Getting out of bed isn't easy when you're nice and comfortable and nobody expects you to be anywhere at any particular time, as might be the case for a number of us during the stay-at-home lockdown. It being the cold and dark time of year, all good intentions of a healthy and energetic start to the day can quickly fade into the background, especially if one is also nursing some sort of injury whether it be physical or emotional.
For me, somehow getting out into nature is a good start to the day, it gives me the opportunity to tune in to the bigger picture, that loving presence which is so easily overshadowed by the survival instinct of wanting to make an impact, wanting to get things done. Worry about the future, of not being heard, not being seen, not leaving something valuable behind on this earth.
And I think of the many people who are not being heard, nor seen nor taken seriously. Those who toil for the rest of us in overcrowded factories, exploited in rice-fields or living in overcrowded, unhygienic circumstances. What change have I made to their lives, how have I helped set them free? I don't know how they ended up in those situations, I cannot choose for them. But I do know that there is a permeating, loving presence available to everyone of us.
A loving presence that can give us courage, like Harriet Tubman who courageously escaped slavery and then risked her own life again and again to smuggle out hundreds of other slaves. Or Anthony Ray Hinton who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, yet opened himself up to loving and caring for his inmates and forgiving those who had deliberately put him away. He tapped into that loving presence within himself and around him in spite of suffering cruelty by prison-guards and judges.
We may not live in extreme circumstances, and yet we all get a new chance every day to tune into that loving presence of care and goodness which exists deep within ourselves and others. The happiness we get from living in that world of love and care for ourselves and others, from being altruistic and serving each other, not at the expense of ourselves but in harmony with our talents and energies. Tapping in to our character strengths and using them for the betterment of mankind in whatever situation we're in right now.
And so I look at nature, how, the tree that freely gives of itself to the benefit of the earth and its inhabitants. Bursting with colour and freshness in spring, giving us oxygen, store carbon, and providing us material for tools and shelter. There is no end to the importance of the trees. Yet, they simply stand there and do their thing, come rain, hail or storm, they keep giving and giving, transforming whatever nutrition they can take out of the soil, whatever light and water they can absorb. And so I pray that all of us will serve each other, will serve mankind with the same selfless energy and beauty as the trees. That I will serve mankind, my neighbours and family with that same altruism and care.