This post has been a collaborative effort between my dear friend Andrea and I. Andrea, being the brave and selfless soul that she is, is currently traveling the world on a charitable mission. She and I have long known that we share a very similar set of ideals and perspectives so, when she approached me today with the idea of working on a piece together that could express what her soul has been screaming to say, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. We wrote this today to convey a sense of sorrow we share for the path that many we have met seem to be on in the hope of awakening a dormant energy in the good people of this world that may act as a catalyst to the creation of positive change.
As a traveler, exploring new countries, cities, and places is truly inspiring. Adversely, it has also saddened me deep into my core. As I sit here sipping my coffee, I look around and have realized that there are too many people on this planet that have never truly lived.
One day they are going to wake and realize they haven’t enjoyed life but, by then, it will be too late. They were too busy trying to “keep up with the Joneses”. They have spent a life time acquiring material goods to fill their homes instead of acquiring substance and experiences to fill their souls. It is my fear that they will leave this world with an emptiness as they have failed to do and see the things that actually make life worth living. To develop and fortify their eternal selves. To leave a spring of energy behind that future generations can draw from.
I understand the logistics and necessity of money but it’s the constant consuming that society breeds into us from birth that I can’t seem to wrap my brain around. Why do we not focus on teaching our children the more substantial, fulfilling, and worthwhile values of life? Such as meeting new people in strange places, however alien or odd they may seem, which enriches our love of human kind and adds to a sense of sameness that allows us to feel empathy, a deeper connection, and an ability to relate so that we need never feel alone. To be kind to one another including those we don’t understand or stand to gain anything from. To become acquainted with people unlike ourselves so that we can learn something from them and they can gain knowledge by knowing us. To not judge critically but rather embrace our differences and to search out commonalities we can use to unite.
Maybe it is me who is running away from society. Maybe I am searching for something that does not exsist. It’s a feeling I’m longing for that I’m unable to find.
But, as I sit here, I can’t seem to get far enough away from where I am.
Every adventurer travels with a multitude of items that vary due to the individual needs of each mission or destination. However, there is one thing they carry with them as they travel to every location. No matter where I go, there I am. And, so is the feeling that the people I have met could benefit from walking a slightly different path. This feeling and place I seek may not exsist yet but, they very well could.
It’s not that I feel my way is best or perfectly suited for every soul on this Earth but, with a greater commitment to performing kind and altruistic acts, a deepened empathy and connection to all of humankind, an amplified desire to teach and elevate every population, and with a renewed focus on the aspects of life that are soul enriching and knowledge expanding as opposed to the superficial and meaningless things people seem to lustfully desire, we may be able to create that peaceful place in every valley, village, and bustling metropolis the world over.
Perhaps the sense of fulfillment I have sought for so long as I have walked alongside so many empty spirits as they scratch for sustenance on the walls of malls and market places will finally overtake me as I successfully help to realign the human hearts I touch with a real sense of purpose. Maybe my philanthropic deeds and toiling to teach a man to seek a sense of duty or a position in which he can lift another man up instead of exhausting himself in an effort to obtain a title, a place of power, or a societal status that only holds value in his office building while making him stacks of paper money that could easily blow away or burn, will bring me that sense of ease.
I wish to teach people to value the things that don’t fade in and out of style. I want to show everyone the roads that I have found to happiness on a map that any and all can read and travel, despite their income bracket, race, or gender. Despite any affiliation of any kind. I wish to pass on the knowledge I have gained through great difficulty, freely and to all who seek a well of limitless joy that is built with the bricks we create by being of service to others and is filled with the satisfaction of knowing that we have contributed to the positive forces, giving as much as we have taken.
I know that not everyone can see or experience what I have seen. I’ve witnessed a broad scope of the human condition and life on many levels. I have seen the very poor, unable to feed themselves or seek necessary medical care. Children, homeless on the filthy streets of dangerous cities. Their stomachs aching with hunger and their hearts aching with the discomfort of abandonment and the weariness that comes with never having had the opportunity to feel at rest or at ease. They are in tears because of the pain with no one to console them. Alone. Without hope. Vulnerable, uneducated, unprotected, and cast aside to be abused and left to die.
I grew to maturity in the American middle class where I was freely given an education. I was afforded the food and shelter that these children consider to be luxuries. I was told I had the right to safety and health. Ignoring the ridiculousness in desiring statuses and stuff is impossible for me now.
No matter the country, race, or creed, people are people. Children are children. A smile is a smile and laughter and tears, worry and regret, hunger and cold, love and anger are endowed upon us all to let us know that, despite our differences, we are made of the same material.
We cringe as we watch others suffer because we are born with a sense of responsibility to be of assistance to one another. The borders of countries created imagined walls. With those walls came the division of race, religion, and allegiance to governments that have seperated us for thousands of years.
Men created those things.
Men make mistakes.
I’m not seeking a Utopia, for that seems an unattainable dream. I only dream of kind hearts and helping hands and minds that seek out similarities instead of the divisive differences. I’m in search of a more unified society that is comprised of a brilliant pallette of colorful faces and is driven by compassion, acceptance, and open mindedness. It is fueled with the warm and inexhaustible energy of love instead of this one that seems to be hell bent on stoking the furnace fires with hate while we fill our empty spaces with gold or plastic, closing our eyes and ears as people beg for help and shutting ourselves off only to wonder why we feel so alone.
If you would only try the way I found, grow accustomed to living with a little less, become used to desiring little but offering much, I am certain you would find that seeking fulfillment by helping and bringing joy to others is an everlasting source of contentment, and, the opportunities for entertainment and intellectual growth are never-ending if one becomes willing to look beyond what they already know.
My benevolent spirit was cultivated from the same materials that every one of us is made from and the world seems to be in need of an adjustment. If even a small portion of this planet’s population of over 7 billion beings would make even a small shift in a more selfless direction, millions of lives would be improved and millions of minds would be grown. All of those good things that we millions of changed souls do would become the seeds, planted in the newly fertile soils we have enriched and made suitable for growth with our new philanthropic mindsets, that will grow into the crops that feed the next generation of kind and hungry souls.