The Responsibilities of Abundance

I had a simple fish chowder last night, and it was filling and fine.

I thought of those throughout the world who have little or nothing to eat and where starvation is a constant worry. Too many count the grains of rice for the pot to feed a family and deal with the ache of hunger as the body eats itself in a wrenching dichotomy to stay alive.

My simple meal was to millions of souls around the world, a feast.

I went to the doctor the other day for a routine check-up. There too I thought of the ease with which I got an appointment and the pharmacy choices I could go to fill a prescription. There are so many millions in the world who have no access to even simple medical treatments let alone to modern medicines to cure or ease a pain.

To get the same medical expertise, most of the world would have to walk for days or suffer in place.

I have a nice home — good neighbors. I have heat, electricity, and freedom from fear. I know millions love their families as I do mine, but who have no permanent home without the hostile and real intrusion of terror and war.

With all these realizations, there comes a moment when I must ask the question, “Why me?” “Why do I have so much and so many have so little?”

I don’t know the full answer, and I suspect I never will until I get to the other side. I do know there are responsibilities that go with abundance.

Giving from substance.

Compassion and aid to those who suffer.

Tolerance of other’s beliefs.

Awareness of need.

The New Congress

Vision is the process by which we construct the future. It is the substance of creation and the positive possibilities of what we can be. From the daily diatribes out of Washington, I do not hear the visionary words that engender the structure of common hope on the foundation of realistic wonder.

From the new Congress, I want to hear reinforcements of American ideals and the legislative action to sustain them. I want all branches of our government to paint me a picture of a sustainable future and color it with ideas and the fragrance of action. I want the genesis of solutions on immigration, health care, ongoing wars, affordable housing, and the litany of other issues entrained in our common society.

Mostly what I glean from ongoing debate is the darkness of past thought, the detritus of false words and the uselessness of egoic pride.

When Alexander the Great became ruler of the world, he came upon a philosopher who was lying upon his back in a meadow and mediating. Having become powerful and wealthy, Alexander became a patron of the arts and intellectuals. He stood before the philosopher and said,  “I am a patron of culture and will gladly underwrite any project you may select; name your wish.”

The Philosopher thought for a moment and said: “You may do one thing for me, your Highness. Please step aside; you are standing between me and the sun”.

Our Congress and our President must step aside from blocking the lights of compromise, compassion and courtesy and lead us to our grandest vision of ourselves.

A Thought…

Have you checked what’s essential to you lately? To go right to the immediate national issue: When you think about it, do we need a multi- billion dollar wall along our southern border?

In practicality, we need our infrastructure replaced, repaired, and renovated — our bridges, tunnels, railroads, and airports are in terrible shape. Compared to other countries with a far less gross national product we are far behind. I can understand protecting our borders from real and the figmentation of attack, but that can be done, as best as any border can be secured, at a far less cost.

Society functions and grows on the success of a solid mercantile system. Fear inhibits the creative gestalt and thus progress. All of us are more creative, happier, comfortable and content when a peaceful environment sustains our daily living.

Since the election of Donald Trump, we have been a contentious society. Yes, the market soared and rallied. Yes, joblessness is is at a longtime low, those are fleeting successes.

Long-term prosperity is only measured by our children’s potential to reject a climate of fear and live in an atmosphere of competitive growth.

Politics used to be the energy for the common good. Today it is the constipation of compromise. It is time it stopped. The political obstructionists are not the ones in pain.

Things change…

Tomorrow would have been my 55th wedding anniversary had my Annie not moved to the other side. Her spirit still thrives. Only her body died. She passed over three years ago from Cancer. I miss her but know she is onto new awarenesses in the benevolent comfort of unconditional love.

Thinking about our many years together and the institution of marriage I’ve concluded that marriage is an ever-changing contract. It’s never the same for it changes every moment you commit to the well-being of your partner.

Love, as it is perceived through the union of marriage, is ever expanding provided it is nurtured with courtesy, communication, and kindness. How many of us, whether we are one day married or 50 years married, remember to say thank you for even the very simple courtesies of life. Cooking dinner, looking nice, taking out the garbage, struggling to make it better.

Marriage can be, should be, the constant exponential appreciation of the other, if we see our partner through the eyes of wonder.

And wonder becomes radiant and lasting when we give rather than demand and when we appreciate rather than expect.