At the risk of losing friends, this came out of me this morning. I had no idea what was going to come out. It was this. Know that it's not about you. It's about … well, read it.
It’s My Birthday! Donate.
My friends have celebrated a lot of birthdays lately and, on Facebook, that suddenly means everyone is asking you to donate to their favorite charity.
The charities are all worthy of donation ... and yet ... I’m wondering if we haven’t gone too far with asking for money. This is not about our friends. This is not judging our friends. Let me make that clear.
It’s about being conditioned to believe that, with all the money each of us pays into our government(s), little of that money goes to support the things that we believe are worth supporting.
We’re living with the barest, basic necessities and getting further and further in debt just trying to stay afloat. It’s like a family that just about pays the bills each month, getting those phone calls that ask you to donate just $10 to a cause after you’ve told them you have no money to donate. Well, it’s just $10 ... listen, if I had $10, I’d be fixing the sink right now. What about that don’t you get, telemarketer??
We are a global family in debt. Spending on things that may keep the government going but doing a lousy job keeping the country or the people going.
How do we define a financial ‘luxury’ in this dichotomy of culture we live in? No matter who your bank account says you are, these luxuries seem to be disease, recovery, disaster relief, saving the forests and animals, the Arts, women, food, water and other natural resources, kids, seniors, education ... wait a minute. Read that list again. Aren’t these things part of the necessities of life; the things we’ve worked so hard for?
Shouldn’t these things be included in what we contribute to our governments’ budgets with spending planned to meet the needs of all of them? I’m not asking the government to hold a lemonade sale or a car wash. I’m asking the government to explore its own budget to understand where the money that citizens pay into the government goes. Isn’t that what a personal financial planner would do for you?
Oh, maybe it’s your salaries? There’s a starting point. If you’re making more than me, and, as a citizen, I’m being asked to donate to the necessities of life in addition to what I pay in taxes, maybe that’s the problem? Need time to think about that, do you? Go right ahead. I’ll wait.
Budgets are scary and, in the end, they’re easy:
• Gather your financial records
• Record sources of income
• Report on all expenses
• Notice where the gaps are
• Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable
• Adjust expenses
• Keep reviewing your budget
Here’s the place to look: “Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable.” We’ve lost sight of our values in preparing our global budgets. If a government believes everyone – and I mean everyone – should have enough to eat, then feeding that nation’s population needs to be in the budget. And not just Rice Krispy treats; real food. Maybe you cut back on military parades and giant, fucking walls because people are starving. That’s like a family saying to their kids, you can go hungry another week or two because Mommy and I really want that jet ski. Right.
If the planet needs renewable resources, help existing businesses transition rather than promise them that they’ll see a comeback; like coal. We’re all eager to go down into the mines again, right, and start pumping that dirty black shit into the atmosphere? Raise your hand if you can hardly wait.
Governments can do more to help new businesses that want to offer renewable resources start up. It’s like a family saying they’re going to keep buying the popular, sugared cereal with the weed-killing chemicals and metal fragments and a bunny that makes eye contact (no joke. It’s a marketing technique.) with your kids because it’s cheaper and down the first aisle they come to at the food store. Walk a little farther. See the future in your children.
Now, all this makes sense when you care about the future; when you care about the next generation or future generations. But we live in a hand-to-mouth world because our governments are greedy, fearful and without a roadmap of the values of the country in which they govern.
Not their fault. Not blaming. We are living in the age of consequence, created by those who did not understand. We can no longer afford those ‘who do not understand’. A variable expense. Our future is at stake.
So, getting back to birthdays, Facebook and donations. When I can I will donate to your birthday because we’re not living in the age of understanding yet and all these causes are worthy. When I don’t donate, please know that if I had $10, I’d be fixing the sink right now.
Peace, love, and light to you for reading this far, and especially to those who didn’t.
- Linda Lombardo, 8.24.18
PS - When I posted this on Facebook, guess what came up?!! Add a Donate Button. Add a donate button to your post to raise money for a nonprofit, and we'll take care of the donation processing with no fees. Select Nonprofit. OMG.
When I suggested “Giving the Devil Back the Darkness” as the title of a coaching client’s book, as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to stuff them back in.
I was incredibly curious about the idea of giving the devil back the darkness! I could feel tears welling up in my eyes as if those 6 words were like an arrow to my heart. I half hoped the title wouldn’t resonate with my client and, eventually, when another title was chosen, I was thrilled.
Whether or not I believe in the devil (I don’t) seems immaterial. It was the concept that intrigued me. Giving the devil back the darkness.
