|Shops in Ireland|
(Note bicycle under lamp post)
Image courtesy karpati
On my block, there would be no homeless men and women packing up their cardboard and blankets and shuffling away before the shopkeepers found them sleeping in their doorways. That's the first thing I would notice, in the early hours of the morning.
Later, shops and stores would bustle with friendly voices and faces. Clerks would be well compensated for their work. They would have no worries about a toothache sending zinging shots of pain through their head if they sipped their hot coffee on the wrong side of the mouth.
Bicycle racks would line the parking spots outside shops and apartments, and the bicycles would not be locked. There, see that man parking his bike? He gets off, removes his helmet, hooks the strap over the handlebar, helps his two-year-old daughter from the child safety seat, lays her helmet in her seat, and walks into the grocery store, cloth bag in one hand, daughter's in the other. He doesn't even look back to check the bike. No need! Not one soul on the face of the earth would think of taking it.
Inside the store, the man and his daughter visit with the green grocer and learn what the farmers are bringing in this week. He adds just enough kale, turnips and cauliflower to his bag to make the soup he plans for today's supper. He picks up a handful of sweet Valencia oranges, brought in only this morning from a neighbor's tree. He stops and chats with the butcher while she slices a thick slab of ham from the side the local pig farm delivered yesterday. He'll use the small round bone and some of the ham to flavor the soup. His wife will use the rest of the ham in a quiche she wants to take to their neighbors, who have been under the weather with a flu bug.
On the way out, the man tells the manager that he'll bring a clean, repaired awning tomorrow to replace the soiled one over the front of the store.
This dad, you see, is a sail and awning maker. When the neighborhood awnings begin to show signs of tears and wear, he replaces them with cleaned, repaired awnings. When they become too worn to be repaired, he provides new ones. Fisherman and recreational sailors in the area come to him for refurbished and, when necessary, new sails as well. The awning maker especially enjoys creating new designs to decorate his canvases. He has a knack for understanding just what will please his customers and bring surprise and joy to their faces.
Money never changes hands. There is no such thing as a bank account. Each person's work is valued. Each person does the work he or she loves. Because everyone does fulfilling work they enjoy, people are happy. Because their basic needs are always met, because they have time and energy to nourish their creative, spiritual and relationship needs, they are healthy emotionally and physically. Because children are brought into a loving world full of happy people, conflict is rare. Like the Ladakhi, when conflict does arise, people shrug it off easily, Chi choen--What's the point? Life is too precious to waste in conflict.
That's one vision for today. One idea of what the world might look like if there were no greed and no anger.
So, back to my original question. If there were no greed and no anger, what would be different in your life, your neighborhood?
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.