Where do you find the courage?

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Submitted by mary1 on Sat, 2008-08-09 03:47.

Hey Fellow,

I read about you in the news today. Our human condition has been heavy on my mind for some time. I can not seem to find a specific action I can take to contribute to a solution. I know it takes just one individual to start change. You have done that! Please know that you are not alone in your yearning for a better world. Is it crazy that we bury our heads and wait for the worst? I can tell you that over time as I have asked for enlightenment I have begun to change my own behavior. Just today I unloaded groceries for someone and have opened myself to meeting people in the eye. I had become very programmed to mind my own business. If we can just stop the merry go round and get off for a minute I wonder what we would see. I'm quite sure it was no accident that I came across your story today. It has encouraged me to continue my pursuit to find a way I can make a difference.
If you are still in Lawrence on the 9th stop by the Applebee's on South Iowa and I will feed you! You are in my prayers.
mary1


Submitted by fellow human on Tue, 2008-08-12 04:06.

I believe you are already engaged with the "specific action" you seek and through it you are already contributing to a solution. I believe the solution has been contributed to as you've "asked for enlightenment", as you've purposefully unloaded another's groceries and opened yourself to meeting people in the eye. This is the beginning of the solution.

As you sincerely follow such pursuits, you can begin to see down beyond the obvious "tip of the iceberg" to that which descends far beneath the surface of things. Beyond the illusion of your image, beyond your conditioning, beyond the exaggerated level of separation that you've previously perceived between you and your fellow human. This "iceberg" is the extent of your self.

I do not believe we can just change fundamental aspects of ourselves through mere decision, and I see our history as proof of this. Beyond biological change, I believe fundamental change to ourselves comes through seeing ourselves and our world in a new way and seeing ourselves in a new way comes through introspection. I believe it is a fact that the degree to which we enable change within ourselves results in that exact amount of change to the world. Furthermore, when we change we also become fuel that can stimulate introspection and change within others.

I see introspection as initiated by one's own observations of one's self and one's situation, and by a willingness to examine the innumerable messages constantly being sent to us by others and the outside world. The messages that say or reflect something genuine about who we are that would be otherwise hard for us to perceive on our own, are invaluable.

Within our lifetime I believe there is effectively an endless depth to what we can realize about ourselves. Through the pursuit of this, I believe we approach the solution we're talking about through a sort of unlocking and recognition of what we have to contribute to the human condition, and the potentially profound stimulus this can provide for others as well. The more you are able to watch and look within yourself for the truth of who you are, the more you will see. The more you will grow. The more you will contribute to a sustainable, acceptable human world in ways you cannot even guess at now.

You have not asked me for advice, but I recommend you keep doing what you're doing and try not to create expectations by which you will succeed or fail. Remember that you, like us all, are a fallible being who has absolutely no control over how fast you are able to grow. You will grow at exactly the rate you are supposed to. However, where you are able to direct your attention can capitalize on your potential. Just try to sincerely observe yourself and your world, be true to yourself---don't be constrained by what you want to see---and simply continue to hold and follow the intention to move forward towards self discovery.

As to your opening question, I feel that what I am doing is simply the result of how I've been put together. If I am exercising courage, it is simply through following my heart: that little part of me that, amidst the whirlwind of our world and our inclinations, whispers the right thing to do. Following one's heart is sometimes scary and often hard. But if you just trust it and recognize or trust that the difficulty and fear at following it come from a more short sighted and instinctual part of you, it can become much easier.

Thank you very much for the offer of sustenance. I would've liked to have met you.

Go with care. -fh