Living with Integrity – Can I make a Difference?

Living with Integrity – Can I make a difference?

   I am not one to surf the web, or look on social media for articles. However I have some amazing Facebook friends who post some very thought provoking articles that catch my attention. This morning I am in deep thought about two of such articles arriving on my computer at the same time.  One is a blog by a dear colleague of mine in Courage and Renewal work.  Dan Hines is a facilitator for the Center for Courage and Renewal, and also a current candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming B. C. provincial elections. You can read his entire offering at http://www.kolbetimes.com/finding-chutzpah/ .  His willingness to open himself to the political realm by speaking from his very “heart center”, about courage and finding a personal voice, provides such a model of authentic living.  Dan speaks of his experiences with Circles of Trust®, and how naming his questions and desires about his community and the world have led him to come forward in an active way.  Here is an excerpt from his writing:

I trust this strong motivation to travel ‘up the river’: to the place upstream where government legislation, regulatory power, and community decision-making happen. It is a guarded realm. It is the place from where much of the ‘down river’ issues continue to be created – for good and for bad. I wanted to show up there and try to affect what I can. I did not hear an inner voice. I wish I did. I do have access to what I call a low grade sensation of direction. It is a prompting to pray and play in this active way for these next years of my life.

A gift appeared along the way, in the form of a poem by the late Bill Stafford. I have only made use of this inspiring poem for one program to date. At that program, the poem spoke to me in the way that only an honest poem can. The words of the closing stanza are the ones that most resonated:

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
-an excerpt from William Stafford ‘ A Ritual to Read to Each Other’

The self work and courage it has offered to Dan inspire me to be attentive to my soul and what gift I am being called to express in my life.

The second offering on my facebook page today comes from a dear “kindred spirit” on my spiritual journey, and it troubles me greatly. It describes the visit of the current U.S. President to Melbourne, Australia from the perspective of a bystander who appears to go with and open mind and desire for understanding.  You can read that entire article at: https://www.facebook.com/joel.tooley/posts/10155350764828888

Joel Tooley speaks honestly about his emotional reaction to a rally that was completely manipulated to fit an intentional agenda. Rather than encourage people to think for themselves, or empower them to work together ( as his political campaign promised with slogans such as ” returning America to the people”), this rally appeared to incite anger, division and “worship” of an individual and an ideology. The author intervenes following his inner call to good citizenship and compassion.  His article is a plea for each person to be mindful and attentive to their own call and the way they live out their own Truth in their day to day lives.

I know that I am called to the work of Courage and Renewal.  When I sit as an equal member of a diverse circle of human beings, engaging in work of deepening relationships and integrity in life and work, it brings out my most authentic self and takes me to a place of connection to the real meaning and value of human life. Whether it is a circle of women, educators, church folks or community citizen focus groups, the practices and principles that hold that circle allow for “the stuff” of life at its best to happen!

I am therefore grateful today for the positive aspects of social media that have engaged people in thought and discussion about significant issues, and that have influenced action for reconciliation in a troubled world.   May I reflect on what this means for me personally. May I find courage to speak and live what I believe to be the truth, stand up where injustice and inequality are occurring, and seek connections where citizen groups can make a difference.

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