I had a conversation yesterday that crystallized in my mind what we can do to have an impact on violence in society , and not in a band-aid sort of way.
As is true with all things profound, it was a simple conversation with an ordinary person that inspired me. I talked with Dwight, a retired local man who grows Christmas trees on land he owns in the mountains of North Carolina, who we’ve bought a tree from for years now.
When we picked up our tree, Dwight shared his usual delight in seeing us, he inquired about the boys (who weren’t with us this year), and he shared news from the mountains.
He was grateful for his neighbors in the hills who helped him deliver the trees. These neighbors ask for no payment, but Dwight pays them anyway.
Dwight was looking forward to seeing his kids and grand kids after the ‘tree work’ was done. He clearly adores his family, and was practically giddy at the prospect of seeing them.
He also talked without judgment about the big business of Christmas trees, where immigrant laborers were delivered via old rickety buses (where they slept) from Florida to load 35,000 trees at a time into tractor trailer trucks bound for Home Depots across the country. He was matter-of-fact and almost in awe of this efficiency and also committed to ‘not take advantage’ of these workers as others did.
As we talked, Dwight shared his sadness about the ongoing tragedies in the world, and his inability to make a difference.
I replied by saying, “surely you see that you are making a difference?” Actually, no, it was news to him, so humble is Dwight in his actions. My guess is that you may be a lot like Dwight!
I realized in talking with Dwight that people make a difference every day and don’t even know it. Here are the simple things Dwight is doing, that I know are changing the world:
Dwight loves selling Christmas trees. He does this work to spread the holiday spirit and joy. He’s not doing it for the money, although he’s clearly doing very well! He’s motivated by Love, and that matters.
- Dwight makes connections. His stories connect the people of the mountains, with people in the city so we can see how our lives intertwine. This connection and the joy we exchange is the currency of a healthy economy, and that matters.
- Dwight chooses what feels right. He values the fair treatment of people, so he doesn’t participate in taking advantage of others. He’s created business success in a way where everyone wins, and that matters.
- Dwight adores his family. He treasures being with his family, so that they know that are loved and have a place to belong. I feel like I belong to Dwight’s extended family, and that matters.
Do you see the significance of these simple things?
Just in case you’re not crystal clear, think about all of the life-force energy on the planet (visible and invisible) as if it were an ocean. Then think about your own life-force energy as a current within that ocean. You are a unique and gifted expression of the big sea of Life!
The ocean of Life shapes you. Even more awesome is that you impact Life, whether you are aware of it or not, because every bit of your energy touches every bit of energy in every living thing that exists. You, my friend, by your very existence, have a huge impact on the rest of Life!
The important thing to remember is that you are a gift. You have the ability to consciously give of your self in a way that amplifies Love, heals pain, or resolves feelings of disconnect. When you put yourself first and uncover your gifts, you will discover what’s essential about yourself that you automatically share with others.
You will discover that your well-being
is essential to the well-being of the whole.
The seeds of violence are planted by fear and pain – usually caused by feeling unloved or because you don’t feel that you have a place where you authentically belong.
You directly contribute to the well-being of society when you remember you are a gift, tend to your personal growth, and make feeling good your top priority. You heal the fear and pain that is the source of violence.
So let’s go there! Let’s make 2013 the best year of your life, where you commit to discovering your soul-aligned gifts and career. I’m committed to another year of IAM work. Please, let me know how I can support you on your soul-aligned path!
I invite you to comment below on this article, and especially to let me know: what support do you need in bringing your gifts to the world?