-point but then it peaked and now it seems we're waiting to receive our next instructions...Is this just a cop-out? I'm not sure... I know that, until I/we have clear guidance before acting, that our efforts are often wasted. It's important to be clear before moving forward but I also sometimes feel this can be an excuse not to act at all. There's some famous quote that says - " All that's needed for evil to take over the world is for good people to do nothing".
Feel free to comment below, if so inspired. Blessings.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Peter Owen Jones: Beyond Nations, Ownership and Competition

Web of Life - image credit
Imagine a world in which the care of the earth, sky and seas becomes a higher priority than profits, creature-comforts and our personal 'portfolio'. We can kid ourselves that a life in service to our personal family's well-being is a life well-lived. But it's time we moved beyond this narrow definition of "family"; move beyond our identification with a school, an employer or a nation as our 'tribe' and see that, until we live as though the web of life is our family, the natural world is our tribe, we will continue to degrade our planet and the legacy we had hoped to leave for our children will be bankrupt and dead.

Please watch this short, rousing Ted-talk by Peter Owen Jones in which he addresses these topics and more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The "Season of Giving" - continued...

If you're feeling a little "let down" after the winter holidays, take inspiration from Nicole Martin and see how a little kindness and "paying it forward" led to a lifting of her own spirits and all those around her. If you try this experiment at your local cafe', feel free to share about your experience in the comment section below or, if you're on Twitter or Facebook, connect directly with Nicole at #thenicolechallenge. Happy generosity!

FABULOUS LAB experiment of KINDNESS and Activating CONNECTION! by Nicole Martin

So this morning I tried a little social experiment....instead of going through the Starbucks drive through, I went inside.

As I walked in, I surveyed the scene. Almost every person was enveloped in their phone/computer and probably had no clue anyone new had walked through the door. I looked over my shoulder to see a line of about 10 people deep accumulating behind me. I got up to the cash register, ordered my drink, then asked for a $25 gift card. I quietly asked the barista to use the gift card for as many drinks as it would cover for the people behind me. I told her you can tell them I'm still here, but don't tell them who did it. She smiled...giggled...and said ok.

I got my drink...and took a seat in the corner to watch this unfold.

The first gentleman to receive a free drink demanded he pay, but the baritsa insisted it was he dropped his $5 he was going to use to pay for his drink into the barista's tip jar. Success. She turned to me and winked.

The second and third patrons in line were 2 old buddies having their weekly coffee date. They had to be pushing 80 and they were so confused at not having to pay that they just left their money on the counter and asked her to use it for the people behind them. It was a younger guy who then after receiving his free drink went over to the gentleman and shook their hands. Success.

I proceeded to watch 14 different people enjoy a "free" drink. Some people paid for the people behind them in line, and some people just took their free drink and scanned the room looking for the free drink fairy, smiling at everyone they encountered. Success.

But the best part about it: I also got to watch people step out of their normal robot-like morning routine and be human. They put their phones down. They picked their heads up and made eye contact with people in the room. They exchanged smiles and head nods, wondering if that was the person that paid for their drinks. I watched people be kind, courteous, and engaging. I watched people who normally would avoid eye contact, spark a conversation all because of a kind gesture. Success.

My favorite part was a little old man named Hank. I guess Hank comes in every day for his tall drip coffee with room for a splash of cream and sunshine (and that's exactly how he ordered his drink). I knew his name was Hank because everyone who worked there stopped what they were doing to say good morning to Hank. After receiving his free drink (the last drink the gift card covered), Hank took it upon himself to ask every single person in that starbucks if they were the one who got his coffee because he needed to say thank you. As I was sitting in the corner, I watched him go around the room, and knew he would eventually make it to me. As he got to me, I smiled. He just stopped and said "It was you huh? Stand up young lady." So I stood up, and as Hank balanced himself with his cane under one arm, he gave me the biggest, tightest hug he could with the other arm and said "You were that little ray of sunshine I seek every day. Today I am vertical, you woke up too, so be blessed not stressed." He tipped his hat, and hobbled away.

I packed up my stuff, and headed off to work.

Next time you can, pay it forward.

Thank you to Janaia Donaldson of Peak Moment TV for forwarding this story to me. Llyn