That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
That God put firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for what is right.
That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
That “this government of the people, by the people, and for the people” shall live always.
That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.
An interesting creed…although definitely of its time, hence the lack of gender neutral language.
Self-reliance ought never to be confused with selfishness, they are in no way similar, although they have been misinterpreted over the years and understood similarly.
No one pulls themselves up from their bootstraps completely alone, all by themselves. From the moment of our births others are involved in creating who we are and who we become. As the old saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” No one lives entirely from themselves we are all a part of an interdependent web of relationships that are made of both visible and invisible strings; strings that are physical and others metaphysical. Asking for help is actually a sign of both strength and wisdom, rather than weakness. It is a sign of good, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Now the asking for help began as a prayer but soon became an activity and it brought to my mind that questions that begins Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?” Now in the Psalm the answer is that God will give the help. God who made the heaven and the earth as well as the hills that the Psalm is referring to.
Standing up on a hill top and looking down on the world in which we live and breath and have our being gives us space and perspective. It helps us rise above our worries and troubles and leads us to solutions that often cannot be found in the middle of the hustle and bustle of life. Somewhere in that space the answers as to what can be done, can be found.
A few months ago I went to see the documentary film “Between Dog and Wolf” it told the story of my musical heroes New Model Army and their long career on the fringes of the mainstream. Much of it moved me as it described their many ups and downs, many that they created for themselves. There was one moment that really took a hold of the soul of me. This was when Justin Sullivan, the creative force behind it all, talked about the few months he lived in London at the beginning of their odyssey and how he just couldn’t write there. He felt cramped up creatively and hemmed in. he needed to return to the hills of Bradford to write once again. He needed those hills to find space and perspective and to once again touch the spirit.
I understand this I need space and time alone to commune with the unseen thread so that I can connect with physical life in the right way; so I can help in appropriate ways and seek help when I need it, so as to be the best that I can be.
No one is an island. We are communal beings entirely dependent on each other and life itself. In the words of Martin Luther King “We are interdependent…all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” This has never been more true than today. When someone reaches out in a time of need it is our God given duty to help and when we need help we need to be faithful enough to ask for help too. Interdependence is a physical fact, but it is also a spiritual reality.
This to me is the whole point of spiritual community, of religious living. To see, understand and experience this oneness, this Divine Unity. To see that we are all one. To be of help to one another and to seek the help when it is needed. In this way we all grow and become the best that we can be and serve life to the utmost of our ability.
So I say to you the reader, echoing the Creed of “The Lone Ranger’s” let’s recognise the power within ourselves to make this a better world; let’s gather the firewood that god has provided for us; let’s make the most of the equipment we have; let’s settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken. "Hi oh Silver, away"
I will end this this little chip of a blogspot with the following meditation “The Web of Life” by Robert T Weston…
"The Web of Life"
To all the universe
Linking us each with each and through all life
On to the distant stars.
Each knows a little corner of the world, and lives
As if this were his all.
We no more see the farther reaches of the threads
Than we see of the future, yet they’re there.
Touch but one thread, no matter which;
The thoughtful eye may trace to distant lands
Its firm continuing strand, yet lose its filaments as they reach out,
But find at last it coming back to him from whom it led.
We move as in a fog, aware of self
But only dimly conscious of the rest
As they are close to us in sight or feeling.
New objects loom up for a time, fade in and out;
Then, sometimes, as we look on unawares, the fog lifts
And there’s the web in shimmering beauty,
Reaching past all horizons. We catch our breath;
Stretch out our eager hands, and then
In comes the fog again, and we go on,
Feeling a little foolish, doubting what we had seen.
The hands were right. The web is real.
Our folly is that we so soon forget.
By Robert T Weston