Be the Change
Article ID: 14561
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 8th. 2011
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The state patrol vehicle pulled away from the backpack-laden couple and their pink-sweatered dog on the side of the freeway. I had never picked up hitchhikers before after a lifetime of being admonished by conventional wisdom (incarnated in my mother) to never do so lest I be robbed, raped, and murdered, my car hijacked for parts. However, I had always longed to hear such people’s stories for myself, and to live in a world where people picked up hitchhikers and were kind to them.
After a split second of inner debate, I decided that a couple with a dog couldn’t possibly be too threatening pulled over about 30 feet front of them, grabbed the junk off my front seat, and beckoned as I shoved the items in the trunk. “Thank you! Thank you!” the couple puffed as they jogged up to me, in a hurry lest I change my mind. The dog approached with a friendly and interested expression, so I offered my palm for a sniff as I told the couple that I was only going about 27 miles along the interstate toward my home town after a day of working in the larger city. They happily piled in. As we rode northward on the freeway, I found out that 30-somethings Bonita, her newlywed husband Adam, and a large dog were ‘travelers’ heading from North Carolina (they’d left in December) to Minneapolis. They’d lost their jobs and were hoping to make a fresh start away from the over-crowded eastern seaboard, pausing to work menial jobs and show ID to the police. They were some of the most polite and interesting people I’d met in months!
Remembering that on Wednesdays my mom cooked a free meal at her church, I called her to request that she save three plates for my new friends and me. Gitana, the 9-month-old female pit bull with soulful eyes and a loving disposition, would be staying in the car as we disembarked at the church’s fellowship hall. Mom handed us plates loaded with food and pointed to a table with silverware and drinks. Since Adam and Bonita were also Christian, they didn’t mind that the meal had ended and Bible study had begun.
As I listened to much theology I disagreed with, and some that still resonated, I reflected that I probably got my longing to help those in need from many years of Sunday school spent studying Mathew 25. To paraphrase what I remember, “I was hungry and you fed me, I was naked and you clothed me; what you have done for the least of my children, you have done for me.” I always wanted to live in a world where people drew closer to the Divine (in any theological context) by being generous and loving to each other.
What kind of world do you want to live in? Pause for a moment and visualize that world in detail. How do people interact with each other? How do people relate to nature and/or other living creatures? Describe the world you want to yourself, or your book of shadows, or a coven-mate, or your familiar. Anchor that vision of the world in the front of your mind.
Now, what acts of magic are you willing to commit to make that world manifest? Go beyond lighting candles and burning incense. Consider actions outside the circle that will take your vision from idea to reality. Imagine the simplest little steps that you could actually take with little risk or preparation…
Now take those steps! Act! You can do it!
Do you want a world in which neighbors are friendly and look out for one another? Your first magical act could be to knock on their doors, introduce yourself, and learn their names. A while later, invite your neighbors to dinner. Keep working your way around your neighborhood this way – introduction and dinner. Consider throwing a neighborhood party or potluck some day; since you know everybody’s name and they know you, they’re more likely to come. Attend Neighborhood Watch or Association meetings – your neighbors will be there and you can find out what they care about. Support these actions NOT by spells to make your neighbors nicer (that interferes with their free will) , but by spells to make yourself more approachable, patient, and friendly. After all, “you must be the change you want to see in the world” (Mahatma Ghandi) .
Do you want a world in which people do not throw trash in ditches and rivers? Get a trash-bag and a friend –perhaps one of your newly-introduced neighbors – and go pick up the trash and recycle everything that can be recycled; this is the magic of transformation! Contact a local fraternity or club and see if they’d like to volunteer for a clean-up; solicit donations of cookies and punch from local grocery/big-box stores to reward the volunteers. If your state has such programs, ask your coven to Adopt-a-Highway or Adopt-a-Stream. Support this work with spells to reinforce your personal long-term dedication to this work (since, like laundry, it will have to be repeated) and to make the issues more noticeable.
Do you want a world in which every pet has a loving home? Volunteer at the local shelter and walk dogs, cuddle cats, and handle other animals so they become accustomed to interaction with humans. Volunteer for the less-glamorous clean-up jobs indoors, or landscaping or painting outdoors. Pass around a collection jar at the next coven meeting or poetry night at the coffee house (get permission first!) to gather donations for that shelter. Sponsor a pet in the shelter just like some people sponsor children in developing countries. Support these actions with spells to enhance the aura of love around the shelter so that people looking for a pet may find the place more attractive.
The world you want to live in CAN exist. Remember the story of the cynical old man at the beach, who asks the child why she is throwing the sea-stars into the sea beyond the receding tide when there are so many sea stars that she won’t be able to reach them all? She said, “It made a difference to this one.” How did Mother Theresa begin making a difference to the poor and dying in Calcutta? She said, “just begin, one, one, one” picking up one sick person and nursing them back to health, making small steps that inspired others to help and make small steps of their own. Granted, only one person could be Mother Theresa, BUT anybody and everybody, including you, can help by beginning, one simple action at a time, until more people are moving and finally the world is that much more loving. There are many millions of people around the world who use their magic, voices, and, yes, their money to make the world a better place. You can be one of them.
Live as though the world IS the way you envision it to be, and someday it WILL be.
Here is an elemental prayer for changing the world:
Magickal Air, inspire me to believe that I can change the world for the better.
Magickal Fire, spark me toward actions that will bring positive, permanent change.
Magickal Water, nourish my dream of a more loving world.
Magickal Earth, manifest my vision today and forever all over this planet.
Magickal Spirit, draw all living beings together in cooperation and compassion.
So mote it be!
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