After a pleasant drive to the airport with my dad where we talked about basketball IQ, Purpose in Life, and the importance of experience and empathy, he left me filled with inspiration and gratitude. Given so many gifts, like eyes, ears, legs, curiosity, an ability to learn and grow and communicate with others – so many wonderful gifts! – I spent some time thinking about how I may best cherish and cultivate these wonderful gifts of Life to serve the Greater Good. So too, I determined that cherishing these gifts bestowed upon us at birth is one of the best ways that we can worship and glorify the Creator. Just as we all love to see our little niece or nephew play with the new Tonka truck we gave him or her, I think God rejoices when we make full use of all the gifts bestowed upon us.
Namely, I think one of the greatest ways we can cherish this incredible gift of body and mind and awareness is to raise our consciousness. By raising our consciousness, we become more aware of the Truth and Order that underlies all Creation, and soon may come to realize that fear is an illusion. Even better, our eyes might open to the great joy that is to be found and experienced in each moment.
We also may grow in awareness of the ripples we create when we consume and produce, create and destroy. For example, when it comes to food – delicious and nutritious food – it is so easy for us to eat without an awareness of where our food comes from, how it was grown and harvested and transported to arrive right in front of us, or even what affects the food has on our physical bodies. Yet if we take the time to think and re-live the journey of our food, how much more greatly we will appreciate it much more and enjoy every bite. And, if our food is healthy for us, how much better we will feel when we are aware of all the benefits we are receiving from eating that hulking leaf of kale or plump plum.
Being mindful of the origins and creative process of our food is one of my favorite ways to grow in awareness of the Miracle of Life. The way this world works together for the Greater Good is so awesome! Also, mindfulness of our food can promote abundant joy and reverence, as we become aware of all the forces that flow together to provide us with the opportunity to eat. The unseen web of connectivity is truly awesome and worthy of a few seconds of our time to ponder.
Just think about all the processes an orange may go through to arrive in your hand. From the planting of the seeds, to the rain pouring down on it, to the radiant sun shining, to a humble harvester, to the delivery, and purchasing – then to think about all wonders that happened for you acquire the means to purchase the orange! – and now the orange is magically in front of you. Don’t even get me started on the awesome processes at play that will occur for you to use your hand to lift that precious orange to your mouth…and then digestion…and the cycle continues!
We are in ignorance of a whole lot, and to some degree this ignorance might be unavoidable, but at the least – we can become aware of some of what we can understand, and then revere the wonderful processes that we are aware of but can never truly explain. Knowing without knowing is a wonderful thing. How I have conscious control over this physical body is beyond me, but because I can use it, for that I experience reverence and gratitude.
“But I thought this was about Mayor Cory Booker…”
O right! So what I shared above are some of the thoughts I had in the car before I ventured inside to find my lovely mother watching Meet the Press. Ordinarily I ignore TV, but when I saw the big, bright, face of Cory Booker, I felt compelled to watch. I had seen him once before champion the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, so buoyantly optimistic and inspirational…how could I not watch him again?
So what can I say about this man who fills me with such hope for the future of Newark, our country, even humanity? If there ever was such a political lightworker, a term discovered courtesy of Steve Pavlina, I’d consider this man one. It’s easy to see a lot of people in politics as out there to promote their own self-interest and acquire fame and fortune and prestige, yet that does not seem to be the case with this man. He is also not afraid to speak what he considers to be the truth, as I watched him blatantly tell another man on Meet the Press that he was wrong, and went on to explain why. Ordinarily, I’d expect a politician to be a bit more tactful then bluntly state, “You’re wrong,” but he did it. At this point, I was basically yelling at the TV, “Yes! You’re a hero!!!” at which point my mom told me to be quiet so she could listen.
Alas, an inspirational character. Hallelujah for servants to the Greater Good striving to overcome the political filibuster and cut to the core of issues. When Lance Armstrong was mentioned and Mayor Booker was encouraged to give his two cents about steroids in sports, he didn’t play in to the game, and instead shifted the conversation to what he believed important, responding with something along the lines of: “Well I’ll tell you what the real issue here is, and it’s the example these men are setting for our children. Promoting this attitude of ‘anything to win’ is the last thing we want to be influencing our children with. The core issue here is that these men were not acting with integrity or promoting values that any of our children should aspire to, and that to me is wrong.”
Even if I did misquote him a bit, I hope the picture is clear. This guy speaks to the values behind actions. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” By my standards, this man is a great mind because he cut past the malarkey and focuses on the ideas that this society needs more of, primarily value-based action.
Now, I suppose since I spent much of this article just talking about this epic Mayor of Newark, perhaps that means I have a bit of a small mind, but please don’t hold that against me. And even if you do, I still love you 🙂
p.s. / Update: to tie the two apparently different stories together written about here, I mentioned the first bit pre-Booker because during my thinking on awareness and Truth and all that good stuff, I felt very much aligned with Higher Principles and could feel some heart-centered power. As I firmly believe, like attracts like, so after connecting with my conscience in the car and harmonizing, it is no surprise to me that Cory Booker was on TV after all. The good attracts the good 🙂