Thursday, August 4, 2011

Suns Along the Roadside - Benevolence in America

Suns of the floral kind along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountain byways remind me Earth carries Sun energy as do we. Every time we savor a plant from Earth we partake in the Sun as Sun so willingly shares her energy with us.

All of Nature shares. How is it we don't do likewise? How did we forget reciprocity?

How is it we're taught to share as children yet we've arrived at such an unsharing time in history?

Sharing is still taught I suspect in the majority of families, yet poor people actually donate a greater percentage of their income to causes than do middle and upper income folk. I'm certain my parents shared more monetarily than I do.

In the bigger picture of un-sharing times politically, programs that once benefited the environment and created our National Parks as well as those serving children, the elderly and the impoverished continue to be on the chopping block having been placed there during the Bush era. The vulnerable seem to lack the priority that oil, gas, coal, banking and the defense industry have.

Someone in the Facebook world of sharing recently commented that he once worked in a program in which a female client had over a dozen children by several different men implying she had all these children because of the money she could rake in. The man seemed to be blaming his client, not the men who impregnated her. Nor did he seem to be connecting the dots and holding the possibilities in the bigger picture.

I may have misunderstood his comment but I found myself wondering, 'Could the woman afford birth control or what story had the men told about being unable to use condoms. Who had abused her in her young life, leaving her vulnerable to using herself as a sexual object to get love or needs met?'

The day after reading this man's post, I was on the Blue Ridge parkway. The yellow flowers weren't the only things catching our eye. An odd marker a few miles outside Cherokee caught our attention. We passed it on several drives before finally making the turn to seek the marker at Black Camp Gap. Off the beaten path, was this amazing monument made of stones sent from Masonic groups around the world and dedicated to Universal Benevolence and signifying the ideals of equality, morality, charity and the brotherhood of humanity.

This marker was dedicated in 1938, 100 hundred years after the "Trail of Tears" and during the time of America's Great Depression. Then as today, the economy was on many minds. Then I sense something else was also on everyone's mind, that being 'How can I help my neighbor or fellow man?' It feels like people back then were more in this together while we're pitted against one another.

What has happened to benevolence in these times? Nationally celebrating "Let's Make a Difference Day" once a year doesn't cut it.

Doing good things and being kind is part of the fabric of who we are. Fortunately and sadly, crisis seems to best bring out our benevolent side.

I don't have all the answers but I do know that if we came to truly experience our connection with Earth and practiced the sharing she models, we would stop our hoarding, greeding and blaming and wake up to the beauty of this Earthen world. We would wake up to a world in which fire held in earth births the fire of roadside flowers, a world in which the fire of heart births deep acts of benevolence and compassionate understanding.

This is the world I imagine and envision. This is the world we're here to create.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 8 August 2011

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