Gateway Goddess: ‘Helpers’ deeds light candles in darkest times

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

–Fred Rogers

When something awful happens, we have a choice.

We can focus on the awfulness. Or we can focus on the helpers.

I choose the second thing.

By focusing on the helpful people, we increase the amount of love in the world. Every positive thought and compassionate act is a step towards moving society from the darkness to the light.

oakland buddha

Dan Stevenson’s Buddha on 11th Avenue shifted the energy to the light for an entire neighborhood.

 

Andrew Smith, one of the astrologers whose blog posts I read, had this to say in a recent article for Positive Life magazine:

Gregg Braden talks about the measurable effect on humanity of group intention in his book The Divine Matrix. Essentially, he refers to research undertaken that suggests it only takes the square root of point one percentage of the population to transform the world by intention alone. Think about that in terms of Ireland – that is a mere 223 people needed to embody the cosmic energy and kick start the paradigm shift. 223!

Extrapolating that to the U.S., it’s 558. Extending that to world population, it’s 2661.

(I am choosing to ignore the corollary thought that if it takes just a small number of people to raise vibration, then a similarly small number also could drag it down. Let’s be positive, please.)

We all have a choice, every day, to make a little magic—to change consciousness at will. And to make that change a positive one.

Many people who read this Web site volunteer. I bet more than 558.  Maybe they volunteer with their church, or with other organizations. Or, perhaps they simply try to interact with joy and compassion as the opportunity presents itself.

I try to do this every day. I live in a city. I often see people asking for spare change, or for money, at traffic intersections. Unless I have absolutely no money with me, I give something. I do more than give. I look at the person directly, squeeze his or her hands, and give them a blessing. I let them know I see them as a fellow human being, worthy of respect. The flow of compassion blesses us both.

Any positive act or intention changes us, changes those to whom it is directed, and changes the world. Think of the story of the Oakland Buddha. In 2009, Dan and Lu Stevenson got tired of the graffiti and garbage in their neighborhood. They decided to install a small garden Buddha to shift the energy. And it did.

The graffiti was painted over and did not come back. No garbage was dumped. People planted flowers, lit candles, left offerings, stopped to meditate and pray.

And when one person’s complaint almost led to the city of Oakland removing the Buddha, the neighborhood rallied and the Buddha was allowed to remain.

The Oakland Buddha is a candle. The efforts of all those who ran forward to help after the Boston Marathon bombing are candles. My friends who volunteer with homeless animals, homeless humans, the hungry, those stricken by natural disasters, all are candles. So many good deeds shining forth, so many candles lit against the darkness.

We all have a choice: light a candle, or curse the darkness.

I’ll reach for that candle, every time.


Gateway Goddess is published on alternate Fridays. Follow it via RSS or e-mail!

About Kathy Nance

Kathy Nance is freelance writer and green entrepreneur who lives in suburban Missouri. She has a B.S. with majors in mass communications, sociology and English. She has worked as a newspaper education reporter, feature writer and editor. Her freelance work has been published in general circulation and specialty publications in the U.S. and Great Britain. Before coming to Patheos she was a featured writer for Civil Religion, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch interfaith blog. She has organized both large and small public Pagan celebrations bringing together groups from a variety of traditions in the St. Louis area. She leaves offerings to the Fey and to her ancestors, as well as a multi-ethnic family of Gods and Goddesses who so far are content to share altar space. She can be found expressing opinions on a daily basis on Facebook and Google+, or @GatewayGoddess on Twitter.

  • Jen McConnel

    Beautiful post. Thank you for this candle.

  • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com/ Gregory Wonderwheel

    My problem with the background premise is that there is nothing wrong with the dark. Equating “the bad” with “the dark” is wrong thinking. When bad things happen they happen in the light, otherwise they would not be identified with “bad”. Identifying “good from bad” is an activity that happens in the light. Saying that good and bad are mutually exclusive is an error in cognition. The good depends on the bad, and vice versa. Good and bad are mutually proximate causes of each other.

    The choice is not to “light a candle” or “curse the darkness.” I will rest in the blessed darkness, and when I want to get up and walk around I will light a candle so I won’t bump into the furniture.

    • http://www.patheos.com/Pagan Christine Kraemer

      > I will rest in the blessed darkness, and when I want to get up and walk around I will light a candle so I won’t bump into the furniture.

      Ha!

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