Friday, April 16, 2010

Empathic Civilization

I heard Jeremy Rifkin on CBC Radio's Ideas last night. I was heartened to hear his re-examination, rewriting of history looking for and at evidence of humans' empathy.
Here's his book

There're great talks by Rifkin on YouTube. I especially liked his comment "the real economy is photosynthesis." He reminds us that 6.8 billion people are less than 1% of the biomass of the earth but we are using 24% of the biproducts of photosynthesis on earth. "We have become monsters...this just isn't sustainable."
Worth watching yourself while cooking dinner or washing up.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Mom

My mom is amazing. She is always inviting people, strangers, to show themselves as friends. In the grocery store the other day, she invited a "young" man (45 years old) who stood behind her in the express line to place his armful of groceries onto the conveyor belt while she finished her check out. She noticed his Elizabeth-Taylor-blue eyes, and was drawn into conversation with him.

She listened, as she always does, to the lyrics as well as the beat of the conversation. And the young man met her there. He eventually suggested they exchange numbers so that he could follow up with her on a recommendation to a healer he suggested she might like to meet. Of their meeting he said, "I believe these things happen for a reason." By the time she'd returned home, he'd called.

I thought of Harold and Maude because of the age difference. But mom is far from the zany Maude. And this Harold was no ingenue. They won't be driving cars through the countryside or seeing fireworks together, but my mom has been seen by a stranger who took the time to see her as she saw him. There's nothing more powerful that recognizing the nobility in each of us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talking to Strangers

I was talking with my mom today about a good guy friend of mine who I love greatly. "Like a brother" is close, but without all the punching. My friend had recently told me that if anything ever happened in his marriage, he would be making a phone call. Flattering and bittersweet. One of the lives not lived among the 47 lives we squeeze into the one we're given. No regrets there. Not even What If's.

What struck me is how Yin and Yang he and I are. As he moves closer to his spiritual, reflective and connected self, as his right brain allows the expansive inclusive right brain to be heard, he gets more like me. And I could live a lot more in the left brain world of my friend, being pragmatic, inching the survival plan forward, planning and doing instead of dreaming, embracing my inner athlete.

I've longed for my friend to become the man he is becoming. Rapidly he's taking that focusing skill he's acquired through competitive sport and fitness training, that ability to see a goal and make steps towards it, and he is applying it to expanding his universe. Now if I can only use my skill at expanding the universe and apply it to focusing on thriving. Act on better survival strategies--better eating, regular connection with my body through exercise, breathing, meditation.

I appreciate that awareness. It gives me a metaphor and motivation for the becoming. I have a visual. I've longed for my friend's evolution, and have felt so secure in my own existence in the world of emotions, spirit, connection and transformation. Perhaps if he stopped to think about it, he'd long for my evolution into the behaviours that extend my life. Maybe that's why we are meeting every other week or so to help the other forward?