Home » A Druid's Blog » January 2019 A Druid’s Web Log – Another New Year in the Time of Chaos

January 2019 A Druid’s Web Log – Another New Year in the Time of Chaos

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As I write this it is the first of January, “Hogmanay”  for those of Scottish persuasion. The weather is unnaturally warm, so warm (50 degrees and windy) that I hung my wash out to dry, which is usually a summer activity. The government is shut down due to managerial incompetence and I am reflecting on what little I can do to make this a better world.

One thing I do, and you can do it too, is volunteer at a local food pantry. I have been doing this for three years now, and I am still in awe of the extent of good works and assistance meted out by this kind of organization. If you have ever known the dilemma of whether to pay a bill or go to the grocery store for needed food, this kind of place is a shining ray of hope.

Our local center started in one woman’s basement when she realized the extent of the need, and the fact that people had extra food and clothing to share. Now there is a pantry where individuals and families can go once a month, and a fresh food distribution center where people can visit four days a week and one Saturday a month. There are free lunches and dinners for “shoppers” and the homeless. There is a clothing store where all items, including clothes, books, toys, plates, cups, pots and pans, and other donated items are free. There is a huge store of much needed diapers and sanitary supplies for women.

There is a visiting dental hygienist as well as volunteer doctors, nurses and social workers. There are sewing classes, free live music performances, and fun outings like movies and picnics. Every major holiday is celebrated, this week I will attend a New Year’s dance on site.

This has to be one of the best, if not the best, such operation in the country and anyone studying Social Work, Public Health, Sociology or Political Science should come take a look. The center is located in a Massachusetts town overflowing with upscale eateries and grocery stores, who make regular donations of food that is about to expire and which in the past would have ended up in the local dump. Individuals also drop off amazing items like organic coffee, fancy bake mixes, natural sweeteners and chocolates. There are often donations of fresh flowers and local farmers donate seasonal produce. Even dogs and cats get their share of wet and dry food and occasionally litter. You never know what is going to appear on the shelves.

Anything left over is picked up by a local farmer for compost and for his pigs. Nothing is wasted.

If you ever get discouraged by the selfish behavior of corporations and our “leaders” who think of short term profit before the fate of the Earth and her people, take heart. There are still good people and businesses out there, willing and able to share the bounty.

Joanna Macy said;

“Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.”

We need to feel the outrage and then get out and do something, towards the greater good. Here’s one more thing you can do – as we did last year there will be another Global Women’s March on January 19 – 20. Find your local chapter on this site.

Here is to the compassion in all of us. I hope you and yours have a blessed New Year!

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