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Refugees

Refugees

By

Brian Bilston

 

They have no need of our help.

So do not tell me

these haggard faces could belong to you or me

Should life have dealt a different hand,

We need to see them for who they really are

chancers and scroungers

Lay-abouts and loungers,

with bombs up their sleeves,

cut-throats and thieves

They are not

welcome here.

We should make them

go back to where they came from.

They cannot

share our food

share our homes

share our countries.

Instead let us

build a wall to keep them out.

It is not okay to say

these are people just like us.

A place should only belong to those who are born there.

Do not be so stupid to think that

The world can be looked at another way.

(Now read from the bottom to the top)

“I believe we are here on earth to help others. What others believe they are here for I don’t know.”

 

Thank you to my good friend, Sherry Edensmith for sharing this.

Mercy

Mercy

after Nikki Giovanni

She asked me to kill the spider.

Instead, I get the most peaceful weapons I can find.

I take a cup and a napkin.

I catch the spider; put it outside

and allow it to walk away.

If I am ever caught in the wrong place

at the wrong time,

just being alive

and not bothering anyone…

I hope I am greeted

with the same kind of mercy.

“All any of us truly want is to be accepted and loved just the way we are.”

When you go out into the woods and you look at the trees, you see all these different trees. Some of them are bent and some of them are straight. Some are evergreens and some are whatever.

And you look at a tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light and so it is turned and bent a certain way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it.

You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all of that. You’re constantly saying,

“You’re too this” or “I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in.

So I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them…

Just the way they are.

~ Ram Dass

A line of elephants approaching the Anthony house

“We must support the dignity of life.”

Lawrence Anthony was a conservationist and author known as “The Elephant Whisperer” who passed away on March 2, 2012.

Anthony, who grew up in rural Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, was known for his unique ability to communicate with and calm traumatized elephants. In his book, The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild, he tells the story of saving the elephant herds, at the request of an animal welfare organization and how he rescued and rehabilitated a group of wild South African elephants who were deemed dangerous and about to be shot.

Anthony concluded the only way he could save these elephants, who were categorized as violent and unruly, was to live with them.

“To save their lives, I would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night”.

When Anthony died suddenly of a heart attack, a group of elephants he had rescued, who were grazing miles away in different parts of the park, appeared to remember what he had done for them. They gathered together and travelled over 12 hours to reach his house in the South African KwaZuku.

According to Anthony’s son, the herd arrived shortly after his death. They hadn’t visited the compound where Anthony lived for a year and a half, but his son said, “In coming up there on that day of all days, we certainly believe they had sensed it.” They stayed for two days, then departed as silently as they had arrived.

While it’s hard to say how they could have sensed Anthony had died, elephants are known for their grieving rituals, both in the wild and in captivity. According to many researchers, elephants grieve the deaths of their relatives, as when a child or parent dies.

For another look at the emotional bonds elephants may experience with one another, the short documentary link (below) details the experience of two elephants, Shirley and Jenny, who were reunited after over 20 years of being apart. Each had separately known extensive abuse as circus animals. Scarred and crippled, they were finally being saved by Urban Elephant and sent to retire at an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. They went on to live together for six years before Shirley’s death in 2006, at which time Jenny remained alone in the woods and didn’t eat for two days.

Shirley and Jenny

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My friends, it’s important we let our hearts be emotionally moved. It’s important for us to feel our feelings and to touch each other with tenderness. It’s important for us to experience empathy and compassion and to realize the connection we have with all our fellow humans. Like the elephants, we need to value life and mourn when others are hurt or in need of a helping hand – or be sensitive when a person simply wants someone to stand beside them in support. Considering our current cultural climate, we surely have a lot to learn.

Right now . . . will you please set aside whatever you feel is so important and just take seven minutes to experience the power of connection? Just put down whatever it is you’re working on and click on the link below. You can go back to your busy important life in seven minutes. Our world desperately needs you to awaken and reconnect with what is truly important . . .

Two elephants reunited after 20 years

Many people in our world today have become so hardened and hateful, so focused on themselves, their own agendas and being right, they completely disregard human decency. They are so intent on getting their own way, they purposefully hurt others in the process.

