I am learning that being a member of my family is similar to being in a group, a pack or a tribe. I know there is something different about us, I mean after all I’m a dog. I notice though that they are different from each other too. So that makes me feel like I fit right in. I’ve begun to feel what they feel, and their feelings have become my feelings too. If they get scared about something like thunder and lightning then that makes me believe there is something to fear about it even if I don’t know why. If they like someone a lot, then I like them too, and sometimes I go overboard showing it. I don’t know why I do that either, but love makes me feel that way. The worst thing about being a member of a group is when they go off, and do things without me. I feel the saddest then, and even cry sometimes when they leave. But I notice that sometimes they leave each other behind or they go in different directions. The best thing though about being a part of a family is that they always come back. That the love we have for each other never leaves us even when one of us is gone. Yes, there doesn’t seem to be anything stronger then tribal love. It’s the very glue that holds us together, and I’m a lucky dog indeed to be a part of it.
Portrait of Deserted Island by TaniaElric
Do you remember the movie “Castaway” where Tom Hanks played the part of a man who was stranded on a deserted island all by himself? He became so lonely that when he found a Wilson ball, he drew a face on it and began having conversations with Wilson as if it was a real human being. It was a great example of how we as humans are not designed to be an entity onto ourselves. We have this innate need to connect with all of creation, but more than that we long to be needed, wanted, recognized, appreciated, and most of all loved. When we don’t have these things, we often find ourselves feeling as if we too are alone on a deserted island.
We were born to be a part of each other’s lives, otherwise how would we come to understand what love is, and what good is love if it can’t extend, touch and grow? What good is life without others to share it with, for love is the giving of oneself, and without someone to share love with we may as well be stranded on a deserted island.
I have always been grateful for the people in my life, but I don’t stop often enough to realize how precious is the time they give me. It is after all a portion of they’re life that they will never get back. Our connection to each other becomes a selfless act without any expected intentions. I’m learning that the greatest gift I can give in return is to receive what they have to offer.
Imagine if you will, that there is one ingredient lying dormant inside you. It is the heart and soul of who you are, and it can only be activated by what you choose to pour into it.
Let’s use the example of making bread. There are 5 basic ingredients yeast, water, flour, sugar, and fat. The yeast is the ingredient that sits dormant. There are thousands of living plant-like microorganisms in one pack of yeast alone. Think of all the microorganisms waiting to be awakened in us. It is the most essential ingredient, and without it the bread can’t rise. It is flat, hard, dull and lifeless just as we become when we are not utilizing all our inner ingredients.
So what does it take to activate the yeast? It takes action, desire and willingness. For without this nothing can be accomplished. It’s not just a matter of putting the ingredients together. It’s working the ingredients with our hands until it’s well mixed. It’s letting it sit for a while so it can raise, and then we punch it down again re-kneading it mixing and pushing until we know for sure that what we’ve put into it has been brought to perfection.
So like yeast, we bring it to life by first desiring what it can do for us. The added ingredients represent what we put into this awakening. This rising comes from what we learn from it. The punching down is our way of testing its validity, and the re-kneading is our assurance which allows us to rise above our limitations into our true-selves. The bread creates the “aha moment,” for in it we see how the ingredients brought together creates the bread of life that continues to feed us with the knowledge we need to remain Whole.
What is the dormant ingredient that sits in us waiting to be awakened? I know what it is. Do you?
‘The subject of my daily reading is “Seek Justice.” It starts with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Justice is defined as “a moral principle determining just conduct.” It’s an innate quality we all have. It’s a matter of getting past the pressures of the society we live in and the influence it has upon us. We can tap into this quality of just conduct that allows us to be good, kind and loving to one another. Our guideline is the Golden Rule. The law of reciprocity. To treat others in the same way that we would like to be treated. If it is done from the heart, it is the most altruistic act you can practice. There can be nothing productive in division. That’s what we do when we believe that we’re better because of the color of our skin, the religion we practice, the politics we choose to follow. We are a world of unique differences, it’s true. Haven’t you ever wondered why God created us all so different? Maybe, just maybe he designed us so differently that we might leave our unique mark upon the world for the greater good.
I know what it feels like to live within a culture of different people as I was thrust into it at the age of 14 and lived as a minority for a year. I was unjustly treated because the color of my skin. I lived in fear at first of what I said or did that could trigger conflict. As time went on though I eventually blended in, because the bottom line was that none of us wanted to be where we were. We were all in the same boat for the same reason, and so it was our unfortunate circumstance that broke the divide between us. We don’t share each other’s history or experiences. So there would never be a way of coming to common ground with either of the injustices our cultures bred upon us. The only place we can start is from where we are today. This is our opportunity as human beings to transform these adverse circumstances into opportunities that create a better good for all. I believe that our differences should add to the equation, not divide us.
Prayer is important, but action must come right alongside it. I guess this is the time to be looking deep inside ourselves, to see what it is that we have to offer. If we don’t add what we were created to contribute, then what we have to offer will never come to be because there will never be another you or me. While we’ve been going through life wanting to feel special we’ve been looking everywhere except within ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty awesome.