Giving

“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.”  ~Dalai Lama XIV

 

At this time of year, I am reminded of what this holiday season is all about.  After seeing the Dalai Lama this past fall, I think the meaning of this season has had an even more profound impact on me.  While I have always loved the message the Dalai brings, there is no better time to internalize his message then during the winter solstice; a time when we celebrate many holidays with expressions of peace and light.

His most recent message is one of how we have become people who are too self-centered (centered on “me” not “we”), judge others out of fear and do not act enough out of compassion.  As I think about his words, I am reminded of recent events in the world; the wars that continue, the way we treat one another and the reality TV programs that are so popular all seem to reinforce his observations.

When Thanksgiving this year was interrupted by early Christmas shopping, it about sent me over the edge.  Really??!!  We would rather shop at ungodly hours to get a deal on something we think we need instead of celebrating our thanks with those we love.  I don’t know anymore.  But I guess instead of judging these behaviors maybe I need to try harder to model the Dalai’s idea of peace and love.

The Dalai’s message is not just about humanity.  It is all encompassing including every creature which is something we cannot forget.  I am worried about our planet.  And my concern for our planet is one of the reasons I decided to garden for wildlife using native plants.  It is something I can do to give back to the earth.  Recycle, reuse, conserve- I try my best, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like enough.

Many native cultures say that each of us is responsible for future generations, and whatever you do affects the next 7 generations.  That is a great responsibility that I take seriously.  And what better way to positively affect the future, than to share my plot of land with all who inhabit it, and do no harm (or as little as I can control) to the earth.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” ~Winston Churchill

The Dalai’s  message is not new.  It is one I have heard from teachings in the Bible and other holy books.  It has been spoken by wise men, great prophets and compassionate leaders for thousands of years.  Simply put it says:

Instead of acting out of fear, act out of love.  Understand that it can’t be about me, but about us and how “me” affects “we”.  What I do has a ripple effect, and what do I want that effect to be.  It doesn’t matter if you are religious or what faith you practice if any.   It matters that you act for the good of all.

So during this holiday season, I am giving you an olive branch of peace.  One that I hope you will take and pass along for many years.  No, we will not change the world overnight, but it does start with each of us.  As I find myself having negative thoughts and actions, being judgmental,  I will instead try to understand where those feelings come from, release them with love and replace them with kindness and understanding for those still acting out of fear, still stuck in the “me mindset”.

We each must make our own decisions about what we think we can do.  And I have found it is best not to wait for others to change before we decide to change our behavior.  We can only hope others will come along eventually as more of us model these words of kindness and love.

During this most special season of peace, I leave you with some more contemplations from the Dalai Lama.  My wish is for more kindness and love in the world through each of us this holiday season and beyond!

 

 

A new way of thinking has become the necessary condition for responsible living and acting.  If we maintain obsolete values and beliefs, a fragmented consciousness and self-centered spirit, we will continue to hold onto outdated goals and behaviors.

― Dalai Lama XIV

 

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

 

 

**All pictures were taken while visiting family in Arizona at Thanksgiving.  Most were taken on a visit to an olive mill.  You can get the meanings behind each picture by holding your cursor over the picture. 

 

NEVER GIVE UP
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up
― Dalai Lama XIV

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Next up on the blog:  Wednesday will be my last native plant profile for 2012 as I join Dozen for Diana and Wildflower Wednesday.  Monday is time to unveil my plans for the coming New Year; personally, professionally and in the garden.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2012.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


 

 

 

58 comments

  1. Foxglove Lane says:

    My dear internet friend, you certainly never give up and you share your heart with us here in such an open and loving way that no matter what you write about I am always touched. Here’s to much more in 2013, spreading the love and making the world a better place. X

  2. Beth Coyne says:

    Sometimes if feels like the work we do in our own backyards, communities doesn’t matter; it is hard work that is not always understood.

    Then a message like this spurs us on! Thank you Donna for the work you do and encouraging the rest of us to keep going!

  3. bumblelush says:

    What a thoughtful post, and very timely during the holiday season when it’s easy to get caught up and stressed out about things that maybe aren’t so important. I’ll remember this message through the new year. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. Christina says:

    The earth should be our centre. Do not damage the environment with the things we do in our lives; the earth needs our care if we want the earth to sustain us and future generations. How right your comment that we must choose to do what it right for ourselves not wait for others to join in. WE can INDIVIDUALLY do more than we realise. I hope your Christmas and New Year will be peaceful and happy. Christina

    • Donna says:

      Christina I am wishing you a most joyous and peaceful Christmas and New Year!! Let us work for our centre, the earth, and those who inhabit it…all creatures 🙂

  5. Beth says:

    Merry Christmas, Donna! This is a beautiful post. It makes me think of the words of two songs:
    “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me…”
    and “It only takes a spark to get a fire going. And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it. You spread His love, to everyone, you want to pass it on.”
    I look forward to your post about your plans for next year.
    Hugs, Beth

  6. HolleyGarden says:

    The thought that what we do will last 7 generations in the future really made me stop and think. And it does seem like all we hear about is violence and negativity. I think all that exposure wears our compassion down. Thanks for reminding me to become more compassionate. Change from within spills over into every part of our life, and I needed this reminder about kindness and love. I hope your holidays are very happy!

    • Donna says:

      The thought of 7 generations also caught me as well…here’s to a more compassionate year for us all…glad I could bring some to you Holley!! Happy Holidays!

