Reaching Out

Posted by Robin Easton

NOTE: I apologize for being unable to respond to your comments last week. Work last week and this hasn’t left me as much time on the computer. I’ve read all of your beautiful insights and will again this week. Although I may not have time to respond, your comments have kept me going and growing. I’m deeply grateful for you and feel your presence in my heart. Love, Robin

Reach out and help someon today. My Conscience

Many years ago a friend of mine traveled to Russia just after the collapse of the USSR. Upon his return he told me how poor the people were; they had almost nothing. He showed me pictures of a marketplace in one of the cities. The marketplace was not a thriving bustle of people selling colorful food and fascinating wares. It was almost bare, and I sensed deep shock hung over everything. I never forgot one of the photos he showed me.

In the photo, was a vendor, an elder woman dressed in worn clothes, frayed at the edges. She sat on a concrete sidewalk, her brown skirt tucked under her knees and legs. She looked tired, as if she had lived a thousand years and seen everything imaginable. On the ground in front of her lay a tiny square of blue cloth, on the cloth lay a handful of slightly rusted safety pins and three cardboard tubes from the inside of toilet-paper rolls, and that was all.

Although I saw this photo many years ago, recently it keeps coming to mind, as if this woman were my conscience. Although she probably is now dead, she remains with me. To think of her fills me with deep grief, compassion and a desire to help those who are suffering. A couple of days ago I told my husband about this woman and he held me while I cried. It is right that I cry. It is also even more right that I do something.

Be Part of the World.

Today, blogging about nature, love, personal growth and so on is not enough for me. Lately I hunger to reach out, and make a difference in the world. I hunger to do something that demands so much of me that I forget myself in the doing of it. I hunger to make a difference, so much so that I know I’ve done all I can do. I hunger to go to bed exhausted from hard work, knowing I’ve done something meaningful, real, honest, and life altering for those who suffer.

Blogging is a Privilege

I ask myself and you to remember that blogging and sharing our personal growth, spiritual, nature and consciousness insights, is a luxury that millions in the world do not know. It’s hard to think about personal growth when you haven’t eaten for days or are being used as a slave. There were times in my life when I would not have made it without the kindness of strangers. Can we go without “eating-out” for a week or two and instead use that money to help another eat? Can we not buy that extra pair of shoes, hat, or dress, and instead use the money to help someone in a way that we would hope others would help us.

Make a Difference

I want to share with you three organizations that make a difference. The work they do offers hope and practical positive change to those who gravely suffer or need assistance to live even a fraction of the lives many of us take for granted. If you know of another worthy organization, please feel free to share it with us.

**Abolish Slavery – Aaron Cohen is an amazing man who’s using his time, money and skills to go undercover and free victims of human trafficking, all over the globe. He is executive director of Abolish Slavery. “The United Nations estimates that one to four million people are trafficked worldwide each year.” ~Abolish Slavery. I have the deepest respect for Aaron and what he’s doing to change the world. His work makes me seriously rethink my life.


**
Kiva.org – is such a delightful way to help someone in a developing country start their own business, and improve their life. Through Kiva you can directly loan $25 to an individual of your choosing. You can read what each person dreams of doing, and about their family, and life.

**The Girl Effect – This organization is incredible and based on a fascinating principle that “Given the opportunity girls living in poverty are uniquely capable of changing their lives and the lives of their brothers, sisters, communities and countries for the better. It’s a ripple effect that’s a revolution in the fight against poverty.” ~Girl Effect


With love,

Robin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This Site: © Robin Easton
Website:
http://www.nakedineden.com
Blog:
http://nakedineden.com/nakedinedenblog/



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27 Comments so far...

Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills Says:

19 October 2010 at 3:37 pm.

In the end it’s all about contribution. Regardless of the channel for our giving, contribution is the truest expression of love. Whether you give time, food, or financial aid. Whether it’s close to home or on the other side of the earth. Feeling a sense of community responsibility and consciousness (local and global) should be the natural result of increasing awareness and growth.

