the presence of protection

If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.
-Nichiren

This quote came to me yesterday from my sharingbuddhism.com subscription (it is free and each day you get a new quote to help nudge you awake and speed your way toward enlightenment). Yesterday, though, I wrote about life feasting upon life. It is the way of this existence and humans are predators, too. Even vegetarians eat life. Just because it is a plant does not mean it does not have a soul or is not connected to Spirit, Source, God, the Universal Consciousness, the One, and anything else you might call the larger power we are all a part of. We assume in our arrogance that plants are somehow exempt from spirituality because they are not animals.

By now you are probably asking, “What is with her? What does this have to do with the quote? Is she going to digress herself into the last century?” I do that, I admit. Digress a lot. But, too bad; this is my blog. (<==== attitude problem)

Because we eat and require other life forms in order to survive, we have a responsibility towards them. In fulfilling that responsibility, we fulfill the responsibility to take care of ourselves. The more we take care of and protect other life (including humans), the more we protect ourselves. We are not separate and apart from the impact our presence has on other life forms. What we do to them, we do to ourselves.

We have nearly decapitated ourselves with the oil spill in the Gulf. And we are all responsible. We are also responsible for coming up with a solution and a better way of handling our energy needs. The Hudson River in New York was once declared dead. But a couple of people got together, cleaned it up, quit destroying it, and it healed.

We can do that for humans, too.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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8 Responses to “the presence of protection”

  1. jeffstroud Says:

    Barbara,

    Before the day gets away from me, and I eat life so I can sustain some sociality as well as discover who I really am in the midst of everyday extraordinary life. I will respond to your blog.
    Digress is fine as along as you know you are doing it and make sense of where you may be going. LOL

    I agree with you, all the planet has an energy source/life/spirit and our responsibility toward it is one of stewardship, one of interdepend relationship. Tress offer cleansing air, the plants offer life sustaining sustenance to us and the planet by its digestion and decay. Water offers us refreshment, feeds our bodies with moisture, as the rain and streams do to the rivers and oceans. All interconnected, and supported by each other. Stating we are All One.
    So light the light and walk in it as an example of care, of comfort and sustainablity .

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Well, you said it a bit more eloquently than I did, Jeff! I do not feel the least bit guilty or worried about consuming life. Some day, I will be worm food myself. If we had to water our own crops with water that we had used, we would think twice before we dumped anything in it. We are so far removed from the growing process of our own food, I think we forget just how much impact we have.

  2. holessence Says:

    “We are not separate and apart from the impact our presence has on other life forms. What we do to them, we do to ourselves.”

    Accountability. Responsibility. Stewardship.

    Thank you for another great post, Barbara.

  3. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    Great job!!!
    I really resonate with your last words about humans…

    I needed that one today.

    Thanks
    Kim

  4. sandiwhite Says:

    Hooray for Barbara! You know I love this post. Every time I plant a seed or seedling that I know I am going to eventually consume, I do my level best to make sure that little life has the best life I can provide. Just seems fair. If I’m going to bring that life into the world for my gratification, let it be a good one. I think this is where people have gotten the notion of a “green thumb”, it is only caring and it shows.

  5. Barbara Kass Says:

    Thanks, Sandi! I need all the hoorays I can get and will accept them gleefully. I know you plant mindfully, and tend to your plants with love. Yesterday, I moved Jonathan’s Christmas cactus that was withering away in the kitchen upstairs to “my” room to live next to my Christmas cactus who is sprouting happily (it is at least 10 years old). I felt that it was lonely. I have learned a lot from just hearing you talk about plants about how to treat them.

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