|Oregon wolf spooking through the woods.|
Both Native Americans and Buddhists teach we should learn from nature. We should always interact with nature in the most growth positive way.
But how do we apply what we learn to developing a way to work best with our fellow man? Especially if the majority of them seem to be at odds with what we perceive to be the "right path"? How can we best affect change while nurturing ourselves? Or should we follow our own path and let the rest of the world be damned?
Observe weeds. They are often perceived as useless. But we can learn an important lesson from them. A weed will take the opportunity to root itself and grow in any crack in the pavement that is large enough to give it access to soil and nutrients. They will even take hold in a depression in a seemingly impervious medium where enough soil has accumulated and where rain will offer them the moisture they need to flourish in that soil.
By doing this, the weeds are able to gain the strength they need to affect changes in the surface which in turn allows them to drop their seeds and propagate their species. The pavement seems to be the stronger of the two things. It seems that it should be impervious to the influences of the weed. Both seem to be relatively inanimate. Yet the weed overcomes the pavement if left alone. This is partly because the weed is a living, growing entity while the pavement is not only inanimate but by it's very nature and composition, only capable of degeneration.
What can we learn from these observations that are relative to our own lives?
Like the weed, we individually are not as weak as we appear. We can affect change in the mass consciousness simply by being ourselves and being careful to always nurture ourselves and those around us. How? Be open to knowledge and potential activity as it comes to us from any and all sources. Determine if that knowledge and/or activity nurtures us. If it does, accept it and use it to keep ourselves in "growth mode". Just by being ourselves, by setting an example to those we come in contact with, by sharing our knowledge, we are nurturing them.
If the people around us are sentient, growth oriented beings, our influence will nurture their growth ... and in that nurturing we effect change in the larger world. If they are not growth oriented beings, they will not recognize our value. They will pass us by ... but by that very act of non-recognition they enrich us ... by leaving us free to follow our own path and be available to those we can benefit. The non-receptive ones around us become like the soil in the depressions in the pavement ... inanimate (close-minded) but still allowing us to maintain a foothold on the surface of the pavement of society. Eventually more enlightened people will come in contact with us. As they observe and/or interact with us we will have the opportunity to enrich their lives and their understanding of the world.
No effort is ever wasted. It just may seem that way because we are not cognizant of how we have touched the lives of those around us.