Posted by dalekuehne on November 25, 2010
Blessing our World Now by John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us (Doubleday: 2008)
In this brief essay, John O’Donahue describes what others have done to make Thanksgiving possible; and what we can do to make it possible for others.
Sometimes when we look out, the world seems so dark. War, violence, hunger, and misery seem to abound. This makes us anxious and helpless. What can I do in my private little corner of life that could have any effect on the march of the world events? The usual answer is: nothing. We then decide to do what we can for our own, and leave the great events to their domain. Thus, we opt out, and join the largest majority in the world: those who acquiesce. Believing ourselves to be helpless, we hand over all our power to forces and systems outside us that act in our names; they go on to put their beliefs into action; and ironically these actions are often sinister and destructive. We live in times when the call to full and critically aware citizenship could not be more urgent. We need to rediscover the careless courage, yet devastating simplicity, of the little boy who, in the middle of the numbed multitude, in naive Socratic fashion, blurts out, “But the emperor has no clothes.” When spoken, the word of truth can bring down citadels of falsity.
Real presence is the ideal of all true. When we yield to helplessness, we strengthen the hand of those who would destroy. When we choose indifference, we betray our world. Yet the world is not decided by action alone. It is decided more by consciousness and spirit, they are the secret sources of all action and behavior. The spirit of a time is incredibly subtle, yet hugely powerful force. And it is comprised of the mentality and spirit of all individuals together. Therefore, the way you look at things is not simply a private matter. Your outlook actually and concretely affects what goes on. When you give into helplessness, you collude with despair and add to it. When you take back your power and choose to see the possibilities for healing and transformation, your creativity awakens and flows to become an active force of renewal and encouragement in the world. In this way, even your own hidden life, you can become a powerful agent of transformation in a broken, darkened world. There is a huge force field that opens when intention focuses and directs itself toward transformation.