Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Discussion of "Right Living"

The basis for “right living” as

Opportunity + Integrity + Respect + Community = “Right Living”, sustainably manifested
1) no harm is done, 
2) opportunity is realized, 
3) community is created, and 
4) all constituencies come out ahead

A small case study - 
The opportunity – we notice large nuts in the street in their husks (walnuts?) and circle the block noticing the apples in the backyard, and  (integrity) stop out front to ask about picking up the nuts. We get a reasonable response (Sure, we aren’t going to do anything with them!) and (respect) we respond in appreciation. [This is the opening gambit of connecting people based on some mutual interest, which is the basis for all community.] The opportunity - we pick up the nuts in the street (butternuts it turns out) and these young folks mention that there are hazelnuts in the backyard and, oh, there’s an apple tree too (the one we had noticed). 

Joyce (a grandmother, who is a grand mother) is engaging with the young mother who’s come out, about the baby /young toddler who she is carrying (respect, community – life nurturing), as I get plastic grocery bags and continue into the back yard with Red (community - communication) talking about life and the things that can be done with these natural “resources”. We talk about life in the local area, the landlord, the lack of interest in the fruits and nuts, job availability, and other things (community – finding common values). 

We come back to the front, and I give them some fresh corn for their dinner (integrity, opportunity –for them, community - reciprocity) and Joyce says she’ll bring them back something from the apples (integrity, opportunity – for them, community – sharing value). We talk about the Jeep and Joyce holds the baby for a bit longer (community – group bond, respect) and we leave on good terms. We will go back with an apple pie (community – sharing value, integrity, respect).

We have transcended every possible division between us  - income, interests, age, possessions, living situation, education, and skill sets – to connect in a lasting way, perhaps change their “routine” in small, subtle ways, come away with a respectable amount of natural resource value, and open the door for much, much more all in 30 minutes through rapid and effective application of the principles noted above . We have demonstrated integrity, and have treated, and been treated, with respect. The opportunity is both the natural resources that were being ignored (nuts & fruits) AND the opportunity to “create community” beyond the nebulous community of physical proximity (in modern times). None of the elements of “class” division listed above are given entry into the situation, and as a result, there are no barriers to "right living" manifesting easily in this situation.

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