Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Incredible Human Spirit

Earlier today, I was watching a program on the History Channel regarding the 1989 Californian earthquake that caused such devastation. My dad was there at the time and it wasn’t until a day-and-a-half later that we were able to find out if he was okay or not. This was the time before cell phones were so popular and all the landlines were down. The hotel where dad was staying didn’t have any power, so he slept in the car all night. The next day, he was fortunate to get a flight out and called us from the hotel when he got there. Talk about relief!

What amazed me about this, though, was the number of people, just like you and me, who stepped forward to help. Many even risked their lives trying to help complete strangers. Whenever I see something like this, it brings tears to my eyes, and gives me such a wonderful feeling about our country, our world, and the human spirit.

We saw it happen during and after 9/11. People drove or flew from all over the world to Ground Zero to lend a hand, many risking their lives, and many ending up with serious physical illnesses after working in all the toxins. We saw it during and after Katrina. Again, people came from all over the world to help. Many across the country opened their homes to complete strangers and their pets to give them a place to stay until they could make other arrangements. I’m almost in tears now just thinking about it. We see people helping during and after the floods, tornados, fires….

Do we see this incredible human spirit when there aren’t any tragedies? Not as much. Yes, there are still thousands and thousands of people who go out of their way to help people, to save their lives, and ask nothing in return. But for some reason, people are complacent with their lives and live in their own little worlds the rest of the time. Now I do want to give credit to all the police, firemen (and women), EMT’s, and all the other rescue services that help people, even at the risk of their lives. They are under-appreciated and under-paid. (The next time you see someone in this type of service, give them a friendly “thank you for all you do!”)

We are now at a cross roads in our political arena and it’s time for people to once again step forward and show that incredible spirit. Regardless of whom you are voting for, it is time for Americans to step out of their comfort zones to help our fellow human beings (as well as our animal brothers and sisters). Now is the time to join the collective consciousness toward world peace, of ending famine both in the U.S. and abroad, to aid the homeless who want to get back on their feet and become a contributing citizen to our society, to help those who are ill and not able to take care of themselves, and to answer the call of being our brother’s keepers.

Now, here is the tricky part. Some people say that they don’t want government in their business, and yet they want the government to take care of the things they don’t want to worry about, such as feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, taking care of the homeless, the jobless, etc. For those who say they don’t want government in their business, I ask you, when was the last time you took in a homeless person and helped them get back on their feet? When was the last time you fed someone who was hungry (strangers)? When was the last time you helped someone who lost their job, helped pay their bills, and helped them to find employment? When was the last time you paid for someone’s medical bills because they were unable to do so on their own? This also goes for the people who complain about those who help overseas, but not in America. If that is important to you, help someone here who needs it. Oh. The government should do that? See? I said it was tricky, didn’t I?

We are now at a great spiritual awakening. People all over the world are finding that normal life isn’t enough and they feel like they should be contributing something to the greater good. People are quitting their normal, every day jobs, and going into jobs of service in order to help their fellow man, whether it is in America or elsewhere. People are learning just how connected we all really are regardless of our color, race, religion, walk of life, or where we live.

The hungry child in Africa is just as important as the hungry child in America, Mexico, China, Jamaica or anywhere else in the world. There is absolutely no reason why anyone in any country should go to bed hungry with the amount of food that is grown on this earth. Think about the food we waste just here in the United States. So many people in some countries are literally starving to death, and yet in the U.S. we have people paying others to keep them from eating!

There is no reason why anyone should go without medical care because they cannot afford it or cannot afford to pay for insurance. What happened to caring for the sick just because they needed it? Yes, people do need to make a living, even those in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, but if these industries really cared about people rather than a profit, there should be a way to do both.

There is a lot of hate in this world. There is a lot of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance in this world. But there is also a lot of love, compassion, understanding, and kindness in this world. The difference is that you just don’t hear about the latter. Our news is so hate-minded that all you hear about is the crime, the death, and the destruction. But if you could just hear about the people who go out of their way to help each other, everywhere from a simple act of kindness, to acts of great courage when risking their life to save a stranger, don’t you think it would change the way we think and live?

A friend at Unity and I were discussing the news at one time, and he came up with a great idea. He said he would like to start a network called GNN, Good News Network. The only news would be good news. News about people helping people. People helping animals. People helping the earth. People really living love, peace, and compassion. All over the world. It may not get the viewers at first, but I would be willing to bet that it would catch on and would gain a following.

A great man once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” (John F. Kennedy during his inaugural speech January 20, 1961). I am printing his entire speech in the posting below this one. I had looked it up just to get the correct quote above, but I ended up reading the whole speech and it brought tears to my eyes. This speech is just as much needed today, as it was when Kennedy gave it in 1961. I would highly suggest reading it in its entirety.

We are at a great crossroads in our history, in our lives, and it we have the choice as to where we want to take our country and our world. As the song says, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Or as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And Mother Theresa was once asked if she would come to an anti-war rally, and she replied something along the line of, "No, but if you have a rally for peace, I will be there."

You may not have the time or be able to help on a grand scale, but you can help right where you are. Spread random acts of kindness. Speak kindly to people, even if they are strangers. Say a friendly hello to everyone you can. Whatever you can do to come to the aid of your fellow men and women (and animal)…that is how you change your world. It begins with each of us.

