Here I go again... no posting for a -l o n g- time and then a whole bunch of thoughts all at once:
Today in my Native Americans of Illinois class, a woman named Pam Alfonso come to speak. She is a member of the Menominee nation from Wisconsin, but she's lived a long portion of her life in Chicago, where she is currently a social activist...
I asked her what resources she would suggest to someone who was seeking to become socially aware & active and she said
I want to become a part of the world community, and that means becoming informed on the issues affecting all people. And she said that in order to become part of any community, you must first become involved in that community - and that doesn't mean listening to lectures and going to protests, but showing up - being there - and serving the community...
I suppose, in the midst of this quick-fix-and-instant-gratification-pushing society, I've adopted the idea that by believing something, I am automatically identified with those beliefs. But how are people going to know what I believe if I don't act on those beliefs? Or if my actions don't match my ideals?
Any beyond simple recognition by others is a much more lasting and meaningful reason to act:
Dios doesn't care what you think in your physical brain as much as how you cultivate your soul - your spiritual nature.
And one way to do that is to serve Allah's Creation - to serve humanity. And not for any self-important reason, but to express your love and appreciation of your own creation. Think about that - when someone does something wonderful for you, don't you feel full of love and want to return the favor to show your love?
And think about how immensely wonderful your creation was!
I've found that what I've done lately is retracted into the shell of my little inner sanctuary, and I've not broadened my vision - I've felt so poorly about my own spiritual state that I've lost my concern for others - self-concern is one thing (it's important to be aware of who you are - identify your weaknesses and work on them) but self-degredation due to self-criticism lead only to the worsening of one's state of being.
So how will people know how much I value them if if I fail to convey the love I feel for them? It goes beyond addressing the physical - it means really BEING there - really being concerned about other's well-being...
And it's a difficult task to shake off the husk of self-worry - to go beyond one's own self - I was watching television today and EVERY commercial was aimed as "self-improvement." Of course, first you must convince the consumer that there is something wrong with them. So almost all of the images we take in from the media are asserting that our lives aren't complete.
And if that's all you hear, aren't you going to start believing it?
So what I am feeling now is a real realisation - I am feeling love and inspiration and determination to actually make a change - to serve for real - to become involved in the humblest way possible and in that way show my appreciation for the wonder that is humanity.