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Each one helps the other...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Each one helps the other, saying to one another, "Take courage."
Isaiah 41:6

At work last night, I read a book about Mother Teresa, and by the end of the evening I was ready to sell everything, go to India, and start washing clothes by hand while taking care of lepers and dying children. Not only that, it was sounding good to me, like something I wanted to do just as much as, and maybe even more than, I want to hang out at the beach and drink margaritas.

As a matter of fact, I had a really great post written about it, but I got so sleepy I went to bed and forgot to save it and when I got up this morning, I discovered that my computer had updated herself and restarted herself all by herself, and that really good post is now floating in cyberspace someplace else.

What I was thinking was that it would really feel good to be doing something that basic and that compassionate and that desperately needed. Initially I wondered if I could extend myself in that way to myself.. putting in long hours of hard work pulling my own pathetic self up off the sidewalk, washing my own dirty laundry, bathing my own imperfect body, and basically committing to taking much better care of me. And doing it in that same compassionate caring way that Mother Teresa did it.

But then I realized that the reason the Mother Teresa work is so rewarding is that it is externalized and it's real. You have a real person in front of you, someone who is destitute and helpless and suffering. Plus you have a rather formidable albeit compassionate group of nuns standing behind you and telling you what to do.

Interestingly, I am not a real person to me. I live inside of me. I can't really see me. Even when I look in the mirror, I'm only seeing the mirror image of me, and truth be told, I haven't really looked at myself at all for a very long time. I glance quickly at that aging face in the mirror, focus on just the hair - is it too messed up? take a quick look at the teeth - do they look clean? And that's about it. And so how can I actually get in there and do compassionate healing work with myself? It might be a lot like trying to paint the outside of my house, and fix the roof, and mow the lawn, all without going out the door.

So, I was mulling this over when I came across this nifty little website. Kiva. I was so impressed with their concept that I put an ad over in the left side bar, right above "go shopping". The concept is to help entrepreneurs in third world countries by lending them money for their businesses and their business ideas. What's really neat about it is that you can lend as little as $25, you pick who you lend it to, and they do pay the money back.

Right now I don't even have $25, so I thought how cool it would be to make a commitment to make a loan of the first $25 that Lady Luck sends me, and to continue to make loans by investing 10% of my winnings. What's even more cool about this is that I will be able to, for a mere $25, make the transition from "flat broke" and "pathetic" and "pretty much a financial disaster" to "lender" and "venture capitalist" and "philanthropist".

Not only that, but it will feel good to my heart, and might even bring me more luck and lots of good karma. Plus, I can put off and maybe even give up the idea of selling everything, and going to India.


Anonymous said...

I am really feeling good about the Kiva idea. And I like the nifty new calendar too! I can't wait for the money to start rolling in when we begin our next project. I looked it up, and we are starting on the New Moon!!! How cool is that? Perfect timing! That new link to that new website (the end) is a lot of fun too!

Anonymous said...

shirley want to get together this week adn do a new moon medicine wheel in my empty house?

Anonymous said...

also, the kiva idea is great. i think it would be excellent karma. and it think it is a lot easier to feel deserving of success if you know you have had a hand in promoting someone else's success.

Anonymous said...

it is a wonderful thing when you have helped some one or especially a group of people in a community
and then especailly when they show you the apreciation by inviting you to a ceremony done by the family in their community...
what makes it hard is when all that you give is not apreciated or only disrespected.

"But then I realized that the reason the Mother Teresa work is so rewarding is that it is externalized and it's real.'

that is why when I went through a great amount of loss from the death of loved one, the best feeling was giving to give to others to get my mind off of my own selfish grief..I soon realized that one could say that the highest form of selfishness was altruism!

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