#1000Speak June – A Home Remedy for the World

I’ve been thinking so much about the various news stories splayed across the headlines lately.

It seems no matter where you are across the globe, there is a story about something negative. Gorillas, alligators, mass shootings, politics, health care, animal cruelty, unemployment, gun control… I could go on, but I won’t. You know what the headlines and the horrors are in the world. You know that behind every headline is so much more of the story than we will ever know from reading the news. Maybe those stories are somehow better than what is presented; maybe they are worse. But at the end of the day, no matter the story, the overarching problem I see is that the world is sick.

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I have a vague memory of a cartoon drawing of the earth with a cold – or something – and that’s what comes to mind lately. Our world is sick and it needs some kind of remedy. But what? I see quotes and memes go by on my computer screen all the time suggesting what might help: The world needs love. The world needs faith. The world needs compassion.

It’s all true.

But how do we begin to heal a world that on some days seems so far gone?

As I prepared to write this post over the last few weeks, this question goaded me and made me forget every idea I thought I had to share here. I couldn’t help coming back to this nagging question of what must we DO in order to help our world, help one another?

We need to get back to basics. We need to start with the closest, simplest task and that is to heal our Selves.

My #1000Speak posts tend to focus on self-compassion and I suppose my words here will be no different. If we want to see change on a global level, we have to start on a personal level. As I thought more and more about this, I suddenly remembered some words I encounter very often at a place I visit regularly, but rarely take time to see. The words I’ll share with you here are from Robert Rodale and his wife, Ardath Harter Rodale, two people who dedicated their lives to improving not only their own lives, but the lives of others in various ways. Consider how their words might be applied on a very intimate, individual, and personal level, but also consider how they might be applied on a much larger scale.

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“Health is the ability to find superior powers of body and mind and to use them for full, fruitful, and enjoyable living.”

“Every living thing has an inner urge to get better. To renew. To use the power of life to heal from within.”

~Robert Rodale

 

“May your eyes be filled with the light of sunshine to invigorate every part of your body, mind, and spirit.”

“May health and love flow through your veins to bring you peace and harmony.”

~Ardath Harter Rodale

 

I know, I know. Given the magnitude and frequency of negativity in the headlines lately, how can we think that such simple and wholesome ideas would make a difference?  How is it possible to believe there is such light and hope and power in the world when there is so much evidence to the contrary? Maybe if we can take even just a little bit of that positive thinking, that conviction that all living things have the potential for good, for change, and for health, we might see the world – and the people in it – in a different light. Maybe we can be gentler with ourselves, kinder and more compassionate to one another, more understanding and accepting of ourselves and of one another.

What we need is a good old fashioned home remedy like Grandma’s chicken soup or hot tea with lemon. There may not be much proof of whether or not it will work, but it can’t hurt to hope and it can’t hurt to try. Try compassion. Try kindness. Try love. See if it helps. See if it makes you feel better. It certainly can’t make things any worse.

 

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This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better, more compassionate world.

Here’s how to get involved:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

Visit the 1000Speak blog

Follow @1000Speak on Twitter

Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

This month’s link up is open and ready for your posts and will remain open until June 28th.  To join in the Link-up and read more posts, click the blue button below and follow the instructions.

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On being Kind and Compassionate #1000Speak

What is compassion?

Compassion is nothing but being present to the suffering of others and responding with a desire to relieve them of this pain and suffering with kindness, care, love and support. The key to compassion is the art of mindfulness and the lesson of letting go. We need to learn to let go of our egos. We need to move beyond judgement and indifference. We need to learn to share space with complete strangers because this place is equally theirs. We need to feel the pain from the heart. Suffering does not necessarily have to be physical. It can be someone going through a stressful time in their personal or professional lives. Often we neglect the urge to provide a listening ear or offer a few comforting words because we believe that we are intruding into their lives. But many a times, it is those few words, those few minutes that can help save someone from making a wrong decision (perhaps the last decision) in their lives. Be helpful anyway. Be compassionate any way. Be kind any way. Together we can make this a better place. A peaceful place. A happy place.

I will now share my experience with two people who I believe defined compassion for me.

The Mother

She stays in a building next to mine. The first person to have spoken to me when I moved in here. She came up to me and offered to help if I ever needed. The next time I saw her, she was surrounded by half a dozen street dogs barking non-stop. I was scared for her and wanted to protect her. I picked up some stones and was about to throw them at the dogs when I saw her bending down and pouring milk into an earthen bowl and a few bread slices into another. The dogs had stopped barking and were wagging their tails. And she wore the most beautiful smile I have ever seen on anyone.

