How can I be of highest service?’
Interestingly, this is a question I ask myself all the time. This and its variant, “what is the greatest good I can do?”
And because it is my way, I have a bunch of different answers. But figuring out which one thing would be of highest service? That is much harder to figure out. At least it was, until I remembered that in order to accomplish anything, serve anyone, I have to be well enough to do the work. I have to be clear-headed enough to discern what matters most. I have to be connected enough to the world and the people within it to see what needs doing. And that means taking care of my body, mind, and spirit first and foremost, before anything else. Because if I don’t have the strength to stand, I cannot reach out my hand to help someone else off their knees. So for 2015 at least, I will be of highest service by building enough of my own strength to be able to share it with others. By finding clarity. By nurturing important connections.
And on days when I am strong, I will help others build their own resilience, through example, stories, art, craft, and whatever else I can think of, in support of the manifesto I wrote not so long ago:
I believe that art can save the world. That creation, illumination, revelation, can and will heal the darkness, pain, and destruction that currently shatter our world. I believe that trading guns and lies and fear and hate for a paintbrush, a camera, a needle and thread, has the power to stitch the world back together again.
I believe that there is enough for everyone to live simply and well. I believe that “trash” is in the eye of the beholder and that it is our right and our duty to salvage every bit of everything we can. To transform the cast-off, the tossed away, the unwanted into something useful and beautiful and meaningful and loved.
Because I believe that it isn’t just things we are wasting—we are losing people, too. Unique and important beings slip through the cracks every day. Just as every day those cracks grow wider and deeper and hungrier. I believe in “no one left behind,” in “never give up,” in “no one is an island,” in “every life is worth living,” worth saving—starting with our own.
I believe that every one of us has a hero within, just waiting to to be revealed. And the world needs heroes now, perhaps more than ever before.