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You...

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You
Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom - symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning - signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge - and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do - for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom - and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required - not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge - to convert our good words into good deeds - in a new alliance for progress - to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbours know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support - to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective - to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak - and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course - both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.
So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms - and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah - to "undo the heavy burdens -. and to let the oppressed go free."
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavour, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.
Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We're Already Magnificent!

For the past several weeks, there has been a subject I have wanted to write about in my blog, except at the same time, I have been in a spiritual slump. You know when you have those moments when you feel fat and frumpy? Okay, you men may not be able to relate to that, but women, you may know what I’m talking about. It’s when you just feel out of whack. Unbalanced. Feeling a little off. Maybe a little hormonal. That’s where I’ve been. It’s not a bad thing. We always have to honor our feelings no matter what those feelings are. Sometimes you just have to step out of the way, and let them run their course. One thing I always know for sure, though, is that if I wait it out, it will pass.

But this fits perfectly into what I have wanted to write about. Who we really are spiritually, compared to who we feel, believe, and are told we are on a human level. I am hoping that I can communicate with you clearly so that you can understand what I am trying to say. I understand it myself on a spiritual level, but on a human level, it can be hard to explain and even for me to understand.

I have often wondered why so many (and I’ll go so far as to say the vast majority) of us have such feelings of insecurity, low or no self-worth or self-esteem, feeling inferior, feeling like we’re never good enough or that we’ll never be good enough, and why we end up experiencing so much unhappiness in life. It’s like we just vaguely remember feeling something so different (great and wonderful and loved), but we can’t quite put our fingers on it. It’s also like when you try to remember something and it’s on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite get yourself to remember.

If we didn’t know on some level that there is something greater than what we are feeling, then we wouldn’t be feeling so bad about feeling bad. Feeling bad would feel normal. But we know that it isn’t normal (on a spiritual level). The question is, how do we go about getting those good feelings back?

When we are born, we are born as pure, unconditional, perfect love. We know our magnificence. We know how wonderful, spectacular, intelligent, and miraculous we already are. And, we remember what we knew before being born into human form.

I really believe that before we came to earth, while on the “other side,” that we chose the life we wanted to live. We chose the planet we wanted to live on, we chose our parents, family members, the country we are born in, our race, religion, color, sex, the kind of experiences we want to experience, etc. I believe we got together with other souls and scheduled our contacts with each other. So, everything about our lives is pretty much laid out before arriving here. I know this may be hard to wrap your mind around, but please hang in there with me. (And it’s okay if you don’t believe this. Neither one of us is right or wrong. It’s just what we believe.)

While on the other side, we know our magnificence. My goodness! We’re hanging out with the Supreme Being (whatever you wish to call Him/Her/It)!!! How much better can it get!?! “Life” is good on the other side. We know no sorrow. We’re happy all the time. We’re content and at peace with ourselves.

Then we’re born. Just coming into this world is quite a shock to our little systems. Most likely, we’re born into a cold room, bright lights, and people talking loudly, if not yelling. Someone grabs our little bodies, they may spank our little behinds, and they are vigorously rubbing something all over us, poking something up our nose, checking us out…. Quite a difference from where we came from!

Then the adults get a hold of us. At first, most, if not all, of our needs are taken care of. Food, diaper changing, love…. But then as we get older, we start hearing the words: no, don’t do that, stop that, you can’t have that, don't touch that… And as we get even older, for some of us, we hear the extreme: you’ll never amount to anything, you’re a sinner, you’re stupid, you’re fat, you’re ugly… (Their parents did the same thing to them, and on down the line, so we can’t outright blame our parents. They were only doing the best they could with what they knew.)

Not only do we have our family members telling us what we can and cannot do, or who we can or cannot be, we also have society pressuring us to be who and what they think we should be. Women get this the worst. We are pressured to be thin, pretty, no wrinkles, we have to wear certain fashions, perfumes, etc. (How many commercials or ads in magazines are geared towards men pressuring them to be thin, handsome, telling them what they can and cannot wear, or heaven forbid, have wrinkles?)

Now, here’s the tricky part in trying to explain what I know on a soul level, but find it difficult to explain on a human level. It’s like knowing there is something deep within our subconscious minds, but for whatever reasons, we can’t remember. We already ARE magnificent! We already ARE wonderful, fabulous, spectacular, miraculous beings! We’re already perfect! (Or sometimes I like to say perfectly imperfect.) We always have been and we always will be. We have just forgotten. Comparing it to computers, we’ve allowed the adults and others to delete the programs that we came here with that told us who were really are, and reprogrammed them with all their human nonsense. From what I see on TV, even though the programs may have been deleted, the computer experts can dig down into the computer brain and still find what was originally on the programs. (I sure hope I’m explaining that correctly.) And THAT’s what we vaguely remember.

Does any of this make sense on any level? I’m struggling whether or not to post this because I’m not confident in the fact that I was able to explain what it is that I was trying to say. But if this gets people to thinking, maybe they can understand it on their soul level even though it can be confusing on the human level. If so, then it was worth posting.

(If you want a really good website that reinforces your magnificence, I would highly recommend taking a look at and subscribing to the Notes from the Universe. Here is an example:
“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things. Yet still, they began their journeys. You are so poised for greatness, The Universe”)