[Reply]

Robin Easton Reply:

Dear Friends,

These are SUCH beautiful comments. I love how some of you shared the ways in you help others.

I loved how some of you even teach your children these values. Children learn very fast through example, if they see their parents helping others through life, that example will rapidly become a part of the child’s life. I have found that children naturally want to help others.

I also agree with the point that some of you made about it not mattering where or whom we give help to, only that we do so. It might be close to home or across the sea. I feel that all help is valued no matter where it is and no matter how seemingly small.

We also don’t even need money to help others. Our gift might be something as simple and yet meaningful as helping an elder shop for groceries, or giving them a lift to town. It might be visiting a nursing home and talking with and, more importantly, listening to elders. It might be playing them some music or sharing some stories. I have found that elders appreciate it ALL. You don’t need to be a world class musician to share enjoyment.

“Reaching Out” might mean going to the homeless shelter and helping serve or prepare meals one day a week or month. It could be simply assisting a house bound neighbor, or single mom.

There are so many many ways that we can change our world for the better. And in that process we cannot help but change our own lives for the better.

I am grateful to be connected with such a loving and brilliant group of people. I learn something from you everyday. Better yet, I am loved and seen. What an amazing gift that is.

Thank you from my heart for your caring and your sharing.
Love,
Robin

[Reply]

Alex Blackwell Says:

19 October 2010 at 3:43 pm.

I love the concept of blogging as a privilege, This concept has not occurred to me, but it does make sense. Like you Robin, I do feel lucky to share a part of my journey and piece of myself with others. It’s a responsibility I take seriously – just like you do.

Thanks for this insight.

Alex

[Reply]

Evita Says:

19 October 2010 at 4:01 pm.

Hi Robin

Oh Robin you are so right on with this post about going out and doing more. I have felt this same feeling often in the past year especially. I love writing online and maintaining the sites and feel great knowing that I am spreading some awareness or help. But there are moments where something within me says to get out into the community and help more, help in different ways. And so I have listened and am listening to the call, and allowing the Universe to unfold how my gifts and talents are to be used to help people. And it feels good.

The best part are the many surprises that I know lay ahead for me, of where my help will be needed and used. It is good to be of service. The fulfillment is amazing!

And I would love to share this opportunity to add another organization, although much smaller than the ones you mention, Markus actually just built the web site for them and we became acquainted with the amazing work they are doing in the world.

It is ICA Canada (a Canadian based web site) and they are doing wonderful work to drive social change and make the leaders of tomorrow, especially in third world countries. Here is the link:

http://www.icacan.org/

[Reply]

Trish Scott Says:

19 October 2010 at 4:37 pm.

You are so right Robin. ENOUGH STUFF. My favorite organization for that special gift for any occasion is Heifer International. http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.204586/ I encourage my readers every Christmas season to give to those who have real need in the name of their loved ones who need only an expression of caring.

There is a Gift Catalog where you can choose a meaningful gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. For only $20.00 you can give a flock of chicks that can help families from Cameroon to the Caribbean add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets.

[Reply]

Lance Says:

19 October 2010 at 5:28 pm.

Robin,
Love. Compassion. Care.

That’s what I feel as I read your words – as they land upon my heart.

And it also reminds me of something I deeply believe – we are all one. We are all connected. Our brothers and sisters – spread across this world we live in. I believe this in my soul – our connection to each other, our one-ness.

It’s such a wonderful thought for me – how we are so connected, so much the same. and in that – I hope that I can help others, just as others have helped me in challenging times.

Last Christmas, we gave each of our children money to be used specifically at Kiva. And they chose who they would support. Do they “get” what they are giving? I’m not sure that they fully do – although I hope that in some small way – they see a bit of good they are doing in this world.

So, Robin – thank you so much for sharing these deeper thoughts of yours, this deeper part of you that connects in even more beautiful ways. You are a gift. You are loved.