To begin, let’s align around the perspective that there is such a thing as the Devil (now a proper noun for the sake of this conversation) and it’s the Devil who gives us the darkness in our lives. Why, though? What does the Devil hope that we do with the darkness?
The answer comes back that the Devil hopes we use the darkness in our lives as it was intended: as shadow, gloom, blackness, joylessness, intense hopelessness; evil, even. When you use the darkness in these ways, the Devil knows s/he (Anthropomorphizing, now) made the right choice. A big thumb’s up to you from the Devil, by the way.
Time out for a quick perspective check: If this resonates at all with you, how do you feel knowing that you’re using the darkness exactly as the Devil intended it? Let’s add, that if you use it really well, the Devil may just give you more darkness. Oh joy ... uh, joylessness. How does that feel?
What if you were in choice about how to use it? What if, instead of becoming like the darkness, we engage it with the intention of finding the light, the brilliance, the joy and hope, and the compassion and humanity? What’s possible then? Not an easy task, I know, and yet a choice we are always free to make.
What if we gave the Devil back the darkness, like the peel of apple, savoring the juicy, ripe fruit for ourselves?
I make up that this ticks off the Devil. You’re not using the darkness as s/he intended it to be used. “You just don’t get it, do you?” S/He asks.
And in that moment that you give the darkness back to the devil, the Devil has no more use for you. You are ‘unfriended’. Perhaps another perspective: the devil cannot exist in your light. S/He is reduced to dust, crumbling away without your energy.
So, the next time, you’re offered darkness, imagine yourself giving it back; handing it over to the devil, saying, “You just don’t get it, do you?”
Giving the devil back the darkness.
I consider myself someone who never leaves anything unsaid. In fact, often, there’s a little voice in my head saying, “Okay, you can stop talking now … or now … or maybe now would be a good time to stop talking … please.”
Yet, I suddenly find myself with a shortage of words about where we are in the world today. My radio dramas, even the on-air conversations that ‘awaken, inspire and activate’ have stopped. I don’t know how to do those things anymore. I’m past the point of meaningful conversation into WTF is going on??
Just this morning, I saw a post on Facebook about – what else? – conflicting viewpoints about America’s politics. I realized in that instant that we are living in parallel universes, so tragically disconnected. Otherwise, how is it possible that we see things so differently? Even more so, how is it possible that we attack each other and our physical personas when our political views differ? “Put her in a dog cage and send her to Russia” or “If you still support him, you are all ignorant assholes.” There is even the one that I cite in my upcoming book, In the Souls Waiting Room, of someone calling Trump a “tangerine-tinted, trashcan fire”
We are nothing if not clever. Sometimes, expressing our disdain with the wit of a Noel Coward or an Oscar Wilde – brava/bravo, by the way; yet, often, expressing our disdain as if we were raised in a gutter.
There was one other comment that struck me, and even though I’m not a religious person; deeply spiritual, yes, I had to stop and ponder.
Here is the quote:
“When I read comments sometimes, I am speechless and would love to ask people, what would Jesus say about your comments?”
Truth be told, we don’t care what Jesus would say, even those who claim to live in his image. Living in the age of WTF, we’ve moved past Jesus; we’ve moved past any connection to a gentle, compassionate human who taught love for all beings, except those money-lenders. He didn’t much care for them, did he? Some of us still pine for Barack Obama’s so very human, approachable presidency. “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” And some would argue that those 8 years were their very personal living hell.
We are not at a loss for words. We are at a loss for meaningful words. We’ve forgotten how to talk to each other in a way that connects us and moves us and heals us. The divide grows wider, deeper, like a ripe peach that splits until the heart; the pit, is revealed. We usually throw those away, don’t we? Who wants to eat that one?
There is a shortage of meaningful words, just as there is a shortage of clean water, clean air, housing and food. No, they are all still there. Someone is hoarding them, buying them all up and feeding them to the starving masses a little bit at a time, keeping us hungry, thirsty and home-less. Keeping us needing them, whoever them is.
There is a shortage of meaningful words, just as there is a shortage of compassion and action for our children around the world, the environment and all sentient beings that are caught up in the profit-machine we’ve created.
What started as an exploration of my own shortage of words suddenly feels global. What more can I say? How loud can I get? Even more so, “Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?”
Instead, I withdraw into my silence. Feeling deeply this shortage of words that might be mistaken for apathy or inaction. There’s a little voice in my head saying, “Okay, you can start talking now … or now … or maybe now would be a good time to start talking … please.”
 http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/11/05/here_s_everything_samantha_bee_has_called_ donald_trump.html
 Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi, 1970
 From the Broadway musical 1776, Is Anybody There?