We all know that there’s so much to do because the challenges in these times are great. Even though we want to be of help we can easily feel overwhelmed and feel small in the face of it all. Business leader John Renesch gives this sound advice. “Start where we are planted.” That means to look for what is close to us and start there. We might ask ourselves the question: How shall I be in this one precious life I’m given… what is my best effort?
The Dalai Lama gives this example from his own life experience. He says as he enters his day he focuses on what is right and good for him to do. Not because he knows how it will all turn out.
I believe that is our job. We must get up in the morning and open our hearts to contribute what is right and good for us to contribute today. It may seem small, but the only thing for us to do is what is right and good for us. That’s it. It all counts, no matter how big or small. We all have a sphere of influence to make a contribution and if we do the simple acts of what is right and good for us to do, it will have an impact. We may never know how our simple acts will ripple out and affect others.
Further, about overwhelm, we do not know enough to be pessimistic. Our perception only sees the surface of things. There is a metaphor that aids my perception of things. It is from Olivier Clerc’s book Invaluable Lessons from a Frog: Seven Life-Enhancing Metaphors. He presents the life cycle of certain Chinese bamboo. If you plant this special bamboo and you water it, in the first year, nothing happens. The second year, nothing happens. The third year, nothing happens, as well as the fourth year. However, in the fifth year the first little shoots start to show themselves. And, in that single fifth year, the bamboo grows 40 feet. Can you imagine? For years much is happening underground that can’t be seen. That gives me hope. That encourages me.
Going back to the instruction that I need to make my contribution no matter how small it might feel. I don’t know everything in order to give my gift. However, it is my soul’s assignment to gift my gift. The rest will take care of itself.
Years ago, Rev. Mary Morressey gave the advice that all we need to do to be of service is to contribute our authentic gift to our beloved community. This is our soul’s assignment when we incarnated on this physical plane.
She tells us that when considering your purpose, the gift you have to give, you might ask yourself these questions.
To find this gift we need to be aware of what gives us energy, what creates joy in our life. When we are in touch with that unique quality we are filled with vitality. As Mary says, it enlivens and energizes me. That vitality is like a living river flowing through our body. It’s life energy that is sourced from our soul.
Her second point reveals the importance that we resource one another—we befriend one another in our endeavors. This is not work we are doing alone. As cosmologist Dr. Brian Swimme, reminds us. All the universe is made of three simple particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons. That’s it. These particles then got involved with each other and through that dynamic relationship gave birth to galaxies… whales, oak trees, ourselves.
This brings us to have confidence in our own intuitions about which relationships are attracting us to combine our energies and form our own galaxies of beauty and worth.
Let us go forth and make a difference —together.