Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

February 7, 2011

A Starfish Situation

This morning I am getting ready to make lunch and thinking about freedom.  Specifically, the freedom of having enough.

Anyone who has ever gone through a check out line only to realize they don’t have the cash to pay for their items, or who has been surprised by the rejection of a card that “should have enough room on it,” or who has ever bounced a check, knows that feeling.  That feeling of complete and utter humiliation, because they don’t have enough.

I have done it. *Cringe*

Imagine if instead of a teenager at the grocery store, the one you have to face with not enough is your child.  Imagine the feeling when “the bill” is your precious child’s hunger.  How can this reality co-exist with ours?

When I am hungry, I make myself a meal. When I am thirsty, I run cold, fresh water from the tap. When I am dirty, I wash, then change into fresh clean clothes. When I am cold, I turn up the heat. When I am sick, I go to the doctor, I take my medicine. When something is wrong, I vote, inform others, and protest to change it.  I make it right as best I can. I have a primary, secondary, college, and graduate education.

We live in a country with INFRASTRUCTURE!

1.7 Billion people on this beautiful planet cannot say the same.  They do not have water, food, shelter, clothing, access to medical treatment, education, sanitation.  That is more people than the entire populations of China and the US combined!

We have the resources to attend to our own needs.  We have access to the resources we need to attend to the needs of our family.  (And to their wants.  And to their whims.) This is freedom.

And with great freedom, comes great responsibility!

So, knowing that we are dealing with a starfish situation here, we can choose to turn toward the hurt instead of away.  Let’s choose not to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem.  Let’s choose to make a tangible difference to one community living in poverty.  We can help make the infrastructure needed to have clean water, food, income, health, and education.  $12 a month, each. (Just 100 of us)

I spend $12 without thinking.  At least once a week, I do! (Admit it, you do too!) Instead, we can think about it and treasure spending this $12.  We can help a stranger have enough that she doesn’t have to face her child’s hunger with empty hands anymore.

We cannot help everyone living in poverty, but together we can help these people.  And to these people our help will make all the difference.  My favorite freedom is having enough.  Lets spread that freedom to Tuk’a, Ethiopia.

We only need 99 People for Tuk’a.  2 down, 97 to go!

Image by Bill Longshaw Portfolio available at


February 3, 2011

Rumi Named My Blog

Rumi’s Ruby

“It has no resistance to sunlight.”

“The ruby and the sunrise are one.”

“Be courageous and discipline yourself.”

“Keep digging your well.”

“Submit to a daily practice.”

“Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there.”

When we allow ourselves to be pierced by something true and authentic, it can warm the coldest parts of ourselves.  So too are we one with everything that we split into little categories and isolations.  The best discipline there is, is in service of our true mission in life. Instead of persisting in the attempt to quench our thirst through others or through things, if we relentlessly “dig” our own “well”, we will tap into endless waters.  The ideas and actions we give energy to on a daily basis, show our true values.  That which we give the most time to, should be that which we value most.  Devotion is its own reward.

So, just in time for Valentine’s Day, a little love poem to ourselves…

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved wake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”
He says, “There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight.”
The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself. 

Completely become hearing and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.
Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there. (-Rumi)


And that is how this blog got its name 🙂

February 3, 2011

Begin With the End in Mind

My grandmother is 89.  She is a vibrant 89 and has been fending off cancer for the past year.  We talk about dying quite a bit, about unfinished business, about love.  And I think about being in her place someday.

Her greatest joy in life, has been the time she spent gardening.  I know, because I ask her pesky questions all the time to see if she is satisfied with the life she has lived.  We don’t know how much longer she will be with us so we try to make every bit count.  She gives me tips like, “don’t save the good china for special occasions” and “don’t become overly reliant on what will be in the future, enjoy life now.”  And then we both usually end up in tears, laughing, or both.  My life has been blessed by the opportunity to get to know her really well, these last few years.

When I think of being at the end of my life, things get really clear.  For as long as I can remember I have felt personally affected by the struggle of the hungry and the very poor.  I did a project through the UNHCR as a teenager that solidified my passion for those struggling in the third world.   It was 16 years ago.  It still brings me joy!  And while the last 16 years have been about getting an education, starting a family, and (ugh) “finding myself” it has been too long since something felt as right as that did.   Is there a higher calling than To Do what you are here To Do? (No.)

My To Do is to help those living in the poorest places in the world get out of poverty.  To Do my part to bring awareness, love, and resources to people who need our help.   That is the Why of this fledgling blog.

An organization called Global Hope Network International facilitates village adoptions in very poor places worldwide.  They help adopted villages become self sustaining by partnering with the village to create infrastructure.  Water. Food. Income. Education. Health.  After the adoption period (3-6 years) the village can stand on its own.  They won’t be living in poverty anymore!  They will have what they need to be sustainable.  They will not just “eat for a day” but for the rest of their lives!

We can’t end all suffering.  But if we can prevent a little bit of it, isn’t that worth the small cost to us!?  So with the End in mind, I am setting out to help a little village in Ethiopia called Tuk’a.  We can call it 99 People for Tuk’a.  Lets find 99 People to adopt Tuk’a!

Because Caring is my Gardening!  What’s Yours?