This morning I woke before the sun peaked through the blinds. There were many messages and visions coming to the surface pushing me out of bed to write. The messages seem very scrambled, although as they line up I am starting to see a theme.
I currently live in a new subdivision, with a lot of houses being built around me. This is a big change from my last home on acreage just outside of San Antonio. We are somewhat in the country on the fringes of a larger town where people are selling off their land to developers thinking they can accumulate wealth in a more rapid less strenuous way. Many of the farmers are challenged on what to do with their land to generate enough income to pay their taxes, while others were taught through the generations to hoard their earnings for the lean times. In what we call progress, there is transformation and change for all in the utilization of our natural resources.
In this new subdivision, homes go up quickly with some of the cheapest materials on the market. The amount of lumber and materials that go in the dump trailers is astounding. One morning as I sat in my driveway drinking coffee, I watched the cleanup crew load an 8 foot walled trailer with scrap lumber and empty boxes. I asked if they put all of that in the landfill and was told yes. I thought to myself all of the people that could benefit from these materials that were being wasted. Immediately an internal alarm goes off and I am taken to a breakfast meeting I had two years ago.
Two years ago, I had a publishing client with many spiritual and new age writers. This client had invited my partner and me to a large event they were putting on with many of the authors in attendance. Well, I rarely pass up a chance to travel, especially if I know there is an opportunity for a lot of new experiences. During this event through a series of conversations we were invited to a private breakfast with one of the authors. This author was Arun Gandhi, a humble man with a compassionate heart and a desire to carry on the family legacy left by his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi. That legacy of love, compassion, and non violence.
During our breakfast Arun spoke of his path and history as a young boy. In one of his stories he spoke of being sent to live with his grandfather in India because he was such a strong willed young man. This particular story has stuck with me like it was yesterday. Arun had to walk to and from the school house on a path with that was not paved out in streets. On his way home one day he has a small stub left for a pencil. It was still large enough to hang on to, but much smaller than a typical new pencil. Arun, being a child decides to throw the pencil in the brush on his way home from school, thinking that grandfather will give him a new one when he asks for it.
Arun goes to grandfather when he gets home and requests a new pencil. Grandfather asks “where is the pencil you had this morning when you left?” Arun tells him “it was small and I threw it out on my walk home.” What happened next was much unexpected. In a calm and loving tone Grandfather asks Arun, “ do you know what resources it took to make that pencil? Do you know the tree that was used, the electricity, lead, labor and all of the other resources that came together to make that one pencil?” Arun had never thought of how a pencil came to be, he had only thought of the challenge it was to hang onto such a small stick while doing his schoolwork. After the discussion of resources and the education of what it takes to make one pencil, Arun was sent back to retrace his steps and find his pencil stub. He was not lectured, he was not punished or shamed, nor was given a new pencil. He was educated and directed to retrieve the pencil and use the resource to its fullest. It is a lesson that still lives inside him 70 years later.
So, as I look around me at the waste just thrown to the ground I am guided to write about the consciousness we in humanity operate in. Do we feel so abundant that throwing away tons of resources, wood, unused strips of nails, heavy cardboard, extra insulation and roofing materials is just part of the project? Is the builder just focused on how quickly a house can be built, and by using cheap materials the waste is just a small expense? What is the true expense and is this expense to all of humanity, not just those building the house?
The theme I am seeing in all of this is the duality of abundance and lack. There are those who discard easily while on the other side of the street there are those who go to great lengths to save our rain forests. There are people who currently own homes and are challenged to find the funds for repairs, while builders have many houses in inventory sitting empty because they want a certain profit from these structures. Some of that profit could have been achieved through better use of their resources.
How do we as humanity come to understand that abundance and wealth are not measured by the stuff you own, nor the ability to just buy more, but by the true knowing that everything we come in contact with changes because of our interaction with it? How do we educate society in an understanding of hoarding and usury, poverty and wealth at inconceivable levels are all signs of poverty, consciousness poverty? Are the ones with large sums of cash stuffed away just a poor as the homeless digging through restaurant dumpsters for dinner? When he or she can spend $300.00 on a bottle of wine and walk past the sick and hungry on their way back to their car unscathed the answer is yes. They too are in poverty. Their hearts have been put in chains and their senses dulled so much that they do not see the wasted resources around them. The humanity cast aside as not needed, not worthy, not valued.
Today as you walk your path look around and just ask the question, what resources did it take to bring this object into my path? As you are challenged to pay $100 or dump a five gallon bucket of water on your head ask, how am I a wasted, underutilized resource? We change the world each day whether we see it or not so as Mahatma Gandhi once said “Become the change you wish to see in the world”
Namaste’ Be well and Remember “In The Sovereignty of the Mind is Birthed The Divinity of the Soul”
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©2014 Brenda Braden All Rights Reserved http://www.BrendaBraden.com
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