Much peace,
Lance

[Reply]

Adrienne Says:

19 October 2010 at 6:54 pm.

Robin,

This was so good, so real, and so very true. In fact, it was so good I made my husband stop what he was doing so I could read it to him! I especially loved this: ” I hunger to go to bed exhausted from hard work, knowing I’ve done something meaningful, real, honest, and life altering for those who suffer.” Those have to be some of the most beautiful and compassionate words I’ve ever read. I have to say, I’m right there with you! I feel so called to do something so much bigger and more meaningful with my life…something that reaches outside my little circle of concern. I came across The Girl Effect just the other week when Katie Tallo mentioned it on one of her posts. I immediately put a link on my blog and joined their cause on facebook and twitter and I’m in the process of putting a “donation plan” together. Thanks for sharing the other links as well!

This post reminds me of the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You’re so right…we have the power to grow, to learn, and to make changes in our own lives, but because of that power, we also have a responsibility to reach out and support those who cannot support themselves.

You know, the world could use a thousand more Robins…but we’re so lucky to at least have one. :) You are truly a special gift to the world!

[Reply]

Tess The Bold Life Says:

19 October 2010 at 7:12 pm.

Hi Robin,
I also haven’t thought of blogging as a priveledge so thanks for putting that awareness into my pretty little head;) I love helping others out and will until the day I die. Thanks for being my friend!

[Reply]

Sandra Lee Says:

19 October 2010 at 9:32 pm.

Robin,

Thank you so much for this reminder and gentle kick in the wazoo. You are so right about blogging being a privilege. Ever since blog action day, like your woman in the market, I have an image of women in Africa walking endless miles to obtain water each and every day. I too want to do more!

You are fabulous. Love to you so much!

[Reply]

Keith Says:

20 October 2010 at 4:29 am.

Hello dear Robin,

My heart overflows as I read your post this morning. It is beautiful how the Universe speaks to those who will listen. I have been experiencing the same feelings, especially these past 10 months. I love to write and create music and hopefully help someone through those mediums. However, I just cannot stop there. I must get “out there” and also lend a helping hand..literally. I wish to use any resource I have been blessed with to help someone who needs help.

Just this morning I took action in a tangible way, moving outside of myself with boldness and faith. I NEEDED to do that. I feel it is just a beginning and as I kick open new doors, I know the most amazing things are still to come. I am ready.

Thank you Robin and belss you! I really mean that. I feel so blessed to have met so many special people. People like you, Lance Ekum, Evita Ochel, Tess Marshall and others.

Make it a great day, I know you will! :-)

[Reply]

emily Says:

20 October 2010 at 5:45 am.

Hey, Roby! Beautiful and inspiring message. Here is another wonderful group helping to educate girls all over the world AND it’s in your own back yard! : )

You may know about it already–Compassion Beyond Borders based in Las Vegas, NM. http://www.compassionbb.org The site is very user friendly too. It takes only $50 per YEAR to educate one child!

“Surely it is women more than men who nourish and sustain community among the poor. And women and girls, who make up 70% of the world’s poor, are the primary beneficiaries of community. CBB builds and strengthens communities for girls and women in the developing world through education.”

Love you, Em

[Reply]

patricia Says:

20 October 2010 at 11:21 am.

My husband says I would give away the shirt on his back, but only if I had the chance to wash and clean it first! I actually am needing to pull back and not reach out so large because I need to fill up my resources and I find reading blogs and being in nature the best fill ups I can find….

We are all one…

My mum always said that if you educate a woman you educate a whole community and she put her efforts into doing just that service all her life. She still put herself first – it is a lesson that I have rejected most of my life – the putting the self first – and now as I am healing I am learning that that is not the healthiest way to proceed, if one wants to keep on giving.

Thank you for sharing your great ideas – they are just so right for this time of the year…always a pleasure to read what you share.

[Reply]

Nea | Self Improvement Saga Says:

20 October 2010 at 12:58 pm.

Thanks for this reminder of how much we take for granted–and of how little money/time/effort it takes to give back. I haven’t heard of the organizations that you mentioned, but you’ve inspired me to find out more.

It is such a gift to know someone with a heart as big and open as yours.

