Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

"An injury to one is an injury to all." -- Industrial Workers of the World

 "Love your neighbor as yourself.”-- Jesus

 "True charity occurs only when there are no notions of giving, giver, or gift." -- Buddha


We all know that there are some folks out there who picked up the phone today and called a few of their friends and were able to send tens of thousands of dollars or more into the coffers of some right wing candidate or PAC.   A few others walked into a congressional office and had conversations today that protected or increased their corporate welfare subsidies to the tune of millions.  

Meanwhile, countless other Americans are going hungry or homeless.

The refusal of the House Republican leadership to even allow another vote to extend unemployment benefits to 2 million Americans whose benefits expired in December has caught the attention of many of us. Being caring people and good progressives, many of us have dutifully let our voices be heard through petitions and calls to Congress.  Although this is certainly a good thing, there is more we can do.

Recently, that got clearer to me.   I found out that one of my friends Maure, a passionate activist and 

fellow meditator,  and her husband Tom are 2 of the two million who are directly effected by the current unwillingness of the Tea Party controlled Republicans in Congress to extend unemployment benefits. In their early 60's, they are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  They had been relying on Tom's extended unemployment benefits to make ends meet.

With failing health, with few job prospects at their age, Maure and Tom are the victims of a failed system, a system that rewards a few at the top with unimaginable wealth --at the expense of the rest of us.  Now, at risk of eviction, they have turned to others for help.

Well, I can't pick up the phone and have somebody write out a check for $10, 000.  Being part of the 99%, I don't know anybody who has that sort of loot.  

This is what I can do, though.  I plunked down $20 (20% of my life savings) and I'm pestering all my friends and relations with this blog post, emails, etc. to help keep a roof over Maure and Tom's head.  

I hope you can join me.  Please click the photo above and do what you can.  Thanks.

Love your neighbor as yourself?  I guess this is where the rubber meets the road.

In the Spirit of Love,
Brother Lefty

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My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Peace and Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago:

"We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*