Saturday, August 07, 2010

Taking Only What is Given by Louis Evan Palmer

There is an approach to life where one seeks to stay only on a path outlined by Nature (or God); where one eats the food that offers itself, where one lives in abodes and ways that are most natural; where things we do, including our societies, are modeled on what we see around us and our purest feelings.

There is always a question as to how much of our abilities we should use to get what (we think) we need. The appropriate extent of our co-creation.

However, what if it is as simple as what we are given is what we need. And, further, that when we strive and acquire beyond that, it not only is not needed but is not good for us; or nature and the world, as it's not healthy or sustainable.

What does it mean to take only what is given?

It would certainly mean that force is not to be used - especially against living things. If we need wood, we would take fallen branches and trees, partially burnt trees, submerged wood, wood knocked down by natural forces or pests. Stone and sand we could take as long as it didn't damage the environment or destroy animals' homes.

We would take our food as it is given to us - on a branch, on a bush or a vine, in the ground. We would eat meat that comes by way of natural death or kills by other animals and so, it would be infrequent and usually smaller portions.

Taking only what is "given" means not taking any life. The animals never voluntarily give us their lives. The trees don't agree on being cut down. They do, however, die. Animals can, in a sense, "give" us their eggs and milk in exchange for their care and protection. Or, in the same way, bees can "give" us their honey.

The "taking" should also match the "giving" in its characteristics - it would be universal as in the rain falls on all, the resulting water is for all; it would be as natural as possible - the food grows without tending, the harvest takes only what can be used and that does not negatively impact the food source and its environment. We should be grateful for what we have rather than anxious about what we think we're missing.

Taking what is given also means knowing the full extent of our gifts and abilities and our place in the universe - the knowledge of which has the greatest impact on what we do.

Taking Only What Is Given, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2010 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


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