Friday, April 25, 2008

Chasing Women and Making Money

If you spent one-tenth
of the time you devoted
to distractions,
like chasing women
or making money,
to spiritual practice,
you would be enlightened
in a few years!


I'd take some exception with Ramakrishna's remark. At some point along the evolutionary path, chasing women and making money constitute spiritual practice. Only at a given point is it prudent to leave the ways of adolescence behind and walk with eyes wide open into the adult realm of the truly spiritual.

But let's say that we have arrived to spiritual adulthood, now what? It appears that part of that new practice will include sharing. Not just sharing with family and friends, but a new sense of heart-felt responsibility for the global condition and those on it. With these new eyes, responsibility for animals count as do plants and even minerals. Maybe even some kingdoms of which we aren't even consciously aware.

Along that line, a contributor this week sent a link to That entertaining as well as educational Website chronicles the chain connecting resources to production to sales to the eventual tossing of everyday stuff--all that stuff we can't live without. The narrator explained that several steps in the old linkage were left out. Like, when we've used up our own resources, why do we think it's OK to go after those somewhere else? And, what about all that trash?

Mostly these invisible steps beg the question of responsibility up and down the line. I find myself saying: "Do I HAVE to think about this? Can I just tiptoe back into spiritual adolescence for just a minute? Chasing stuff with money is so much more fun."

Everyone seems to be getting onto the sharing bandwagon, including Oprah Winfrey with something called "Big Give." Even Heineken Beer is "tapping into drinker's altruism" with its new series of advertisements that includes double coasters with the jingle "Adopt a Stranger, Share in Good." This beer purveyor, of course, wants to sell more beer with its $40 - $50 million ad campaign, but the message of sharing is telling:
"One spot features various characters passing along cold ones--such as an Indian woman in traditional garb who walks into a cowboy bar and hands a Heineken Light to a man decked out in a Stetson hat. The headline: 'Be a Beer Samaritan' " (WSJ, 4-2-08, B8.)
Although the Heineken Company touts the new ads as a way to uplift the country in a bad mood, the idea of sharing may percolate into the brains of those drinking the tasty brew. Who knows, it may be a necessary step from chasing women and making money to other more global spiritual endeavors. Even for the company.

It may not come as a surprise, but corporations evolve as do people. Along that line, many companies have been giving to charity for a long time and felt no more should be asked of them. But that is not the case any longer. Adult responsibility is the next phase to which corporations are being asked to move along with their many customers.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal explained ways corporations are contributing to global well-being that are free to those willing to take a few moments to click. Two featured search engines contribute money every time a person clicks on a search. It's only pennies a time, but these pennies add up:
" allows users to raise money for charity simply by performing Google searches on the site. Advertisers on the site pay Searchkindly according to the number of users, and all advertising revenue goes to charity. is another search engine that funds donations with advertising revenue; for every search performed on the site, roughly one cent goes to charity.", featured on this blog, was also highlighted this week by the Journal. This mega-Website, which originated in 1999, addresses six different issues from hunger to breast cancer, literacy, rain forests, animals and child health. Each click provides free donations that can be made daily. It takes about one minute to get through the six and each page shows what you contributed and the total. Let me tell you, the clicks add up!
"Each click on one of these sites generates a few pennies at best, but with more than five million unique monthly visitors to the GreaterGood sites at last count, the pennies add up. Last year, these sites raised $1.5 million. There is now a forum for people all around the world to take action together to support an issue, and small actions can really add up to do a lot of good."
And finally, the article noted a way to give frequent flier miles to charity. Information about that is included on each airline's Website. Again, these miles add up. WSJ revealed that "American Airlines fliers have donated more than 43 million miles; US airways gave more than 300 million miles in 2007."

While we might not want to be dragged from adolescence into adulthood spiritually, the alternative of being left behind in the dust is dire. Responsible acts of sharing time, money, clicks and miles may be the first step to that brighter future for each one of us individually and the planet as a whole.

Of Note: This photo of two purple and white crocuses was shot yesterday during a lull in the rain. You can tell they are tiny by comparing the size of the surrounding mulch and pine needles. The yellow crocuses mentioned yesterday are already gone in the pounding rain. So, these two survivors are the only flowers presently gracing the extensive perennial garden.

Today's Weather Report: More rain, all day. At 40 degrees, it's cold as well. The lady meteorologist promises snow later with almost certainty.
Good day to curl up and read a book.

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