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Bel Borba mural in Salvador Bahia Brasil

As the waning full moon hung high in the star filled night, Crystal went to cut into the small delicious looking cake she had bought for her son, Charles’ 21st birthday, the day after New Year’s. It looked to me that it would not be enough for the twenty or more guests assembled for the celebration. As I later sat, enjoying the deep rich flavors of chocolate cake mixed with delicious pineapple and vanilla ice cream, piled on my plate, I looked about to see everyone, men women and children, having a similar reveling moment, with smiles around full dessert plates. Turned out, there was enough for everyone.

Arriving in Salvador, we entertained guests for dinner, sometimes with more people showing up than expected. Sometimes, to me, the amount of food seemed limited but there was always more than enough for everyone. In a way, just the act of sharing, fills in any perceived gaps. Even the precious element of time, during a short vacation, seemed like it would be difficult to share equally with everyone – however time bends to our will because of its illusory nature and the fear of its loss or limits are self-imposed – as a result everyone has had quality time together.

What had to change for me was not the quantities of things but the perception of what is available to me. My fear of limitation was less about others and more about myself. Like the cake, the food and shared time, these were all moments when I got lost in the concept of, “would there be enough for me”. Though masked as a concern for others, it was really about a false perception harbored deep within, that the fruits of our world are limited. This misperception is widely held and its influences are everywhere, streaming from deep within to media and governing outlets without.

Our country is in a “deficit debate” and many of the proposed solutions are to exclude and/or limit many people from sharing in the bounty of life – based on largely arbitrary and discriminatory reasoning. The use of the fear that there will “not be enough for me”, is a powerful motivation. It is easy to draw a “limitation” conclusion when the fear of not having enough for yourself is the driving factor, however, when we consider others being left out, we must realize we are being left out, too – because degraded condition of others, degrades us all.

Looking beyond limitation into abundance, we can see a way where even less turns out to be more. The alchemy of life has always defied rational thought, whereby odds were beaten and people survived in conditions thought impossible. In this New Year, we can believe more about our existence than the “one plus one equals two” mechanics of life and reach more for “one times one equals ten” possibility of life.

Happy Healthy Prosperous New Life

Image by Bel Borba, mural in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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