Sitting in Central Park on a recent weekend morning, someone passed by where I sat without smiling or any acknowledgment. That wasn’t odd. People have all kinds of responses as they walk along. Some smile and say hello. Others smile briefly as they go by without saying anything. Some look over without smiling. Some pass on by without doing anything but continuing their walk. This young woman was one of those folks.
I happened to look up when she was a good bit beyond me and I noticed that she was looking for or at something on the ground. I thought she might have dropped something. She finally found a small branch on the ground, stripped off the leaves, and then reached down between her feet and worked to move what was either a worm or some other crawly other-than-human off the walkway. When she finally had the crawly on the branch, she took it to the grass and left it there.
What touched me about this interaction is that this person cared enough to take the time to take the crawly other-than-human person out of harm’s way. That she noticed it and actively responded brought to mind the power of small acts of kindness, of the little things we do that add up over time. They are expressions of a fundamental kindness and a recognition that we share this world with countless others, some of whom are human and some of whom are other-than-human people. All are our earth-kin.Read More “844th Week: Small Acts of Kindness Add Up”
A friend sent me this quotation after a particularly violent and challenging week in American life and it touched into an awareness that’s been growing in me over recent years. There is so much suffering within our human family, so many acts of cruelty and violence around the world, and we are aware of so much more of it with the Internet. Because of this, it can be hard to remember wholeness, the wholeness inherent in our human family, when we see so many examples of how we, as a species, are capable of hurting one another.
I was very moved by the quotation from Howard Zinn and wanted to share it as part of this week’s practice. I think that it not only inspires but it also speaks to a powerful and ever-present truth: within wholeness there is more than whatever aspect of it is in the foreground at any given moment in time.
Here’s the quotation: Read More “731st Week: Wholeness”
During this political season, there are constant and vivid examples of how we humans have a tendency to create categories of “us” and “them”. It seems to be a natural response to difference of just about any kind and often emerges from an underlying fear or discomfort in the presence of people, ideas, behaviors, and species who are different from how we know ourselves and our world to be. Read More “Week 634: Moving Beyond “Us and Them””