Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stand up! May 11, 2008

Some of you tell me that Village of Ordinary is an important part of your coping structure and that it has a calming influence in your hectic lives.

Some of you have told me you would like to live in a place like Ordinary. Some call it utopia. I'm not talking utopia, here. I'm talking each of us living in peace with each other and caring for the Earth as we were intended to care for it. This is absolutely possible.

What makes it possible is that there are millions of people the world over holding similar visions--and acting on them. Look at just one of them.



Women began standing for peace after reading Sharon Mehdi's book The Great Silent Grandmother's Gathering. Read the book. Give it to a mother you know before Mother's Day, and maybe she will be inspired to join you and stand for peace for five minutes. To learn where people are standing in your neighborhood, go to Standing Women.org.

Be Ordinary. Stand up.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where I'm going--long term

Before we begin addressing the questions in Where I'm going--short term, it's important to have a sense of the long-term objectives.

The Village of Ordinary began as a need to vision a peaceful world in the face of a warring one.

We must believe that peace is possible. Some have referred to Ordinary as a utopia, but I see it as a perfectly normal existence--if we are willing to give up hating someone, anyone--our neighbor who poisoned the cat, our coworker who never misses a chance to back-stab, our parent who beat us to within an inch of our lives, our lover who done us wrong. (Where would we be without all those songs?) The people who caused 9-11. The people who lied so they could start a war. Tough ones, yes. All of them.

Look at what the Ladakh say when someone behaves badly: "Chi choen?" or "What's the point?" When there is so much to love in life, why waste time spending our energy hating people who hurt us? It doesn't change them (Or does it? Is it true that love can soften the heart of the most evil of evil-doers?), but it may well embitter us. Or worse.

Beyond that, we can begin to view the people who have hurt us with compassion and love. Some believe that love and compassion are the only hope for gaining a peaceful world. This is the grand experiment, isn't it? I'm not the first to propose it, not the first to attempt it. Many have gone before. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jesus, Buddha, and countless ordinary people like you and me, living their everyday lives, no big names on billboards or movie screens, choosing to say I love you to the ones who done us wrong.

That's the heart and core of where I'm going. Everything else--living in harmony with Nature and other animals, choosing right livelihood, building sustainably--everything else will come from that simple choice.

I will love.

When I can't love, I will ask Great Spirit to help me to love and to show love where I am yet too weak to do so.

That's where I'm going. What about you? Can you vision it? Can you make a commitment to that choice?

In the face of a world gone haywire (more to come on that) how everyday ordinary can we make love? How much can ordinary love change the world? Try sending love to someone you have hated for one day and tell me what happened. If you can't send love, call on the Higher Power you recognize in your life and ask them to send the love you do not feel. Then return here and tell me what you experienced. I want to know.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where I'm going - Short term

So here's the deal.

I've held off adding new posts to the Village of Ordinary while I answered questions that were increasingly critical. Here is a sampling of issues weighing on me:
  • Should the people of Ordinary grow only native plants, or can they have exotic shrubs, trees and forbes?
  • How much do they rely on vehicles, what kind of vehicles do they use, and how do they power them?
  • We know they husband animals and crops, but how large do these operations get and how do they handle the offal?
  • What about cities? Do they exist? Did they exist in the past?
  • How do they respond to the threat of forest or range fires?
  • We know individuals observe different types of spirituality. How much religious diversity is likely to occur in a single village? And what brought it there?
  • What brought other diversity observed so far in the village, such as background and skin color?
  • Where do villagers obtain things like window glass, cooking utensils, and other tools? Do they make their own? Are there regional factories? Do villages specialize in certain goods or services?
  • We know the villages each have a name. What about regional names? What political boundaries, if any, exist in Ordinary?
I mentioned a deal. I commit to writing a post every day for the next two weeks, to discuss questions like these. In return, I'd feel much supported and gladdened if you were to share your thoughts as well. I invite you to join the discussion and pose your own questions. Your opinions matter. Together we can build a stronger vision.

It's a grand one, however Ordinary.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where I've been

While I've been away from this blog and the Village of Ordinary, I've been busy researching background and posting the results on Squidoo. Here's some of what you'll find there to help you build an Ordinary in your life.
These include choosing products made of sustainable crops like bamboo and organic cotton--products that don't hurt the people manufacturing them, are safe for the environment and safe for you and your family.

They include choosing more sustainable (and time-saving) ways to mow and care for our lawns. (Do you grasscycle?)

They include keeping our spirits clear and centered through a simple ten-minute meditation you can do anywhere, any time.

Take a look at some of these pages and tell me what you think of them. You can leave a comment right there on the page, if you like, or you can come back here and tell me. Of course, you're welcome to do both!

Up next: Where I'm going (tag along!)