Number 10 (part 4 of 4) – ‘Do Lent generously’ challenge

This is a continuation of act number 10, the ‘Do Lent Generously’ challenge (detailed further down in this blog). Detailed below are the acts for days 31 to 40 of the 40 day challenge.

Day 31: Create something for someone – For our first anniversary I had made a piece of art (a collage of photos and prose) for my partner, which we have hanging on our bedroom wall. We recently moved and it got damaged by rain. To complete this challenge I restored it so that it looks as good as new.

Day 32: Give unused things to charity – See post ‘Number 27’.

Day 33: Sign a petition – See post ‘Number 28’.

Day 34: Plan an Easter party for ‘Easter Saturday’ – I will be inviting my friend who will be alone over Easter for dinner with our family.

Day 35: Spread the Gospel – I have interpreted this in a way that makes it relevant for me: I am not spreading the Gospel, but I attempted to spread the very important message that is respect and compassion for others.

Yesterday, a friend/acquaintance of mine on Facebook posted what I found to be an offensive statement about homeless people (using the Australian derogatory slang ‘feral’, meaning dirty and un-kept). It made me really sad and I felt I had to say something, but was not sure how to approach the subject as I do not know her that well (we only know each other from when I lived for a short time in Australia, and we are no longer in regular contact).

The conversation is posted below. Even though I don’t know if the way she sees other people has changed, I felt there was at least some difference in how she talked at the beginning of the post to at the end, so perhaps there was some impact, even if it was just small. And who knows if maybe it will grow and be reinforced by others in the future.

I feel my part in this conversation was minor, as ‘D’ and ‘H’ are closer and ‘D’ was obviously more moved by what ‘H’ said. However, I decided to count this as an act because even though my influence in the conversation appears to be minor, it was with the greatest intentions of spreading love and compassion in a non-intrusive way, and even the smallest of impacts can still help ideas grow.

feral 1 feral 2 compassion

Day 36: Share your lunch – I went out today (the day before Easter Sunday) to share lunch with a homeless person.  I saw a gentleman on the other side of the road and popped in to a cafe to order two portions of chips and juice for us. But while I was waiting for the chips to be prepared, it started to rain and the man left. I looked for him (or someone else) afterwards, but to no avail. While I am not counting this as my act completed (I intend to complete this act -hopefully many times- in the near future), I am nevertheless counting the intention with regard to being able to complete the ‘Do Lent Generously’ challenge.

Day 37: Put yourself second – I feel this is already part of my daily life (at least with regard to being there for my family, friends and work, and sometimes also beyond that). And I am not saying this with any pretence of nobleness, or with any bitterness, for that matter: it is just how it is, or perhaps who I am. And I know many other people that put the needs of others first, almost instinctively. I had never really thought about it before. When I do it, I don’t feel like it is special. However, saying that I have always had a lot of respect and admiration for people I see as selfless. So to complete this act, I guess I will consider my actions for the day, and consciously choose to listen to what others want, and put effort in to fulfilling these needs where I can.

Day 38: Forgive someone – I do not like to hold on to anger and I try to resolve issues and restore peace in relationships as quickly as possible. There is only one person I have had a difficult time forgiving entirely. This person hurt me a lot in the past. I was manipulated and used over several years, but that is in the past and I have let go of the anger I felt about that. I really have. What I am finding very difficult to forgive is that this person continues to prey on, manipulate and abuse vulnerable people, but I am not in the position to do anything about it. I find forgiving him difficult because I feel he is causing injustice, and I should be able to stop it but I can’t. I forgive him as a person – we are all just humans, and I do not perceive the world as he does, so how can I know why he acts the way he does?- I just struggle to forgive his continued actions. In an attempt to complete this task, I shall continue to try and let go of the anger I feel towards this person: I shall try to forgive entirely. It is something I continually work on, and I do feel I get closer with time.

Day 39: Share your story – This act is to tell others about how you came to God. How I came to have the spirituality I have now was triggered by disillusionment with organised religion, developed through a reverence for nature, and continues to evolve as my understanding of the world increases. I am not interested in ‘converting’ people to my particular spiritual beliefs, but I do wish there was more love, compassion and respect in the world – for people, and other animals, and nature. I try to live my life in a way that is in accord with my aspirations of a love-filled, peaceful and respectful planet, and I guess all I would say to others who aspire for something similar is to believe it is possible, to start with yourself, and to spread the love. ❤

Day 40: Celebrate with your community – See post ‘Number 32’.

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