[Reply]

Nancy Shields Says:

20 October 2010 at 2:49 pm.

I love your words of passion for the less fortunate!!!! Sounds like a passion to me and I admire you for wanting to pursue this compassion for others…you see the word passion is in compassion! Here is my dream along the same lines and this is why I started MakeGirlfriends.com – http://blog.makegirlfriends.com/nancys-dream
Thank you for sharing……and you are right….. there are so many people in our own neighborhoods that need attention also!
Nancy

[Reply]

Eileen O'Shea Says:

20 October 2010 at 8:28 pm.

Hi Robin,
What I value in all your writing is how your heart and soul come through so clearly and honestly. Thanks for this post – I need as many reminders to wake up as the world can give me. I’m in the early part of Naked in Eden and loving it.

I feel blessed to know you. Be well.

[Reply]

Lori Says:

21 October 2010 at 10:32 am.

Hi Robin!
Sorry I’m late to your post, I’ve been held up by forces I can’t control.
I love this post so much. It seems like you’ve crawled into my heart and expressed many of my own thoughts here in your space. Wow, this is a beautiful piece of writing, mi dahlink.
I agree, blogging is a privilege and was recently commenting to a friend the other day that maybe blogging might not be the answer for me, when many of the people I want to help and reach out to don’t even have access to a computer?
Thanks for including these links, I just love what all these organizations are doing.
Robin, you are amazing and have such a beautiful heart. I’m jumping up and down that I met you and hope to meet you in person one day.
Much Love!
~xo

[Reply]

Patty - Why Not Start Now? Says:

21 October 2010 at 10:37 pm.

Hi Robin – Such a powerful message, and one that resonates deeply with me. Can I also add another question to your list? Here it is: Could we not take some of the time we spend in the blogosphere and instead use it to go out and volunteer? As much as I love self-reflection and insight, I’ve been noticing lately that the deepest insights often arrive, without even having to look for them, when I give my time to help someone who is less fortunate. And in case anyone is looking for volunteer opportunities, here’s a great website: volunteermatch.org.

[Reply]

Hilary Says:

22 October 2010 at 12:37 am.

Hi Robin .. you make such a good point here .. the poverty of others is just too appalling, frightening or too awful to ‘see’ .. we can through various projects provide the opportunity for people to raise themselves up .. the village where they need a well etc

I always remember in South Africa .. seeing the Grameen Bank and its work .. where the women contributed to a pool, and one person would use it for some good for their family, or the group, then the next month .. the same .. – these people chose what they needed to do with the money, and the group had to approve .. entrepreneurship in its raw state ..

Thanks for highlighting the three – Kiva .. I knew about the others .. no .. Good to be aware of the names .. for now I have no new ones .. Hilary

[Reply]

Steve-Prospering With Aspergers Says:

22 October 2010 at 7:35 am.

Robin, thanks so much for sharing this highly inspirational article. I believe that part of maturing as an individual is realizing our responsibility to our brothers and sisters across the world. Thanks for sharing those organizations. I ran my first half marathon this year. My goal for next year is to do the same thing, except to raise funds for a worthy cause to help others across the world. Thanks for inspiring me!

[Reply]

Marghanita Hughes Says:

22 October 2010 at 10:11 am.

Oh Robin, those very words I resonate with. I hunger to reach out, and make a difference in the world. I feel my purpose in life is to help reconnect children and adults to nature. We are all connected, in this circle of life, yet we are so disconnected from what makes us human. I love and admire what you are doing for the planet and the human race. You are an inspiration.
Thank you.

Marghanita
xxx

[Reply]

Christopher Foster Says:

22 October 2010 at 10:39 am.

Clean water should be available to everyone who lives on this planet but of course it isn’t. I want to thank you for your initiative here Robin and mention the remarkable story of Ryan Hreljac. He was in grade 1 when he learned people were dying because they didn’t have clean water to drink, and began doing something about it. He was 7 when his first well was built in 1999 in a Ugandan village. Ryan’s Well Foundation in Ontario, Canada. It’s an inspiring story.

