Tag Archives: relationships

it might just be a long day…

Normally I have no trouble with jet lag and different time zones. Not so on this trip.

I got to bed yesterday at 3am. I slept until 11am. After a full day today I turned out the lights at 10:30pm. And…I still haven’t been to sleep. I blame the beautiful Bangalore full moon.

I stayed in bed until 4:30, but finally gave up, got up, and have been working ever since. Hopefully, I might get a short nap before this afternoon when I make my presentation at J.P. Morgan Chase. (it’s always embarrassing when the speaker is the first one to nod off.)

After my first presentation I have a dinner meeting and longer presentation to Stop Hunger Now India’s board and key volunteers. And, unless I miss my guess, that will be followed by a more informal time of getting to know one another and building relationships.

My good friend Dola, the Director of Stop Hunger Now India, has promised me I will get back to my hotel in time to get my bags and check in at 2am for my 4:30 flight to Nicaragua. I just hope I can stay awake long enough to make it onto the plane.

measuring our civilization

 

"I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow men." The Chippewa

By this standard we don’t measure up very well, do we? All progress isn’t necessarily in the right direction.

We would do ourselves a big favor by simply slowing down, taking time to recognize our interrelatedness to both mother earth that sustains us and to those of our human family around us. We would live fuller and richer lives and those who follow after us might have a better world to call home as well.

“it’s my onion”

She had been so wicked that in all her life she had done only one good deed — given an onion to a beggar. So she went to hell. As she lay in torment she saw the onion, lowered down from heaven by an angel. She caught hold of it. He began to pull her up. The other damned saw what was happening and caught hold of it too. She was indignant and cried, “Let go — it’s my onion,” and as soon as she said, “My onion,” the stalk broke and she fell back into the flames.” — E. M. Forster in The Hill of Devi

When does the cost of an onion become too high?

Selfishness, selfcenteredness and egocentric behavior all seem more the norm rather than the exception in today’s society.  But that come with a heavy price as illustrated in the quote above.

Life is about love, about relationships, and about sharing. The more we give the more we live. Every opportunity to share is another opportunity to become more alive and to experience even deeper joy.

Me, my, and mine are not large words. Yet, all of them are far heavier than we imagine. We would do well to remember, that the stalk of an onion cannot bear the weight of even one of them.

even as we have been loved

Christ didn’t say, “Love humanity as thyself,” but “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and do you know why? Because your neighbor, by definition, is the person nearby, the man sitting next to you on the underground who smells, perhaps; the man next to you in the queue who maybe tries to barge ahead of you; in short, your neighbor is the person who threatens your own liberty. – Luciano De Crescenzo

Loving humanity is easy. The more we narrow our focus, however, the more difficult it becomes.

De Crescenzo  has captured the essence of why the words of Jesus are such a challenge to us. As a close friend of mine used to say, “I love humanity. It’s the damned people I cannot bear.”

And I have often said that it is far easier to feed a thousand hungry people than it is to feed just one. Even though it sounds counter-intuitive it’s true.

Feeding a thousand who are starving is about logistics. Feeding one person who is poor and  hungry is about a relationship.

Christ calls us to love one another even as He loves us. He calls us to be neighbors to those in need. He calls us to build relationships.

In the end, that’s how we will eliminate the scourge of hunger; not by feeding thousands and millions in grand relief schemes, but by loving one another, even as we have been loved.