How we can all make a difference

Presenters at the recent Inspired Action conference agreed that while no two lives are the same, and each of us is walking our own unique path, we can all make a difference and need to be open to opportunities.

They were responding to an invitation to name a way in which we can impact positively on our world.

Dorothy Maclean, co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation and author of a number of inspirational books, said: “To make a difference in the world, each one of us can be more loving in everything we do. In my research I’ve found that every great teacher and innovator has come to the same conclusion that love is the greatest power.”

Alastair McIntosh, an academic, writer and environmental activist, said individuals should not be discouraged if they didn’t have a grand vision.

“For me, making a difference means connecting our inner lives with outward action in service of the poor or the broken in nature. We need constantly to discern our calling in a cycle of action-reflection-action. That means learning how to ‘feed the hungry,’ ourselves included.

“Don’t be put off by not having a grand vision. Find the bigger picture in community with others. And don’t wallow in the thought that you have nothing to offer. Seek out the simple honest work that others may avoid. Consider altitude. God has angels enough above, but could do with a helping hand below.”

The Venerable Robina Courtin, a Buddhist nun who has introduced countless prison inmates to Buddhism through the international Liberation Prison Project, invited us to be on the lookout for ways in which we can make a difference in our daily lives.

“Opportunities to act arise in front of us many times a day: grab hold of even one of them right now! Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Think: If I don’t, who will?”

Satish Kumar, the editor of Resurgence magazine and narrator of BBC2’s ‘Earth Pilgrim’ programme, recommended daily walks with an attitude of reverence for our surroundings.

“Walk in nature every day and in this way you touch the Earth and feel it with your feet. Unless you experience nature you cannot love nature, and if you don’t love nature you won’t commit to conserving it.

“By walking in nature you see the interconnectedness of it all and the fact that we are dependent on the environment. Walking with no fixed purpose and no destination clears the mind of worries, fears and anxieties and is a meditation and spiritual practice.”

He returns to Findhorn next month to co-present A Journey through Inner and Outer Landscapes with Daniel Wahl. The workshop, from 28 June until 2 July, offers dialogues with the two presenters, times of quiet reflection, walks in the beautiful Moray countryside and participation in community life. It is an opportunity for participants to slow down and revitalise.

Geoff Dalglish

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