  7. Helene says:

    Thanks for a lovely and meaningful post Donna! The Dalai Lama has said many famous and significant things, but he is also funny at times – he has apparently said: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Well, in response to your post, it does make a difference what we all do, and we can all make a difference.

    I think the quote I like best of Dalai Lama’s is this one: “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
    I wish you a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2013. Take care, Helene.

    • Donna says:

      Helene he is a very funny man with a wonderful sense of humor…I love the quotes you shared…let’s keep that optimism in 2013… wishing you a very special Christmas and New year!

  8. Grace says:

    Beautifully written, Donna Dear. As I get older it’s getting easier to simply be nice to people. Things don’t irritate me like they used to and I have much more tolerance for differing opinions. It’s not all that difficult to be kind to others when I think about it on a moment-by-moment basis. Let the lady with one item go in front of me at the checkout. Give the parking spot to that other car. Smile and hold the door, compliment someone on their pretty scarf–simple little things that hopefully connect us as humans. Believe the best about people, have compassion for those who do things I disagree with.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love and laughter, warmth and sweet memories.

    • Donna says:

      Oh dear Grace such wonderful thoughts…just being nice and kind to others is really easy and makes life so much happier…wishing you a most lovely Christmas and New Year. 2103 looks to be a blissful year for you already 🙂

  9. Helen/patientgardener says:

    What a wonderful and heartfelt post and so true. We get caught up in the commercial and materialistic world that we lose sight of what really matters – our family and friends and those we care about.

    May you have a wonderful Christmas andbest wishes for 2013

  10. Joyce Whitby says:

    Donna
    That was my first gift of Christmas this year…and will no doubt be my favorite. I have so many people to share this with, literally will run down to print a copy to be shared around the tree this morning…and then later when guests arrive…

    May God Bless you & your family today and throughout this upcoming year….Peace to all!
    Joyce

    • Donna says:

      Oh Joyce I am so glad you loved the post…tell Tom I said hello and I miss you both! May you and your family have a very blessed Christmas and New Year!

  11. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    I absolutely agree with you Donna, this is a perfect post for today. We are stewards of the earth, not just ourselves, and with that comes enormous responsibility. Churchill’s quote is perfect. With so many horrific events in recent weeks, and all the holiday imagery in the news of greed, anger, and selfishness, it’s difficult not to see the darker side of what the holidays seem to have become. There’s a lot I don’t enjoy about this time of year, and I haven’t set foot in a mall during the holidays in more than 15 years.

    Wanting something better is part of why we volunteer each year in the Project Inspire even. It’s actually a relief to see so many others working toward a common goal, in the true spirit of the season. It is also very rewarding knowing that although we can’t change things, ourselves, on a global level, we can be a positive force for change, locally. I you peace, and joy this season, Donna. I wish all of us peace and joy. Merry Christmas!

    • Donna says:

      Merry Christmas Clare…it has been hard for me during the last few weeks especially after Newtown. The post kept me going as I continued to read it and know the light needs to be rekindled in each of us…I hate malls and much of the craziness and commercialism of the season. Glad you were touched!

  12. Carolyn says:

    Donna, I find this your most meaningful post ever. I don’t think that it can be emphasized enough that no big change is coming only millions of little changes brought about by millions of people, starting with each of us. Thanks for being my virtual friend in 2012 and being such a loyal supporter of my efforts. Love, Carolyn

    • Donna says:

      Oh my Carolyn I am humbled…you are so right…each of us will be the change…you my dear friend are a wonderful supporter too and I look forward to hopefully getting to see your lovely gardens this year! Love to you too!

  13. Donna says:

    You wrote a very meaningful post Donna. It must have been life changing seeing the Dalai Lama. The world is big, complex and the people in it varied in ideologies. It has gotten too big and what has been going on at this time is going to climax. I have hope though. We have far too much to lose and it may take that knowledge for people to see eye to eye.

    • Donna says:

      It was life changing Donna. It helped focus me even further on my path as I continue to learn…we are headed for a climax some say predicted by the Mayans that will change our world yet again as there will be a further awakening…I have hope as well!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Sheryl…it is humbling to have a post be called inspirational…I am hoping to continue my growth along this path and as I inspire I am also inspired by all of you!

  14. Carolyn says:

    That is a beautiful wish, Donna. May you feel of God’s love for you this Christmas Season, through the love and kindness you share with others. Merry Christmas sweet friend and the Happiest of New Years to you.

  15. Marcia Richards says:

    Donna, I’m so glad you referred me to this post! The Dalai Lama is someone I’ve always followed and wish I had been able to see him last fall. I believe what he believes, too. All we can do is practice kindness and understanding and hope others choose that way also. We can teach by example. Beautiful post and images, Donna. Thanks.

    • Donna says:

      Marcia I am very glad you enjoyed the post as it is very meaningful to you as you have followed the Dalai! The Dalai does like to visit the area especially Hamilton and Ithaca so perhaps he will be back again. I will endeavor to see him if he does return. I was always taught to teach by example so now you know why I blog.

      I have followed a numerology that has with it corresponding colors so I have different color days but never considered how I feel by color…I hope to explore that more with your inspiration……wishing you a beautiful, colorful New Year!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Diana…I am snowed in again with the third snowstorm in a week…well over 3 feet of snow so I am indoors writing and planning for future blog posts…Happy New Year to you and yours as you prepare for some big changes yourself!

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