Be Kind * Play Fair  


     Throughout history, people of all stripes and colors have come up with variations on                 the ethic of reciprocity. Many of us grew up with the Golden Rule:                                                        "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."   

      * Likewise, the Buddhist text, the Udana-Varga says:  

        "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself find hurtful."                                                       

* The Old Testament tells Christians and Jews alike:                                                               "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 
* Muhammad, the Prophet of the Islamic faith said:
        "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."
* Hindus are taught:                                                                                                                                "Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you."
* 500 years before Christ, Confucius counseled:                                                                                         "Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you                                      will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence."    

It's plain old commonsense. You don't have to believe in God to know it's true.      
Loving kindness is the grease that helps keep things moving smoothly.
If we truly live by the golden rule, we are kind and considerate with all people, not just
our home boys or political party, our bowling league or church congregation.

When we embrace the ethic of reciprocity, the notion of "US and THEM" falls away.

In these changing times we could certainly use some big doses of love, tolerance,                           
care ... in our families and communities, and in executive boardrooms, and the halls
of Congress as well.
What would greater love & charity look like in our neighborhoods?
                              What would corporate kindness feel like?                                                                                         What laws would a truly altruistic legislature pass?

Unfortunately, much of our nation's businesses and governing bodies are acting as if the                    laws of reciprocity don't apply to them. They cleft to the law of tooth and claw ... a ruthless, competitive scramble to the top. But that's just crazy-making nonsense.

           Universal laws, like the Golden Rule, bind us all. Every last one of us.

           "What we do to everything, we do to ourselves." - Black Elk 
                               Karma is not just a philosophical construct.
                         We cannot escape the consequences of bad behavior.  

                                            Garbage in.  Garbage out.     

    You cannot separate out the ends from the means. And any belief system - religious,                         corporate or governmental - that would lead us to think otherwise, is corrupt and a sham.

                      Like Einstein said: We cannot "simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
On the other hand, good results spring naturally from good efforts.


       If we're going to move beyond "business as usual", we'll need to take personal and cultural risks.
        Look: Systems are breaking down, and some of the old agreed upon ways are just not working.
Things are going to look different. Old familiar ways will be tested. It's going to take lots of               experimentation and playful creativity to navigate through troubled waters.

                                     Leaps of thought and behavior.  Lifestyle changes.
                                Don't worry. The tried and true will stand.
So hey, let's be tolerant of odd and curious behaviors we might experience around us, OK?

         Did you see those folks down the way, building a small house out of mud and straw?!
         Cob building has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years.                                     
         It's low tech, easy to learn, durable and organic. And can be quite charming really.



                                          Change is all around us.

As we reject systems of commerce that rely heavily on fossil fuels to ship food vast distances              around the globe, we'll simultaneously be working to recreate our local food systems. We can supplement our traditional farms, by growing food most anywhere and everywhere                            ... in abandoned lots, public spaces, school grounds and front yards.
Many of our neighbors now grow veggies and fruit trees where there used to be lawn.                        Jungles of corn, beans and squash. Arbors laden with juicy grapes. They've got the right idea.

                   More & more of us will be growing food right where we live.

Even the White House is getting in on the act.


Remember my favorite fridge quote? "We live in a kind of dark age, craftily lit with                 synthetic light, so that no one can tell how dark it has really gotten. But our exiled spirits                   can tell. Deep in our bones resides an ancient singing couple who just won't give up making                their beautiful, wild noise. The world won't end if we can find them." Martin Prechtel   

Well, sometimes the search to find that ancient singing couple can get a bit weird.
           So be kind ... to yourself ... to others.  Accepting.

... like your neighbors? weren't they out dancing by the light of the full moon?
  ... getting in touch with that "beautiful wild noise", I suppose.

       (not that party-all-night, who-cares-about-tomorrow licentiousness)

        No, we're talking WILD radiant inner beauty .... ALIVE ... passionate ... natural.

                  We could all use us some more of that WILD THING, eh?

             Dare to be your True and Authentic Self
There's no shame in being different.
 "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind
     don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." 
Dr. Seuss

Who knows where our passions will lead us
if we follow the music in our hearts.
          Go ahead and trust your experiences, your knowledge and inner guidance.
           Ground yourself in peace, truth and justice. Act with courage and conviction.

        As we become our unique and balanced selves, we enhance the whole.
                       We become Peace.

           So ... take a deep breath. Go for it.
        Play around with different ideas. Can't hurt, can it?
      Maybe talk with your buddies ... get together with others who share a                                    similar vision. Who knows what might evolve over time?
       What matters is that we move forward together, cooperatively.


           We are all a part of the solution, no one more important than another.
       Working together for the common good is fun.... it's satisfying.
But being jumbled together in a wave of change can be messy.
And plenty of people will suffer.

Everywhere you look, there are people in need.                                  We can all help out. One way or another.
We'll stumble on this new path again and again. And pick ourselves up once again,           as we learn to live in better harmony with the Planet and each other.

      As we extend our care and love out to all people,
let's remember that along with the
       "love your neighbor" version
of the Golden Rule, there's an expanded one as well.

                      Surely we must apply the ethic of reciprocity to all of creation.
                    Because we all breathe the same air:

 The winged ones, the four legged, the crawlers - the lives of others are at stake
 here as well.
The creeks, the rivers, the bays, the oceans - all the waterways we
 so dearly depend on - they are all connected.
The forests, mountain, meadow and
 desert communities, they share our fate.
   EVERYTHING on the planet deserves to be treated kindly and respectfully. This belief is
   at the heart of the teachings of land based, Earth-honoring peoples everywhere.
   Chief Seattle (Sealth), a leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes, wisely spoke: 
            "Teach your children that the earth is our mother.
 Whatever befalls the earth befalls
 the sons and daughters of the earth.
                  We did not weave the web; we are merely a strand in it.
                      Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."
"To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures                   and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny."
                                                                (from the preamble of The Earth Charter

               Day in, day out, we'll learn to be kinder to this great planet we all share.
                                To everyone who's helped me along the way - Blessed Be.             
Special thanks to Robert, Lyn & Mark - who've guided me through the world of computers.

                                     Hey, that's me, in our hand hewn cabin - 1977    
                 creative commons * | we are all part of the solution | *JanineO*
              Love & determination will see us through.