I’ve long thought of water (pure water) as a symbol of truth. It’s kind of a paradox. We must have clean water to physically survive and flourish. But ultimately we need “truth” to truly set us free… and change the sorry state of affairs on this planet.

[Reply]

Dorothy Stahlnecker Says:

23 October 2010 at 3:38 am.

Robin, what wonderful thoughts, much to think about, I shall remember this post for a long time and try to make a differnce somewhere as well.

Blessings

Dorothy

formerly grammology

[Reply]

Wilma Ham Says:

25 October 2010 at 3:07 pm.

Living is a privilege and being Love-in-Action is a privilege. We are meant to be Love and in the end anything we are meant to do will have meaning and will add value to all involved, me included. If that is blogging blog away with intent and authenticity, if it’s living your life coming from love and paying attention to whom is right in front of you, you are doing what you are meant to do. I need not to go looking for charity cases, I have enough right here in front of me. Dear Robin, you cannot heal the whole world and people who are not in front of you, your paying attention to the people you play with here is making a difference, more than you will ever know. Accept my gratitude and knowing that you do enough, much love, Wilma

[Reply]

Chris Edgar Says:

29 October 2010 at 7:47 pm.

Hi Robin — I can relate to what you say about wanting to go to bed exhausted from hard work — and, I hope you see how much you are already bringing into the world with your way of being. I say this because this is not always the easiest thing for me to see — after all, who I am is the “water I’m swimming in,” 24/7 — and I can only remember my contribution through feedback and relationship. Hugs, C

[Reply]

Lynda Lehmann Says:

31 October 2010 at 8:40 am.

I agree, Robin, we who “have enough” often become jaded by having “too much.” We forget the fundamentals of human reality: the need for shelter, for clothing and food to eat, for safety from persecution, and perhaps most importantly, the need to be loved and cared for.

Just yesterday, my husband and I saw a homeless man sitting on a box outside a gas station, in rural upstate New York. It was a chilly, windy day and he sat there hugging himself around the knees and looking SO dejected. His roadside perch was a stark and desolate setting; his clothes were tattered and dirty. I imagine he was quite cold and hungry, as well as feeling alone and hopeless.

I thought about how shocking and horrible and unconscionable it is that homelessness is still such a stigma, and how our mental health system is so lacking in ways to bring people in off the street and offer them therapy or rehab–or just the food and shelter they need to continue to endure.

The world is full of orphans and homeless people, people with chronic or incurable diseases, and those who are oppressed: stifled, imprisoned, mutilated, trafficked, or even shot.

We all need to appreciate and be grateful of all of our individual and collective privileges while being mindful of the greater whole of humanity, and strive to improve the human condition.

As you have learned to do, we need to think outside the box, outside our own tiny subjectivity, to embrace the Whole.

My ongoing love and affection to you, dear one.

[Reply]

Joy Says:

1 November 2010 at 12:54 am.

Hi Robin,
What a gift that you share here with us..and your readers responses are all heart warming!
I love kiva and am glad you linked to it..thank you!
My children and I sponsor a compassion child..but I also feel that there is so much Love to be shared locally that we volunteer at the homeless shelter and in ways that my children may share with me. We have minimal financial resources, but we have an abundance of Energy and Love so we share in the best ways we can..My children have caring and compassionate hearts that shall remain with them throughout life..We allow the gratitude for all that we *do have* in our life, to fill our hearts and guide us as to the best ways to share..
And yes, blogging is a privilege..one I honor and respect..so I choose to share love and peace through my blog as I do in life..

[Reply]

Create My Mind Movie Says:

16 November 2010 at 10:42 pm.

Hi Robin,

I find it inspirational that firstly you created this blog, so that others may share in your examination of personal growth. And secondly I feel inspired that you are now also compelled to reach out further into the world and make it a better place.

It is quite ironic how personal development is actually a luxury to someone who does not yet even have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and water. I agree that we need to help these people so their livelihood is protected. Thanks for sharing some worthy charities with us =)

[Reply]

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