It is an ever-present problem for every one of us of how to use what is available at this moment to do something we feel is worth the effort. Almost every physical movement of our bodies is directed by some aspect of doing something we want to be done and much of it is under some level of our intentional control, but most are unnoticed acts almost unconscious movements to relieve some minor annoyance. Perhaps an itch, or a general movement to ease a pressure point, or perhaps a blink to wet the eyes, or a shift of the eyes to something in our environment that interests them, not me, or my mind now watching these letters, words, and sentences appear on the screen while my fingers move to my thoughts. All of that is under my general control, and even specific control, if I choose to control it, but most of it is closer to automatic. Boring.
What really matters more to me are the higher callings I feel to help the world be a better place. But for whom? Is it for myself? Well, yes, to some degree because I need to take care of my health and general wellbeing. But I am also concerned for my wife and social associates, and country, and the world, and not only now but for the future. As a conscious being I won’t be around for much longer so my worldview is shifting away from my personal needs and toward these other beings. What can I do to help them flourish?
Do I have more responsibility for my fellow human being who is sitting beside a stopsign with a sign asking for money, or the birds returning in spring and perhaps needing a little seed to help them establish themselves for the coming summer? Both of these can use a handout. Or do I pay the arborists who are just now finishing taking out the tree that was menacing my house, my neighbor’s house and possibly our lives? I counted the tree rings yesterday at 235 years. Wow, that Ponderosa tree was around when the US was just getting started. And what about the million-year-old rocks that I talk to at the UU labyrinth every Sunday; do I have the slightest responsibility to them? They are not alive and have no sensibility of my actions. Or is that just a mental excursion so I can ponder over some obscure thoughts that some people might call meditations.
Did my getting to the UU a little early and looking around for some little thing that needed doing and doing it count for anything? I found a broom and swept the gravel away from the sidewalks, that gravel that was thrown down the previous weeks to prevent people from slipping on the ice that was on those sidewalks during the winter. That gravel wasn’t bothering anyone, but the walk to the entrance was a little nicer when it wasn’t there; although if I hadn’t swept it away it is unlikely that anyone would have noticed. That kind of activity is just part of chop wood, carry water, shovel snow, as a way to help the community. It is almost unnoticed and I seek no reward but …
I know that it is something that helps, so I do it.