Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

“The words are purposes.
The words are maps.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck


In so many ways the world is so very dark and yet perhaps we need to look through different eyes. It is time to open our eyes a little wider and listen more deeply.

Yes – Bureaucratic hatred is rampant under the guise of conservative realism. Yes – Human rights are being thwarted by those that lack the ability to consider life outside their own castles. Yes – Climate Change is a farce (NOT!) and the nearly 97 percent climate scientists are wrong.

The prevailing opinions of many of today’s conservatives are hard to stomach. Some believe it is time to cleanse the United States by rounding up that say Allahu Akbar or connect to the core religious tenets of Islam. And if you a black person, you better consider keeping your hands up and make no sudden moves when you encounter many of the police officers who are protecting our cities. (I know not all officers act this way.) And it didn’t seem fair that I had to prepare my Native American son to look people in the eyes and speak clearly or else he may be seen as an immigrant and treated poorly.  (Note: Of course I want my son to speak clearly, but I wish it wasn’t fear or anticipation that made me drive him nuts with my corrections.)

While I could get stuck in this deplorable place, I am choosing to look at the world through a different lens.

Instead of focusing on the darkness, I am celebrating those that inspire me to reach outside myself and take care of the world – all of the world. I am doing exactly as Mr. Rogers said by “looking for the helpers”. There are so many people working towards impacting the world for good and honoring human rights at every turn.

Blessings are flowing in every crevice of our society.  There are so many people doing what they can for tikkun olam, repairing the world.  There are those that are:

  • working with the homeless population.
  • educating people to see refugees as people that have the right to thrive without daily doses of terror.
  • creating opportunities to help every facet of the human race.
  • engaging in a Two State solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • rejuvenate our environment to lesson the impact of climate change.
  • healing the sick and doing their best to wipe out AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
  • standing up with and for Black Lives Matter.
  • speaking out for the immigrants and doing all they can to support their presence in the United States.
  • trying to stop the NRA from controlling as they do and hopefully one day eliminating the terror that they seem to instigate with their policies.
  • and so much more. . . .

In this moment, I am trying to decide whether to do as much as I can in many different areas that need change or do I simply do the my part in only one aspect of tikkun olam (repairing the world}. Passion literally courses through my veins. Caring about human beings, means that I find shutting down so very challenging to do. While I know that I am not alone, I feel relieved that many are doing their part to improve the world. My job is to figure out where my power lies.  For this moment, I love knowing that I do find ways to make a difference. Even though, I often navigate how to best use my voice, I love knowing that I do not walk in silence. I use my voice, my actions, and my teachings to make a difference for good.

I do my best to do what I can. How about you?????  There is a huge world out there that needs our voices, our actions.

May I never forget that my voice and my actions have power.
May I always use my voice and my actions for good.

May we all remember that we are part of ONE RACE – HUMAN!!!

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom. For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Lake Audubon - courtesy of Shay Seaborne

Lake Audubon – courtesy of Shay Seaborne            

 “The sea is only drops of water that have come together.”
Quote by Desmond Tutu

~ ~ ~

I’ve been blessed, really blessed. My body is strong, my mind is clear, my heart is open, and all five of my senses help me navigate the world. My spirit has always found a way to soar. Whenever I have been sick, I have healed. So while I may not be the most coordinated or have the ability to hear thunder in the distance, I can do do my part to take care of the world.

My voice is strong. Over the years, I have learned to use my words wisely. Whether I am speaking or writing, I can share what I know, what I think, and what I believe. Insight can only come if I truly listen and if I am critical to all the information that surrounds me. And once I have gained perspective, I can ask more and more questions to gain the clearest picture possible. While all of this is good, What I love most is making people smile, laugh, and even cry when they get lost in the stories I share.

Every part of my body can be used to help another human being. Over the years, I have cooked for homeless and sick: I have helped others walk, stand or move; and I have even done my part to make someone’s home livable. I have listened to those that needed their story to be heard. I have held the hands of people who are getting ready to take their last breath. I have taught children and adults to read and held babies so that their parents could take a moment to care for themselves.

Perhaps the best work that I have done is that of an organizer. In my congregation years ago, I started the group of people that did bikkur holim, caring for the sick and their families. Through that work, I was able to create a team of people that sometimes cooked for families, sometimes took those that were ill to treatment/appointments, or stayed with members of the family when needed. I have also organized families and teens to work in soup kitchens, cook for group homes, make blankets for NICU babies and sick people. By organizing people, I am giving others the opportunity to make a difference too.

The beauty of life is that while I have chosen to give to the best of my abilities, I have also received so much from others. When my family has faced health challenges, friends and strangers alike opened their doors and offered their homes to us. When challenges struck and I didn’t know how I would afford even the simplest of necessities, everything that I needed appeared. At different points during my life, people have given me work and money; a bed to sleep in and food to eat.  In truth, I have been blessed with friends that have seen me clearly and some strangers that emerged at the perfect moment. While I have had to dodge a few metaphoric bullets, I have never been without even the most basic of needs. The blessings abound and always have.

Through watching others, I have learned and continue to learn how valuable and beautiful is to give. I am the person I am because my eyes have witnessed real acts of gemilut chasadim, loving kindness. I have seen homeless or battered women care for one another. I have watched people that have nothing offer their own beds to someone who ran away from an abusive situation. After floods, hurricanes, or natural disasters, I have watched people rush to alleviate the pain or discomfort of others.  So many amazing souls are making a difference through their actions.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world.”

Quote by Anne Frank

There is so much to do – always. May we all learn things we can do and then choose to do what we can.

With love, light, and blessings,

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