18 Feb 2018

From Seed to Seed

Hello there, good neighbors!

I would like to share with you the journey of my beans from seed to seed.

My bean plant started as a seed, but before it was received by the good earth, many things were first done. I prepared the place where it is to be planted on the garden beds. I made the soil nice and fluffy so that the seed can be planted firmly in the ground. If the ground is too hard, the seed will have trouble germinating and may end up rotting. If the soil is cultivated too much, the beneficial organisms will die. The soil will have to be just right so that a good germination is achieved while maintaining the beneficial organisms happy. It is similar to our lives. Before receiving anything in life, no matter how we desire it, if we are not ready to receive it, then it will not arrive. Should it arrive prematurely, surely, we will be faced with many suffering and we will inevitably lose it or them. Many also expect to only receive without even making the effort and discipline to prepare themselves. So, just do it right, not too much, not too less.

After germinating, I watched out for the birds and other animals aiming for the sprouting beans. The beans are very succulent and sweet at this stage and the animals love them. So, if you have some spare seeds, sow for the ants, for the crows, for the pigeons, and for you. Sharing is the key. If you have less to share then simply find a way for them to look on other plants. I planted some sunflowers around the area and that seemed to work just fine in attracting the birds.

During its growth, I made sure that the weeds are kept at bay, making sure that they do not overpower the beans. All the soil preparation we have done may lead to a waste if we allow the weeds to overgrow. We don't have to remove everything and leave the soil bare and seem lifeless. We just have to make sure that the beans are having a sufficient lead against the weeds. Similar to our lives, once we have received the blessing in our lives, it is essential to be disciplined and guard ourselves from anything that may lead us astray. I have an example in a life situation. Many of us desire of a partner in our lives and during the early stages of our relationship, we are passionate with our feelings, just like a sprouting bean. But as time passes by, if we are not careful, we look away, and take that person for granted, and soon enough, the bird will take them away. It is also the same when we want to change something within us. In the beginning, we are passionate and dedicated to the change we want to do, but as time progresses, we allow temptations to choke us out and soon, the beans will be overpowered by the weeds. The weeds are not specifically bad, but it is us who allow these to grow out of control. The weeds are there to remind us of what we want to see growing in the garden. Do you want to grow the beans or the weeds? For me, it was as clear as a bright sunny day in summer. I wanted to grow the beans so I disciplined myself in trying to control the weeds.

We can control many things in our life, but climate is not one of them. When it rains, it rains. When the wind blows, it blows hard. During rainy days, I am thankful that the rain is wetting the soil. I know I have prepared my garden well so I am not afraid of the garden being flooded with water. When the wind blows, I know the beans will not break or bend because I know I planted and took care of them well and trust that they can take that much wind. Similar to our life, if we have prepared the garden of our minds well, then when the rains come, we know that it is for our own growth and we, in fact, should be happy. When the winds challenge us, we have to trust that the efforts we have done to tend our ownselves will prove their strength and will not bend our faith. 

Time passed by and the beans flowered, bees visited, and the harvest time arrived. 
Oh, how glorious it felt when I was harvesting the beans! All those hardwork, finally paid off! When I planted them, I did not imagine reaching up to harvesting the beans. I simply focused on taking care of them, and before I knew it, I was removing the beans from the pods and drying them. Similar to our lives, when we want to be a good person, or have any goals, if we continue focusing on the end goal, one way or another, we may end up tiring ourselves out and giving in. I personally believe that focusing on what is in front of you, while making sure you are rooted on a firm ground, will lead you to where you should be. Keep your faith strong, your discipline firm, and your practice constant. One day you will be amazed where you are without even noticing it.

The miraculous thing about planting beans or any other plant in fact, is that from one seed, if taken care of properly, will produce hundreds or even thousandfold more seeds! If we focus on tending on the improvement of ourselves for the better, one day, we will see that the effect of our efforts will reach great distances! What is amazing is that we may not even be aware of the scale of what we are doing. From one small seed, hundred more seeds emerged and spread to greater area. This is the miracle of Life, the miracle of Creations. When you planted something that is Truly Good, and surrounded it with Love, it can only give birth to something even Better, Greater, and More!

