Spirtually, I've been on a journey. Haven't we all? My very traditional Christian upbringing morphed into a less traditional Christian upbringing for my children. That has been peppered with a fascination for world culture and religion and an ever deepening yoga practice. I've stopped driving myself crazy looking for the differences, and have begun to look at the common factors. Across all spiritual cultures is the concept of giving. A challenge to all is how many barriers we can put up to generosity. We can balance those check books, clucking at the lack of resources. We can scorekeep our relationships and friendships, remembering that we have given more of our time than the other person. We can hang onto tight lipped greetings to strangers instead of letting our joy shine out in a full grin. We can refuse to extend a word or a hand in forgiveness. We can guard our emotions by not reaching out to those whose lives are in upheaval. We can. And when we do, we might feel the brief satsifaction of having "protected" ourselves. What we lack is the feeling of fullness that can only come when we empty ourselves a bit.
Some days I get discouraged, fearing that this world is so hungry it will never feel full. I surely can't feed it alone, and you can't, and we can't even in our schools, our churches and our civic groups. But, collectively we all can. I've learned that if I throw a piece of bread to a seagull and he calls in every bird in a 10 mile radius, that there is joy in feeding those I can. The others will still eat when the next generous soul pulls up. If I give an hour to help a cause, there are others who will give of themselves to fill the other 23. If I smile at a passerby, and he smiles at the next person he meets, it becomes contageous generosity. It casts a huge ripple, and more people are filled.
So today, I'm removing the barriers, and opening my heart just a little wider. There is always one more smile, one more touch, one more dollar in each of our pockets. If there isn't, may we be the recipient of the grace of someone's generosity. Maybe together we can jump the barriers, build a detour, fill the hunger. In our oneness, we can share a wealth of generosity.