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Sunday, October 13, 2013

BE THE CHANGE

 
donald roller wilson


We have heard a saying over at least the last forty or so years, Be the change you want to see in the world. First several times I heard it, I took it for self-evident sound counsel. It stayed in my mind over years, in the background where we store "truths" we never test or try out. We in the West have our own collection of such truths from various sources, like in China they have Confucianisms, truths that give guidelines to living in peace in this world, if that's what you want. It was about the same time the question about glass half full or half empty came about, the time of New Age books, New Dimensions NPR interview show, workshops galore on how to get rich by visualizing, how to grow spiritually, how-to, how-to. It was a period of about twenty years that the New Age discoveries from applying what had been learned in the science of psychology applied to everyday life, a time of American Confucianisms, something like searching for a new gospel or Confucius found empirically. Be the change you want to see in the world stuck with me as kind of an enigma, like what good is it if everybody isn't doing it? Then I check myself for such a limited vision. Why wouldn't it be good enough if I'm the only one who lives by a given principle?

donald roller wilson


The answer comes that if I live my own everyday life in the way I'd like to see " everybody" be, thus make the "world" that way, my own world becomes what I want the whole world to be. The only thing the whole world is going to do besides basic biological functions is watch television. If I'd like to live in a world without tv, I don't have to watch it. My world is without tv. That's all I need. I don't need for everybody or anybody besides myself to live by what I believe makes a good life. It works for myself. I treat the people around me the way I want to be treated, and in return everyone treats me the way I want to be treated. Because I extended it first, it comes back from the people around me, my world. My world is then a  better place. I don't like being talked down to, so I don't talk down to anyone. In return, no one talks down to me. Another of our truths, You get what you give. It's a natural law like gravity. It's invisible, but it's as certain as wind moving the leaves. Once I caught on that this law is infallible, then I saw it is a tool for creating my own world that I live in. If I want people to be friendly toward me, I be friendly toward them. A few times when I've had to shake off an acquaintance I found obnoxious, a noxious personality, all I've had to do was give one little dose in return of what they pour all over me, they're gone. I don't even have to avoid them after that. My world becomes a better place.

donald roller wilson


In the early part of the 1990s I went to a weekly meeting of a small group of people in Boone NC around Edgar Cayce. We would read a page of something from Cayce, then talk about it for an hour. The second hour we told dreams, talked about them, and thought up a "project" to experiment with through the week, try something and see how it works out, and report what we find, followed by discussion. My own most memorable project experience was consciously "putting something out into the world" (acting it out) to see when and how it comes back. I forget what it was I put out there, but it came back right away. I learned very clearly that this truth can be used consciously. Being aware that everything comes back, I can now see my own behavior something like throwing a rock into a pond. The rings go out from the splash all the way to the shore, then they return to the same spot. The principle works physically, mentally, spiritually. Cast your bread on the waters. Throw a handful of little bread chunks to ducks on a pond and the bread chunks they miss will move toward the shore and gather along the edge. Another good saying, It will come back and bite you in the ass. This principle observed makes a giant step toward self-awareness. Recently a friend said of something she'd done she regretted, "It's gonna come back and bite me in the ass!" Understood, this principle inhibits revenge just by looking at what comes next. Kids give back immediately or first chance.  

donald roller wilson


Less than a year ago a Yankee I used to call a friend told me in a rant about the deputy sheriff living a couple of houses down the street, deputy has a dog, the dog pinched a loaf in friend's front yard. So? Good fertilizer. He went to deputy sheriff and gave him a Yankee talking to about keeping his dog in his own damn yard. If my hair didn't already stick straight up, it would have. I said, "You did what? Man! This is the South! We don't do that shit!" I went into a kind of automatic lecture, this guy's your neighbor, may come a day you'll need him for your friend. You made an enemy of somebody who can fuck you up if he wants to. And you don't have any back-up. It was the same as talking to hear my head roar. He was indifferent to hearing anything but he was right. I never dropped in on him again, didn't want my car seen in the driveway. I happen to respect the deputy. And by this time friend had alienated me like he had all his neighbors and friends in under ten years. I heard last week he is talking about moving to California. Marsha Wagoner at Farmer's Hardware told me something her dad, Amos, said to somebody years ago, a summer resident, who was griping about the people around here and the way things didn't go to suit him. Amos said, "Nobody asked you to come here and nobody will miss you when you're gone." These are people who mess up their own lives over and over by regarding the people around them with indifference. The indifference comes back in the same forms it went out.
 
donald roller wilson
 
 
Basically, I believe the only "change" I want to see in the world is for people around me to get along with each other and lend a hand as needed. Seems like that's what it comes down to for me. So that's what I do as able. I don't want more money, more property, a new car. I've managed to bring myself to a peaceable way of living in a world of people I appreciate deeply. I value it with my life. One change I'd like to see in the world is that we abandon the rat race climb and the ongoing need for more, more, more. I have no power to make anybody do anything. It is hopeless futility to be frustrated that things aren't the way I might want them. I pull back from thinking the "world" of the international news or the Bible, and look more toward the "world" I live in, my immediate world of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, relatives, community. In my world of friends and neighbors I can make a difference. One difference I think I've made a little bit, is affirming to the mountain people in my world that their culture is valid and something to be appreciated. It is not as it is seen from the outside, but from how it is seen from the inside. I keep my hillbilly friends knowing I hold the hillbilly in them the highest. People on the outside don't know anything about the hillbilly culture or the hillbilly experience, nor are they interested. I affirm the culture for my hillbilly friends as one who came in from the outside, has the experience of both worlds, and prefers theirs with convincing reasoning. The only man I have known I'd call wise, and I mean wise in the biblical meaning, was a hillbilly, born, lived his life and died in Whitehead. 
 
 
 
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