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Wonderful! I always wonder what "serving" truly means. I know so many people who are very generous of themselves, their time, etc but they don't consider it serving because they aren't at a homeless shelter spooning soup. I think we know in our hearts, at our deepest levels, whether we are truly serving or just fulfilling our egos. Most of us, myself included, tend to help when and how it's most comfortable. We give to gofundme accounts, we send cards, we donate to charities. But how many people, like the man in the article, really get in the trenches? How many step outside of their comfort zone? I don't, not very often. I don't have a lot of opportunity where I live because our population is so small. We do not have homeless people here. It's hard to know how to be of the most service. I watch for the small opportunities (or big ones but they are rare) and I can tell a difference in myself where it is coming from - ego or heart. I could do so, so much more, but it would involve changing a lot of things, being uncomfortable (mentally, emotionally).
It's interesting to think about. I was just writing this morning about our own self-trust and how it plays into whether we trust others and they trust us. That when we visit our most inner worlds via meditation, yoga, nature or whatever, we learn to love and trust ourselves and when we can operate from there, we have more to offer. It seems a deep level of commitment to service requires a lot of self-trust - to know you are doing the right thing no matter what society thinks, no matter what someone else says. You just do it. It seems obvious and easy, but most of us (myself included) to the minimum of what is easy and comfortable, and for most of us that means giving up our coffee money to a donated cause. Not that it doesn't make a difference, but is it really service? Just thinking aloud, mostly for myself,
Yes, I am quite aware of his drone strike history. Which is why I said "almost". I most certainly did not agree with all of Obama's policies. But I also leave room to understand that I don't have a clue what happens when a person steps into that role and I assume that foreign policies are much more difficult than we can ever fathom from our armchairs. It's easy to solve all the problems of the world when you aren't privy to the level of information that they are.
I see a whole lot of hating from the democrat/liberal side of the fence though, and a whole lot of intolerance when they claim how important tolerance is. The number of times I see liberals say things like "You are just a backwards Redneck!" or "You're stupid to believe in a fairy tail like the Bible" and "You're uneducated and you should just let those of us who are educated and cultured make the decisions..." How is that being tolerant? Many, many liberals I know are only tolerant towards their own side of the fence, sometimes myself included. We each have to work to find and recognize common ground and work with it. That's why it's so pointless to argue politics and beliefs etc with people online who are mostly strangers. Tolerance comes from connection and investment in each others lives, even if we disagree. It's where compromise comes from. But when we vote for people who are bad at compromise because we are the ones insisting they stand up for our values and screw every one else's, then we get what we have -gridlock.
My in laws are conservatives. My FIL more so than my MIL even though she is Catholic and he is not. FIL loves Trump and Fox News. He's not a stupid man, quite the opposite. He is extraordinarily generous and caring - when he has that connection with someone. We disagree mightily on many political and social fronts. But because we care enough about each other, or at minimum about my husband and our kids, we always find common ground and when you do that, you can start to work on things. But it has to be, in my experience, done on a personal level. The internet is one area this fails miserably. People always responding to each other with their versions of the truth of their facts. No matter how many facts you have and how accurate they are, if you have no connection and no common ground, you'll get no where.
The part I find unfortunate is that so many people don't work to find common ground, they simply pretend their political disagreements don't happen. I know married couples who are about as opposite as you can get, but to maintain peace they simply pretend the other person's views don't exist, so there is always these lines neither of them cross to avoid upsetting the other, when that relationship is ripe for learning how to negotiate and arrive at common ground. We have to learn how to do it on all levels, it is what softens our hearts.
I'm sure most of us who are more liberal know a few conservatives we have a soft place for, people we "excuse" as not as bad as the others. But that is because we know them. We have that connection. We can see all the ways they do love people in their lives and communities, that they are generous in their own ways, that their lives are simply misunderstood by many etc etc. Even if we don't agree, we soften towards them. And it's what we need to do with most of our neighbors. Soften.
We all play the label game, some to a much higher degree than others. When someone asks you about yourself, isn't that how you respond? Is there a way to respond that doesn't involve labels? They are somewhat necessary for communication but as with most things, it is our belief in them and attachment to them that causes most of the problems. I am a mom, which is of course a label. Probably my biggest label. But if I only identify with being a mom and my world revolves around what a mom is and what defines a good mom, then my life is out of balance.
Of related interest to me is our masks. How much work we put into maintaining different segments of who we are in order to fit into any random situation. Most of us are different at work than we are a home. Different with friends than family. Different with spouse than parents. We work really hard to maintain what we think others want to see when they look at us instead of being ourselves. Mostly because most of us only have a foggy idea of who/what we really are, and some have no idea at all.
Learning how to maintain a healthy immune system goes a lot ways as well. It doesn't help to try to do it once we get sick, and not every one is capable (high risk people with chronic illnesses) but most of us are.
I read an interesting article the other day about how viruses and bacteria often fall in rain around the world. Between the winds at high atmosphere levels and how easily so many viruses attach to water droplets, it's no wonder. It looks like another layer of the argument that the more time you spend outside, the better off you are. We expose our bodies to a lot of stuff by spending time outdoors and focusing on food that comes from outdoors and this helps immensely strengthen our immune system. Not to mention the exposure from bacteria that is good for our bodies.