Without looking it up on-line, tell me right now as you are reading this: What phase is the moon in?
The majority of people in the world today could not answer that.
There was a time when the moon held as much of our attention as television and computers do today. There was a time when the idea that a small seed could grow into a giant tree was enough to hold our awe and gratitude.
Most of us are so disconnected from the natural world that we can no longer even hear or see it as part of our daily experience.
I am sitting at the computer to write this, but my eyes are not on the computer screen. I will gladly accept the typos that are sure to occur because I am staring out the huge window above my desk and watching the birds at the birdbath. Right now, 5 different types of birds are perched around the rim while one wild and crazy little bird is splashing around. They are not only beautiful, but they have very distinct personalities that I can see as I slow down enough to really see them as individuals. Give me the choice of watching these birds or watching a television screen filled with humans I don’t know, doing things I rarely believe in, and it is no contest.
It is no wonder that a species (humans) that has forgotten about the moon and this earth home would also forget that it is part of a big family of living beings. If we remembered that we are part of the big animal family, we would be able to look in the eyes of any bird, wild or domestic, and see the living, feeling individual inside. We humans are the same species that cannot even look in the eyes of another primate and see the incredible similarities and how closely we are related.
Our friend, and dedicated activist, Tamara came over for dinner last night before we did outreach/tabling together at a Morrissey concert in Santa Fe. On her way here she witnessed one of our neighbors killing a chicken by swinging her in the air by her neck. If this man was doing this to an eagle or someone’s “pet bird”, we could call the authorities to press cruelty charges. But, the fact that this bird is not considered “special” and is not some human’s companion, means her life is nothing according to the law. The fact that she is legally this person’s “property” makes it even more difficult to call for justice.
While we were tabling, Tamara and JC were passing out Compassionate Choices booklets to the people arriving at the concert. As Tamara asked one woman, “Would you like to learn about making compassionate choices?”, the woman answered, “No, I don’t want to make compassionate choices.” Tamara looked a little stunned. After all, who wouldn’t want to make compassionate choices if they knew the possibilities?
This is the time of year when it is glaringly obvious that even people who call themselves “progressive”, “peace-loving” and “non-violent” will ignore their values and sit down to eat a bird or some other innocent being killed in the prime of his or her life because of “tradition”. These “traditions” were created by someone in the past. Someone who felt they had the strength and vision to decide what they would support year after year and they had no problem asking others to join them in this tradition.
(Say turkey to most people and they will picture a piece of meat…..they might even think it tastes like heaven…..)
(Here are a few of the beautiful caring individuals we are really talking about when we say “turkey”. )
I invite all of you to re-create the holidays as a time to celebrate LIFE. You can be the someone who has the strength and vision to create new traditions of caring and connection with all humans, all species and the earth herself. You can step out of your comfort zone and host a new holiday tradition that invites everyone to a new possibility. Everyone and everything will be better off for this new tradition based in love.
(mmm, vegan spread to celebrate this time of gratitude)
If you want to begin spreading the word about moving “out with the old” and “in with the new compassionate tradition”, you can go to this link http://www.plantpeacedaily.org/files/Peace_on_Earth.pdf and pass around this holiday thought to everyone you know.
What am I thankful for? YOU and all the other open minded open hearted people willing to co-create a caring society!
Enjoy your compassionate celebration this week! After your meal, step out the front door with your fellow primates and look at the moon together!