Giving Back

In life we get caught up with our own cause, our own meaning and our  purpose. This is all in its own right for preserving our own existence. All these things are necessary and we make our way through this world.

There comes a time when we must be unselfish and give back to the earth that sustains us.

There will always be persons more privileged than us and persons that are less fortunate. If we step back and look and our lives, the lives we think are so dynamic and challenging, we may come to the realization that we are indeed fortunate in many ways and live in our own version of paradise.

Last weekend I went down to New Orleans to give back in my own way . Ideally I wanted to help build houses because that is where the greatest need is, but I opted to do something completely different and more environmental in nature. I planted trees in the bayou. The ecosystem has been tremendously destroyed and needs some help as well. So there I was planting trees and swamp grass in the bayou digging in the dirt.

I am happy to say that I found some zen-like value in this and it served as a sort of therapy. I’ve never been an environmentalist apart from not littering and doing basic things that are bad for the environment, but planting trees and knowing that I am having an effect on nature itself was a good feeling. I was donating my time and my energies (it wasn’t easy) to something that will eventually benefit some other creature on the planet.

I can reflect on this 10 years from now and know that somewhere in the bayou down in New Orleans, there is a tree I planted that helped to restore the natural habitat and is producing oxygen so that someone can breathe (even if it is an alligator…yes there was an alligator right there in the water just sitting there and I wasn’t bothered)

What I want to reflect on today was what have we done selflessly to help another? It could be the simplest act. Helping a blind person across the street, reading books to school children at lunch time, delivering food to the homeless…you name it there are a plethora of random acts of kindness that we can do each day.

We need to sometimes look beyond ourselves and our own needs and celebrate the space that we share with others. I’m not looking for a medal or any sort of affirmation for my acts. It all came easy for me and it should be the easiest thing for you too.

Cultivate your Karma because you just never know when things will come right back to you

Karma is a law in Hinduism which maintains that every act done, no matter how insignificant, will eventually return to the doer with equal impact. Good will be returned with good; evil with evil.  (Karma knows no simple birth/death boundaries. If good or evil befall you, it is because of something you did in this or a previous lifetime)

Karma is sometimes referred to as a “moral law of cause and effect.” Karma is both an encouragement to do good and to avoid evil, as well as an explanation for whatever good or evil befalls a person.


The Red Winged Blackbird

The red winged blackbird
Offered the soundtrack
notes rode the wind
Over the alligator’s skin

Worker bees toiled
Digging in dirt
Avoiding red ants
force feeding mother nature

The skies held back
The sun obliged
We found peace
Prayed for the nutria
Not to smother our work

Ten by ten
We created clusters
That years from now
Will scream at Katrinas kin
Stand firm
Backs against
The wall of water

You have not lived
Until you hear the song
Of the red winged blackbird
Calling for the trees
To return to life
Bending and stretching
Across the bayou
Waiting for this habitat
To be restored

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2 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. Your writing gives one a vivid picture of your day….I can almost smell the dampness of the soil and hear the call of the red winged black bird during the tree planting. Beautiful!
    Thank you for caring enough to do the deed, and also, for sharing your thoughts about the experience!

  2. You’re so right we need to give back, whether it is to our community of just by helping someone out that really needed our help. One of my new year resolution for this year is to volunteer my services in whichever way I can. I stated by going around to the hospitals in Boston, where I now reside and sit with some of the patients and encourage them not to let their sickness beat/defeat them, but to look above whatever the stumbling block is that’s in there way and work around it. I told them to continued to do whatever they use to do before they were sick. I also encourage them that they might not able to do as much as they use to do, but to do as much as they can.

    A year ago I was battling a chronic Kidney disease, and there where no one around for me to call upon, when I was called for a emergency kidney transplant. After my 7-8 hours surgery, I sat in my hospital bed, wondering how many people were going through the same thing I was. Been alone that is, there were no one to call, if i do call someone they seems to be busy…so I told myself that I will be the one some other people will be able to call after such an ordeal. So that is why I signed up for overnight or emergency call for the hospitals in my community in Boston, in case someone is having problems getting a ride to or from the hospital or just for someone to sit with them for a couple hours just to talk are just to keep their company.

    I also volunteer my service during tax time for people who can not afford to pay for someone to so there taxes…

    In all of this I really SALUTE you for what you has done…Brovo

    Peace and love

    Richard

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