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September 13, 2010 at 2:29 am #139914JaxKeymaster
This isn’t Jedi specific, but it is strongly tied to the Jedi path so I wanted to share it here. I know I struggle to maintain balance between home focus and external focus (like teaching here) so this is something I found interesting.
love local: an extra-special message for anyone trying to save the world
Hello, my name is Danielle and I’m a recovering Savior of the World. I used to think that my self-worth depended on my vegetarianism, my activism, futurism, my pro-this and anti-that. Had halo, would preach. Had ‘isms, would teach.
I still wrestle with issues of spheres of influence (like one might wrestle a greased boa constrictor while wearing in a bikini – with great difficulty), but my circle of devotion has gotten decidedly more focused, or at least more proportioned. My a-ha on this came like a bolt of lighting, at a swanky event, in which I cried an ugly cry that I’ll never forget.
I was at a weekend retreat in the Catsklills for thinkers thinking global-size thoughts. We fancied ourselves as change agents. And we were. The group of us was made up of economists, UN officials, socially responsible CEOs, media personalities, and bonafide spiritual leaders. Conversations were deeply meaningful and our love for our individual and shared causes cohered into a whole lotta serious inspiration. One of the afternoons was allotted for individual silent time and we were encouraged to reflect in solitude and then reconvene.
I spent some of my time in a dilapidated tree house in the woods. I journaled. I laid on the grass and cloud-watched. I thought about my “causes” and how much I poured into saving the world from all the things I thought it needed to be saved from. And my thoughts brought me home. Literally.
A few weeks before, my man and I got engaged. I was deep into thought about what commitment to a life together meant. The enormity of it, the sweetness of it, the terror of it….I thought of all that was required to be poured into it. And something in me cracked open that overcast day: I realized that most of my love was being poured outward, not homeward. It felt more noble to help people in far off countries and in future generations than it did to – simply – love the one I was with and love him well – the way he deserved to be loved.
We reconvened, sat in our fancy chairs in a circle, preparing to discuss our world-enhancing thoughts that had surfaced in our silent solitude. I wasn’t aware of it for a few moments, but I was crying.
(Now, before I go any further with this story, it’s essential that I tell you that I’m not a public crier. I don’t even really like groups. I’ve done too many group workshops and those moments when sister gets up and bawls her eyes out about family of origin stuff or mister breaks down about his mean mother… well, I appreciate it. I feel deep compassion. Sometimes I admire those group-shared collapses. But I don’t do it. My snot-gobbing heaving cries are sacred and best had in my bathtub or day bed. Except on this day, in front of the dignitaries and laureates. On this day, I was about to lose my shit like no other.)
The facilitator noticed me quietly whimpering. “Danielle, clearly you’re moved. Would you like to share?” People were looking concerned and then I started to feel concerned because I noticed that I was really crying, like, my body was crying for me and there was no stopping it. For some reason, I grabbed the mic and I let ‘er rip: “I, I, I just realized…” I was sobbing now, “I’ve been so fixated on the global, that, that, that… I’ve missed the love in my own home. I’ve, you know… I’ve missed the…the center of my circle.” People nodded. I don’t know if they related or thought I was pathetic. The silence was deafening.
And then I blew my nose and whimpered, “We can move on now.” It was gross. And so we did. We talked about the layers of service and devotion and where we chose to put our energies. It was awkward and then beautiful and then powerful.
Everyone was really uncomfortably nice to me after that. I felt like they’d all seen my underpants, and I wasn’t wearing any.
Am I happy that I slobbered all over my white shirt and blew my cover as a cool cucumber in front of those agents of change? Nope, not really. I’m just not that ego-less and evolved. I could have done without the high-exposure blubber fest. But it happened. And it put the world crises into perspective for me. And I went home. And for probably the first time, I was really home when I got there.September 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm #156020StreenParticipant
I’m honestly not sure what to say, but I felt I should reply. I think I used to be in Danielle’s shoes, though maybe not as extreme. I wanted to save the world too, until I realized I couldn’t even save myself.
I guess that’s all I have to say. Thanks for sharing, JaxSeptember 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm #156021Kol DrakeModerator
Maybe it’s me but, I am having a hard time imaging Streen in a bikini wrestling with a greased up boa constrictor. :ponderSeptember 25, 2010 at 4:27 am #156054inariParticipant
I can fully understand where Danielle is coming from (especially the ‘I don’t cry in front of anyone’ attitude). It is one of the reasons why I’ve pulled back from doing that much in the Jedi community any more. It is because no matter how hard I worked in the Jedi community, the bulk of my work was to the benefit of people I would never meet and who lived halfway around the planet from me. So I have pulled back to a smaller circle, a more local circle, working to make change in my area and not so far away.September 25, 2010 at 4:43 am #156055Kol DrakeModerator
Serious response time…
All tend to show a point and is one that I thought had been presented in some of the forum posts and/or Jedi lessons.
