I walked blindly through the hot, roughly paved narrow streets. My body was overheating and my mind as well. What was meant as a quick and dirty trip to satisfy my loved ones, I really was in Bali and I really did think of them and love them deeply, turned into an ordeal of witnessing and feeling the terrible need of others.
The need for self-respect in work, the need for money to feed their families, the need to satisfy the invisible bosses that some of these individuals work for. The need to communicate their gifts, their hearts, and many despairs.
I walked by a woman, making no such efforts, she was young, slouched almost laying in a doorway, skinny and dirty. There was no hope in her eyes, no response to stimulus of rich foreigner walking by. I could see her young son of 3 or 4 pleading with her, cajoling her to do something, anything. His language I could not understand, but his hand gestures and face and body posture, was pleading. I walked by.
I registered so much in that moment that it threw me off balance, I forgot who I was and what I was doing there. My heart asked should I find food, should I give money, and what do you want of me God and Holy Helpers? I went to get Indonesian currency, since I had little right then, when I tried to find my way back to her and her son, I never found them.
There were many of her people near her and her son, I reasoned, surely someone will do the right thing. No matter if she is mentally ill or an addict or whatever, surely someone in her community loves her and wants to help. At least someone will care for that beautiful child? How many of us pass our neighbor by hoping that the responsibility is another’s, not ours who witnesses it.
But It is ours to do. We cannot collapse ourselves away from the suffering of others. We can begin to alleviate each other’s suffering one by one. We can start right where we are, in our homes, in our communities, in our larger context of others, wherever our heart directs us and finds us.
Recent research has shown that the brain is also in the heart. The cells that form the heart are neurites and self-organize and indeed think and feel. Since it is almost Thanksgiving and a time for Gratitude and sharing, be sure to listen to your heart brain and respond to those in need where you can.
Be the Good Samaritan, not passing by, but giving a helping hand, a smile, a blanket, a song, anything that you are moved to do. Act Now, you may never pass that way again.
With love and light, from Bali,