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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I will probably never know the woes and sufferings of the destitute

(c) Ariana Salvo. May not be used without permission
I have been realizing this week that no matter how little I have in the way of financial resources, I will never, unless some major catastrophe hits my entire network of friends and family scattered across the globe, experience the physical hardship of poverty. When I say this I mean that kind of poverty that the majority of the global population lives with every single day. The kind that results in homelessness and starvation.

The reason that I will likely never experience poverty has nothing to do with me. It has to do with where I happen, by chance, to have been born, and with my incredible family and friends who would never allow me to be homeless or go hungry. Which has had me considering the idea that poverty may not be a symptom of a lack of financial resources, but rather an indication that our global family may actually be experiencing a lack of love. Because if we really, truly loved one-another the way my friends and family love me, we would simply not allow them to be homeless and hungry. That's what I'm thinking.

I have a number of new mantras. One is THE UNIVERSE IS ABUNDANT. I repeat this to myself often throughout my day and week, especially when I am operating on a shoestring and am hungry or tired or just wishing that one of the vehicles that speeds by me as I walk home at the end of the day would pull over and offer me a ride. Repeating this does not immediately change my circumstances, but it does make me reflect on all the good in my life, and focusing on what is truly awesome somehow makes the awesome expand. I guess it is the idea that whatever you focus your attention on will grow, so if you focus on abundance, you will attract more and more abundance in your life.

I find that not only do I attract abundance when I think this way....I also notice myself doing things for other people to help add to their share of abundance: holding doors open for elderly people, giving someone a compliment, smiling at strangers, making my friends laugh, baking muffins and sharing them with my flatmate, giving someone who needs one a hug or saying a healing prayer for someone in need. Abundance need not be big things. Often it is small details or gestures or words that completely reorient a day.

This evening a friend treated me to supper. I had not eaten since breakfast and was very hungry. This same friend then accompanied me while I walked a dog that I am caring for, and then walked home with me, inviting me in when we reached her home for a cup of tea and a break before I continued on my walk home. Having her company all afternoon added so much joy to my day. This afternoon another friend gave me a ride back downtown so I did not have to walk, saving me some valuable energy. My mother sends me notes on Facebook and Gmail expressing her love and sharing her news, which not only makes me feel valued, but also makes her feel a little bit closer despite the vast geographic distance that is now between us.

Abundance is a choice -- one that is easily overlooked when we get caught up in the hectic pace and details of life. Love is also a choice. One that I find tends to blossom out of a life of abundance. Wherever you are, and whatever your circumstances, try taking the time today to recognize all of the abundance in your life and to share some of it with those around you. What do you notice?

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