I’ve been coming back to this all day:
It is a sea of earbuds, bodies moving to their own beat. – Noah Hawley, in his book Before the Fall
It’s a simple sentence in the middle of a paragraph capturing the street-vibe of a Manhattan work-day.
But I keep thinking maybe this sentence has captured what’s gone off in our culture: we no longer hear the same rhythm, the same heart beat. The bass throbbing in our veins is different for each of us.
When I turn to the moon, I’m looking for the rhythm that unites us. The push and pull we all feel on some subtle, subterranean level of the psyche. The rise and fall of the water table, the breath of the planet.
What if our unity is the rhythm and our singularity the dance?
What if all we have to do is take out our earbuds?
Even as I’ve been thinking this, a splinter of my mind is marveling at what I get to think about. I don’t have to worry about where my dinner comes from, or if there’s a roof over my head. The air-conditioning is cooling the 90 plus degree day and my water is clean and slightly tart with fresh lime sliced in fat wedges.
My very thoughts are a privilege, a 1%, a clear indication that I’ve scaled the base levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Sometimes when I see memes on social media with messages like “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined” (that’s Thoreau) or “You always pass failure on your way to success” (Mickey Rooney), I think: what would I make of that if I’d been perpetually hungry or didn’t have clean water or worried that a rebel militia would raid my village before dawn?
Only an accident of birth lets my imagination roam far beyond the next meal.
But how can I help in any meaningful way? How can we as a community (earbuds out, listening to the same rhythm) throw a line to those who are still grappling with the most basic needs?
Enter Business for Good.
With this in mind, Andrew and I joined an organization called B1G1 (Buy1Give1): Business for Good. Through B1G1 we’re able share the love generated by our gorgeous community at Herbiary and maiatoll.com with communities around the globe needing support (we do local giving as well but when we looked at where the herbs we sell come from and the international reach of our readership, we wanted to give back on a global level).
Here’s the beauty: you don’t have to do anything beyond what you’re already doing.
Fifteen years ago I visited Cambodia as a side trip between Thailand and Singapore. Both the poverty and the joy of the Cambodian people showcased the extreme limits of my perspective… and if it has developed any depth since, it’s because of experiences like visiting Angkor Wat and the floating villages near Siem Reap. In this way you’ve benefited from Cambodia, and now Cambodia has benefited from you:
During the month of June we’ve been making donations for every comment on the blog posts here. Your comments have provided safe drinking water to a family in Cambodia for the next decade.
Let’s take out our earbuds and hear the world around us: the cacophony of laughter and pain. Let’s dance to the full throbbing beat of this beautiful planet together.