(This poet’s web book on homelessness, released four years ago on our own WordPress platform, has been brilliantly reviewed by both Rebelle Society and Namaste Publications, and is presently creating compassion in 36 world nations.
Written during her own period of homelessness, its chapters are being republished here, one each day for 100 days.)
Planting the Dream
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”– Gandhi
“God gave us the gift of life,” wrote Voltaire. “It is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
As we have seen, change really is what all the aberrant modern behaviors described in the first chapters of this series claim to be and aren’t — inevitable and unavoidable.
To live well requires both the maintenance of existing sources of emotional, physical and spiritual abundance ~ and the ongoing development of new ones, based upon levels of success demonstrated by techniques already in place.
Or to put it, as David Herbert Lawrence did, (a bit more succinctly than yours foolie ever achieves, try as she mightily might):
“Life is a traveling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.”
That being true then it follows, in the words of Eugene Ware:
“All glory comes from daring to begin.”
“Wise men make more opportunities than they find.”
“Strivers achieve what dreamers believe.” – Usher Raymond
Women sometimes achieve a softness and simplicity in their epigrammatic summations of life.
Anne Campbell, for instance, pretty much summed up this page (and the page or two before it as well) in five powerful little words:
“You can plant a dream…”
Yet it must also be acknowledged that the more yang-oriented presentations of our male thinkers sometimes really come down to the brass tacks of a situation: Tom Stoppard synopsized the same issue ~ though perhaps slightly less sweetly ~ with a fine focus on moment-to-moment manifestation of the goal:
“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne
Remember, to meditate on a goal is also to serve it.
William James knew it…
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”
For yourself, and for everyone else as well.
Now we know it too.
“We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” – Henry David Thoreau
And that ~ according to every commentator of reputation yours foolie can find (and she’s found quite a few, hasn’t she?) ~ goes for each and every little, insignificant, powerless, pathetic, what-can-I-do-after-all-nothing-of-value one of us…
“The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead, even more than teamwork.” – Igor Sikorsky
This is true because…
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch
… and because:
“One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests.” – Peter Marshall
So it is that Irving Babbitt is able to sum up:
“Behind all imperialism is ultimately the imperialistic individual, just as behind all peace is ultimately the peaceful individual.”
“I challenge you to be doers and let us make the greatest place in the world even better.”