Lasha Morningstar

WE ARE ONE

April 6, 2015

At times it is a Humpty Dumpty world. The news is too negative. Everything is changing in our personal world, neighbourhood, city, province, country, the entire globe. One can experience a loss of control.

Religious leaders recognize society's growing isolation and caution us against selfishness, lack of community.

So what can one do? I remember Gramma's words: "You can't change the world, child. You can only change yourself."

Action. I had to somehow map out a plan, even if it was taking just one small step at a time.

Society and the roller-coaster-economy have a part in affecting not only my life, but most other folks' lives too.

The secret seems to be to adjust – big time. When you chose your vocation look towards the future and see what jobs will always be needed. Example: jobs that mechanization cannot take over.

I love to listen to people's stories. That has been my whole journalistic life. One thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as a common man or woman.

Maybe it is time to boost the university courses in sociology to help us listen with healing ears and heart. Maybe it's time to volunteer at a social agency. I'm bonkers for kids and sometimes an adult other than Mom or Dad can stir a teenager's trust.

Both these things would give what our pastoral leaders prescribe for our ailing alienated society – community. It would also allow us to give back to the world.

It matters where one lives. Time and again, the homeless who are battling an addiction say getting off the street into their own apartment was the essential step; it gave them the foundation to begin programs, begin to heal.

These apartments and houses need not be of a grand design. In fact, smaller is in vogue. When it comes to housing, take a gander at the world of Lilliput. Municipalities and cities are adjusting their bylaws to incorporate the tiny house movement, small houses that use every inch of space.

People are also discovering the economy and facility of fashioning a home of 600 to 1,300 square feet from recycled shipping containers.

This is when people are re-introduced to the Murphy bed – you know the ones that foldup to the wall. And lofts.

It's time to take a crack at growing my own food. No one says the front lawn must be grass. Every morning last summer I stood in awe as I gazed at a couple just behind St. Andrew's Centre who had turned their front lawn into a massive sheet of vegetables complete with companion flowers such as marigolds to ward off insects. They even put trellises over the sidewalk.

No garden? Try container gardening. Scout out a farmers' market or organic food store that meets your needs. Health is a major player in this game of life.

HEART AND SOUL

So is passion. Passion, of course, can be with another person. But it can also be something that moves one's heart and soul, something that one studies, learning everything possible there is to know about it. An artist's work, a new language.

Take up an environmental cause, read the writings of a favoured saint.

It is too easy when faced with a gnawing emptiness to look outside oneself and point the finger at something or someone else.

Prayer slips more and more into my day. My stumbling block seems to be not slowing down to listen. Sitting in prayer recently with a group of good-hearted nuns, I felt God say, "You're not listening to me child."

The nuns just smiled knowingly at me.

The world is moving fast. It's up to us to keep pace with it if we are to enjoy all God has given us. It's also time for me to learn to listen.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)