October 10     

Today's quotation:

We should so live and labor in our time that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom, and what came to us as blossom, may go to them as fruit.  This is what we mean by progress.

Henry Ward Beecher

Today's Meditation:

It would be so nice to leave a better world for our young people, but I fear that hasn't been happening.  Unfortunately, it looks like the world my generation will be leaving behind is one that's in dire straits, a world that's on a path of destruction rather than construction, a world that may not even be able to sustain most forms of life because of the ways that we've treated it.  Many of us plant seeds and crops and do our best to leave behind a beautiful place, but many of us do nothing but take, damaging the planet in the process.

And that's not limited to the physical planet itself.  We're more divided than ever on national scales in many countries, and we tend to argue more than we help each other.  We fear change more and more instead of embracing it, and we fear diversity more than we ever have.  Peace?  Love?  Togetherness?  Unity?  Those seem more and more like words from the past, and not concepts that we're pursuing in the present.

But we can't give up, of course.  We must still focus on giving, on passing on the best that we possibly can.  We can't give in to despair-- we must continue to harbor and cultivate hope.  There's still a very good chance that we can pass on better things than we were given, that we can share true progress instead of regression, but it's up to us to keep that possibility alive by doing all we can to contribute to the positive in this world so that it will grow and flourish in our care.

When we focus solely on ourselves and what we want to get out of life, then our worlds become small and cramped.  It's important that we focus instead on the legacy that we're leaving, the world that we're passing on to our young, so that we can make positive contributions to that world in order to provide them with a beautiful, positive world instead of a world that holds little beauty and that's been decimated by their predecessors-- us.  Let's do our best to pass on flowers that have bloomed in our care instead of the waste of our mistreatment and abuse.

Progress is about making our world a better place, period.  It's not about getting more riches or destroying more forests.  It's not about building more and bigger buildings, but making sure that the buildings we have serve the most good that they can.  Progress is about making the world a more loving and accepting place, rather than fostering people's suspicions and anger and hatred.  We need a world full of progress rather than regression, and we're not doing a very good job of fulfilling that need-- though we definitely can.  Our job is to find ways of making progress possible.

Questions to consider:

What might we do in small ways to contribute to the well-being of the planet we live on?

What does progress mean to you?

Why do so few people think about what we're passing on to future generations as our legacy?

For further thought:

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

more thoughts and ideas on progress



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