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  • This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples;
    no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our
    own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

    Dalai Lama

    I live with the question of what small action I can do each day which might bring some peace, joy or inspiration to another human soul: a gesture celebrating life, an outreach, a kindness, with no agenda other than to share some love.

    To engage in this quest brightens things up a bit, perhaps because it just feels good to actively think of others, even when I feel burdened with personal problems.

    There is such heartbreaking need all around us these days, it is not hard to find opportunities to create a moment of blessing for someone else.

    Surfer Dude and I decided to carry quality bottled water with us when we go out on errands, and give this water out to homeless folks we often see standing on the corner at intersections. A bottle of water is not much, but these people are no doubt hot and weary of standing, holding up their signs. At least it is one small thing.

    A few days ago, we gave out one of our water bottles to a man who holds up his sign under one of the bridges down by the beach. When we handed him the water, his face broke into the most beautiful radiant smile, and he thanked us profusely.

    I asked him:”What is your name?” He answered:”Ron.”

    Yesterday, we decided to bring him a hot meal from the deli at the market where we shop. We packed up a brown bag with some delicious Pasta Carbonara, a few Power Bars, and of course a bottle of water. We were not sure we would find him under the bridge, but we went ahead anyway.

    Good fortune! Ron was in his usual place, and we called him over to give him the meal. Again, a beautiful, joyful smile, and many thank you’s. There was such a sweet sense of appreciation from him, and it is hard to describe how I felt, but it felt good.

    How might our world be different if every day, each of us made a point to do at least one kind thing, one unselfed act, one kindness toward not just those we know and love, but toward total strangers, as well? Some might call this 'the practice of the presence of God.' Others might just call it active compassion.

    What if?

    (Photograph by Alex at Half Moon Beach in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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