Wanting to ‘better’ the world and/or the people within it does NOT start ‘out there’ — it starts when we stop trying to ‘prove’ something to everyone else and work on doing the best at being the best we can be of and for ourself. Being and living and embodying the Jedi path then ripples outward through the ‘basic’ means of living a fulfilling life. The ‘good’ comes from extending the life and learning of the Jedi path to all we do and all we interact with… it ripples outward — similar to a rock tossed into calm waters — the ripple goes outward and expands and touchs so much more then the single point of impact.
So should the ‘point’ of being a Jedi. It is not about being a hero or savior or ‘better then everyone else’ or being ‘in the know and saving the rest of the world since they just do not know better’. We are not here to enforce behavior or tell folks how to live their lives… at least not on some soapbox. Instead we lead by example… being good at whateveer we put our mind to and acting in accordance of the ideals we believe the Jedi embody. Perhaps some will never notice; maybe some wiil notice and make light of your actions or words but, if one other person has a better day or has an ‘ah ha’ moment due to some concept or action or aid you have given then … all has been worth the doing, imo.
No one will be passing out gold stars for doing more then the minimum… since being a Jedi means never ‘settling’.
And if you live on pats on the back and head, you might feel ignored… because you should not be doing this for fame or glory or acknowledgment but because inside yourself you know this is ‘the right path’ for yourself; learning who you are and where you stand in the world you live in. Maybe you go on to do ‘great things’ but that should be secondary to Being ‘a great thing’.September 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm #156057Anonymous
Hmmm…. I am going to have to give a moderate disagreement with this post.
At one time – “saving the world” was something “Danielle” wanted to do. Her mind and spirit lead her out there to learn and grow outward towards the larger community of the planet – and the world on a global scale.
The she met “her man” and her calling changed.
Families, businesses, responsibility to others does that. All our responsibilities are for growth in a more selfish way – and I mean selfish in a non-judging way.
Usually it’s disappointment that creates personal change. Someone else, maybe an older, divorced, Danielle, may be middle aged with no dependents and suddenly her calling goes global. She then feels released from her old life, just as Daniel has recently felt released from her “global” world.
Our society needs both – and the more global calling is far far more rare. But the selfish day-to-day world is the one that gets the job done.
Perhaps it’s in moderation that is the best? As you reach your “family years” you have to go inward. Or, for someone like me, the real “struggle years” of growing a business.
Personally – if I don’t feel a nudge to act in a “world saving” way – I simply don’t. I can’t imagine wasting time to prove anything… I’m not sure how many people join or act in a cause to prove something. I think their interest and heart are truly there in whatever amount.
The student years are very global years. The more financially settled post young family individual also tend to begin thinking more globally.
Streen’s response, I thought, was quite profound and brief. Post-student years you have to care for yourself, save yourself, unless you live as a dependent your entire life either on family, friends, or the state (I don’t mean welfare but also student loans, the military, or other agency that supports and individual’s food and shelter).
***As an aside – think that most of the Jedi who began in the community are now firmly in the “young family” years – or at least “struggling career” and it is why there are so many fewer in number. Those who began following within the Jedi Community were in high school or college ten years ago. They are now in their later 20’s into their 30’s.
The tough years…
The demographics of one’s life choices are pretty basic and healthily human. The Jedi have always been a heavily “age” intensive group. And it shows…
It has turned-away interest because of the very heavy age demographic of those older, and now those younger, and it’s something I’d like to see change. But that is way beside the point.
Right now Danielle’s message is the right one for the big demographic age group of the Jedi Community.
Doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong – but I thought I should give the view from that different age demographic.September 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm #156058JaxKeymaster
I understand what you’re saying Asta, though I’ll add that it isn’t directly an age issue. I’ve had to face this issue years ago when still in my 20’s and continue to learn how to balance these two desires. But I think in the end I take the big picture view that when we make real change in our local circle that creates real change in the larger world. My circle of influence is predominantly online so while I focus on my ‘local’ circle it is throughout the world so I can act local and global at the same time. Though that reminds me that it is often easier to help people online because there isn’t all the history and potential fallout that comes from trying to help family. See, it continues to be a challenge for me.
In the end, I think it’s good to be reminded of the different ways we can impact the world in a way that helps us maintain balance in our life. Good discussionJanuary 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm #157525StryseParticipant
If you’re going to change [save] the world, you best get started immediately. Lots of world to cover.
-Sr. Enchanter Tobin
Dragon Age: OriginsJanuary 22, 2011 at 3:05 am #157584Magdelene NashiraParticipant
I think it relates to something I’ve come to realize is that in order to help others we have to first be strong enough in ourselves to have something left over to give. We can draw strength from the Force, but we also need to keep ourselves supplied or we run out and find ourselves exhausted with nothing to give. That, I believe, is what Streen is trying to point out. Him being in the hospital lately, I see why he would say that. Our family relationships are something we need to be strong. So what Danielle is realizing is the need in herself to have that emotional family need taken care of so that when she is out saving the world, she has that strength to draw from. It’s a question of finding balance. Having time for family and having time for other things. This balance is getting harder and harder to maintain in this world, and I’m glad to see Danielle’s example and know I’m not alone and that even people in high-powered meetings feel the same way. Good reason to pray for our leaders.
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