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BEACONS FOR THE UNFOLDMENT OF LOVE *
As I looked through papers on my desk after presenting a seminar for health care providers in Seattle, Washington, I found a handwritten note that I treasure. To this day, I have no idea who left it. The essence of that treasured message is:
We give thanks
Thanks a million times over
For those people, those rare,
Precious, marvelous people
Who have found a secret place
And pitched their tents there.
Those who dwell in attitudes
Of hope and confidence.
Who reach across rather than down,
Those people whose presence
Always leaves us
Feeling better about ourselves.
We give thanks for these
Beacons for the unfoldment of Love.
People everywhere are hungry for a message of hope, a message that allows us to embrace one another with understanding and acceptance instead of fear and mistrust. There is a great longing for the peace, the justice, and the dignity that are the birthright of all.
We are being invited to step into a new paradigm— to participate in a shift in consciousness. And we are called to go into the Silence where we are One with the Source. It is a global invitation!
Recently I had the opportunity to hear the British scholar, Karen Armstrong, speak to a large group of people from varied ethnic backgrounds about world faith traditions. Her comments touched me deeply. She quietly explained that the golden rule is found in every major religion of the world: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you–or don’t do unto others what you would not want done unto you.” In other words, she added “Discover what gives you pain: do not inflict it upon another.”
As I listened intently to Karen Armstrong’s invitation to express compassion and charity in everyday life, I jotted some personal notes:
—See the Divine encounters every day.
—Honor the stranger.
—A vision of the Divine is what we see when we acknowledge
the stranger at our gate.
On a stopover in Washington, D.C. enroute to Kenya and Uganda, where I was invited to participate in global health work some years ago, I was profoundly impacted by a message printed on a card that was resting on my pillow at an inn I checked into late one night.
That poignant message was:
In ancient times, there was a prayer for
“The Stranger within Our Gates.”
Because this hotel is a human institution
to serve people, and not solely a money-making
organization, we hope that you will be granted
peace and rest while you are under our roof.
May this room and hotel be your “second” home.
May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.
Even though we may not get to know you, we hope
that you will be as comfortable and happy
as if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you our way prosper. May
every call you make and every message you receive add
to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.
We are all travellers. From “birth ’til death” we travel between
eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for
society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who
know and love you best.
I carry that poignant message (found on my pillow) wherever I go. Since that day, my global health assignments have taken me to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Along the way, I continue to see how our lives are interconnected. All of us with dreams and hopes, and yes, seeking meaning and purpose regardless of circumstances or age or geography.
As an introduction to my seminars and workshops on health care and gerontology, I often read an ancient Sanskrit proverb called “Look to this Day.” I believe that it, too, is an invitation to become a Beacon for the unfoldment of Love:
“Look to this day,
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and truths of existence,
The joy of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday
A memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.”
The Sanskrit proverb is an invitation to break from our shells of fear and to birth a new way of being. We are called to open our hearts to unfoldment each new day. It is an imperative of our times.
Submitted to KOSMOS for consideration
*By Geri Marr Burdman, Ph.D.
President and Founder, GeroWise(r) International
10047 Main Street (Suite 306)
Bellevue, WA 98004. USA
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