We need to shed those tough external walls that keep us so separate and apart. We need to care for, respect and value one another. The elephants, who have graced this earth much longer than we humans, seem to understand this. Certainly, we have a lot to learn from them. . . But will we?

Many thanks to my good friend Bill Holmes 
for sharing this sweet story with us.

 

“Let us be kind to each other – to be aware of each other’s needs and help out where we can.”

 A bookstore worker recently wrote the following Facebook post describing an encounter with a “little old lady” who shocked everyone at the register. The post has since gone viral, and for good reason. Read it below.

I work in a decent sized, local, indie bookstore. It’s a great job 99% of the time and a lot of our customers are pretty neat people. Anyway, middle of the day, this little old lady comes up. She’s lovably kooky. She effuses how much she loves the store and how she wishes she could spend more time in it, but her husband is waiting in the car.

“OH! I BETTER BUY HIM SOME CHOCOLATE!” She piles a bunch of art supplies on the counter and then stops and tells me how my bangs are beautiful and remind her of the ocean. “Wooooosh” she says, making a wave gesture with her hand.

Ok, I think to myself, awesomely happy, weird little old ladies are my favorite kind of customers. They’re thrilled about everything and they’re comfortably bananas. I can have a good time with this one. So we chat and it’s nice.

Then this kid, who’s been up to my counter a few times to gather his school textbooks, comes up in line behind her (we’re connected to a major university in the city so we have a lot of harried students pass through). She turns around to him and, out of nowhere, demands that he put his textbooks on the counter. He’s confused, but she explains she’s going to buy his textbooks.

He goes sheet-rock white. He refuses and adamantly insists she can’t do that. It’s like, $400 worth of textbooks. She, this tiny old woman, boldly takes them out of his hands, throws them on the counter and turns to me with an intense stare and tells me to put them on her bill.

The kid at this point is practically in tears. He’s confused and shocked and grateful. Then she turns to him and says, “You need chocolate.” She starts grabbing handfuls of chocolates and puts them in her pile

He keeps asking her, “Why are you doing this?”

She responds, “Do you like Harry Potter?” and throws a copy of the new Cursed Child on the pile too.

Finally, she’s done and I ring her up for a crazy amount of money. She pays and asks me to please give the kid a few bags for his stuff. While I’m bagging up her merchandise, the kid hugs her. We’re both telling her how amazing she is and what an awesome thing she’s done. She turns to both of us and says probably one of the most profound, unscripted things I’ve ever had someone say:

“It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But, you can choose to be kind. Be kind.”

The kid thanks her again and leaves. I tell her again how awesome she is. She’s staring out the door after him and says to me, “My son is a homeless meth addict. I don’t know what I did. I see that boy and I see the man my son could have been if someone had chosen to be kind to him at just the right time.”

I’ve bagged up all her stuff and at this point am feeling super awkward and feel like I should say something, but I don’t know what. Then she turns to me and says, “I wish I could have bangs like that, but my darn hair is just too curly.” And then she leaves. And that is the story of the best customer I’ve ever had.

Be kind to somebody today.

We never know how our actions may affect others around us.

Is it asking too much to just be kind to all?

Posted by Christine Turel

 

 

Pass It On

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” 

Winston Churchill

Pass It On

Have you had a kindness shown?

Pass it on.

It was not meant for you alone

Pass it on.

Let it travel down through the years

Let it wipe another’s tears

Until across the world the deed appears

Pass it on.

Have you found within a precious treasure?

Pass it on.

Has it given you fulfillment and pleasure?

Pass it on.

For your heart grows rich in giving

Loving is the truest living

Letting go is twice possessing

Pass it on.

Have you found your pure white light?

Pass it on.

Mankind is groping in the night

Daylight is gone

So, hold your lighted candle high

Like a guiding star in someone’s sky

So he may live who else would die

Pass it on.

 

The Invitation

The Invitation

By Oriah

 It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for dreams…
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it…or fade it…or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic…
or to remember the limitations of being a human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul;
if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty every day.
And if you can source your life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside,
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself;
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.