A few days later, one of the street dogs that resided in our locality got infected. It started bleeding from different places and shedding its skin showing the pink tissue underneath. Everyone (including myself) felt pity. But none of us did anything to help it from suffering. Some for fear of getting infected and some others out of disgust. We had accepted that this was the end of it. He wouldn’t survive. We nodded to ourselves.

And then I saw her sitting next to the dog and applying some medicines. She fed him like a new-born baby. As it managed to take a few bites, she kept massaging his back and forehead. He looked at her with eyes shining as if to thank her for her kindness. A few weeks and the dog was fully cured and up and running. That day, I saw her. I found the reflection of the mother.

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The Impact of a Teacher

At a school function, I met this man. He is a doctor by profession. But he has quit practice and is planting trees every single day, every single hour. Why? Because some forty odd years ago (when he was nine), his teacher had told him that the world will end in 2070 because of lack of oxygen and global warming. When he asked her how can this be prevented, the good soul that the teacher was she told him that planting more and more trees alone can help save the earth. And ever since he has planted more than one million trees.

Why did he have to take it up so seriously? He could have chosen to listen and let go like most of us. He was well aware that he might not survive to see the end of the world in 2070. But he was aware that every drop matters. Every tree meant saving the world for a few more days. I haven’t seen another human as compassionate towards trees like him. If he ever sees a tree being uprooted or being cut down for infrastructural reasons, he silently weeps within. His revenge: planting more and more trees.

The Reason

What is it? Why are they doing all this? Why do they have to do all of this? The answer is nothing but kindness and compassion. While fools like us sit and preach, people like them lead by example. They are aware that their deeds might not do anything for themselves. But they do it anyway because it helps someone else. Contentment and fulfillment are their prizes.

We all have seeds of compassion inside us. It is a natural instinct present within all of us. It is restrained when we lack mindfulness and turn a blind eye to life. It’s just a matter of realizing it and letting it flow freely.

Compassion does not restrict to relieving others of pain. It also means being kind towards ourselves. A smile or a kind word can make a big difference in someone’s life. The mere feeling that we are not alone in this struggle makes people get back up, be strong and have a reason to flourish. A heartfelt act of kindness goes a long way in the other person’s life.

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So, did you smile today?

 

Rekha

Rekha Dhyani is the mom of two T-Rex kiddoos, seasoned publishing expert, hardcore marketer, freelance content writer, amateur photographer, travel enthusiast and a passionate writer/blogger. She blogs at Dew Drops.

Please do follow her at these social media links: Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

Nurturing – 20 Writing Prompts for April

The #1000Speak movement continues to grow, and we now have over 1500 bloggers uniting on the 20th of each month to fill the internet with GOOD.  Our first month’s topic was Compassion and there were so many awesome posts from participants that it caused a wave.  Even more bloggers were part of the group for our next topic, Building from Bullying, and collectively, we put out some amazing articles about that too.

April’s #1000Speak topic is Nurturing.  If you want to participate but aren’t sure what to write about, take a look at the following prompts to give you some ideas.  If you have an idea you don’t see here, feel free to leave it in the comments.

 

  1. How can we nurture compassion for the Earth in our children?
  2. Nurturing our inner activist
  3. Nurturing emotional awareness in our kids or in ourselves
  4. How do you nurture your mental health in stressful times?
  5. In what ways do you feel you nurture your children and how do you encourage them to nurture those around them?
  6. How do you nurture creativity in yourself and others?
  7. How to nurture our body and soul through compassionate food choices
  8. Describe your most nurturing relationship. What made it different than other relationships?
  9. Write about nurturing relationships between nations
  10. Nature vs. Nurture – which is stronger?
  11. Do you believe compassion is simply in our nature or must it be nurtured to thrive?
  12. Do you believe girls are raised to be more nurturing than boys? Why?
  13. List 10 things you do to nurture yourself on a regular basis.
  14. Was there a time you wish you had been more nurturing to someone or a time you wish someone had been more nurturing to you?
  15. How to nurture yourself while taking care of someone else
  16. Where does nurturing end and indulging begin?
  17. What is your earliest memory of being nurtured?
  18. How can we nurture a culture of service and volunteering?
  19. Earth Day is April 22nd – what can you do to nurture the Earth?
  20. April is Autism Awareness month – write about nurturing a child with special needs, or how to nurture oneself while caring for an autistic child.  What can we do to nurture the siblings of special needs children?

If you haven’t already joined us on Facebook, please join the group for more ideas and inspiration on the topic of Nuturing.  Follow 1000Speak on Twitter to connect with other participants as well.

If you don’t have a blog, or know a non-blogger who wants to participate, please email 1000speak@gmail.com and we will arrange to publish your post here on the blog on April 20th.  The more voices talking about Nurturing the better!