From seed to seed, we connect our lives and our fates. It is definitely a long way, but look at this bean! It started as a seed, now it begins as a seed again. As with our Good intentions and deeds, it will someday return as Good and will repeat the circle for eternity.

These are some of the varieties of beans I planted, aren't they pretty?

15 Dec 2017

How do we deal with the sadness we feel? My few insights on depression

I am sending my warmest greeting from the cold Hokkaido winter to everyone! The time that the bright sun is shining is getting shorter as winter solstice is arriving. This season does affect all our moods but this also means that the holidays are just around the corner! Maybe this is the reason why these holidays were set on literally the darkest days of the year, so that we can illuminate the days with our warm feelings and harmoniously live the long dark nights and contemplate. 

I have just returned from my trip to the Philippines and it was one of my most educational trip I had so far. I am very happy to be reunited, even if it's just a week, with my love and talk with my mentors and good friends. I made sure to be able to have a conversation with them about one of the direst issues that affects people of a wide spectrum of ages- depression.

The sector of scientific medicine has already confirmed this mental health issue but many are still unaware or are still in denial of this real illness. Causes still vary and the exact source still seem to be shrouded in mystery but I may have found one of the possible sources. Allow me to share my opinion on this issue and I would like to approach this with utmost care of my words and expression. I know some of my friends have gone through this and may even be going through this currently. Some of you may even have loved ones who are going through this and are still struggling with its consequences. 

So, before I start sharing my actual insights, I would like for you to take three deep breaths and simply read in silence. 

Breathe In, Breathe Out

In, Out

In, Out

I deeply regard this as one of the issues that has affected my life because it has affected the lives of my loved ones. I would like to approach this the way an awakened person, the way a Buddha, would approach this- through deep inward reflection.

Depression is a suffering that all of us has gone through in some point of our lives. It may have been caused by an event in our lives that has caused deep sadness such as a loved one passing away, or some misfortune in our business, or even as simply as failing a simple written exam. The depth and intensity varies among all of us but the feeling of sadness is there and the time we spend on the feeling of sadness causes the depression to deepen. 

For us to be able to solve a problem, we first have to accept that it exists. One thing I noticed is that depression is not openly talked about. It is as if some people are still in denial it exists and some perceive it as simply a "drama" in life or is simply an illusory problem. We cannot solve any problem if we did not accept that the problem exists. Acceptance that the issue exists is the very first key in understanding depression. Depression is real, it is not an illusion. The consequences of depression are real, people are getting disconnected from their loved ones, cutting their interaction with friends, stopped going to school, and in very saddening cases, taking their own lives. We can feel its effect all around us and it is very real. The illusion here is that there is no solution. Those who have dwelled in depression and unfortunately took their own lives may have thought that there was no other way out, that solutions are an illusion. Please believe me that there are solutions and many of us are simply unequipped with the proper tools to handle our feelings.

Give yourself some time to recognize and accept that the problem exists. Do not turn away from it, do not run away, do not pretend it does not exist. It is there, and as with any problems in life, it has a solution. We can never solve any problem if we cannot look at it directly, so this very first step is essential. This allows us to have a clearer view of the problem. It can help if you can find a quiet place where you can feel your feelings and have time to recognize them. You can take a stroll in a quiet forest or sit in a quiet park. Many have difficulty recognizing their feelings because there is too much distortion and distraction around. Social networking sites are easily reachable within our pockets, television, radio, loud music, loud people, are everywhere to distract us from our problems. Unfortunately, if this continues, we are one day surprised that the feeling has already lingered too long and has now grown far too big for us to handle. 

So, give yourself some time to be with yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to be connected with the most important person in your life, your own self. 

Now that we have accepted and recognized its existence, we can now delve in deeper and explore its possible causes. Many events in our lives happen without our control. Even some sad moments in our lives are beyond of what we can do but luckily there are a few things that we have control on, our feelings and our actions. One of the reasons why our world is very chaotic is because many people are not able to understand their feelings and have control over their actions. 

Have you had experiences when you lashed out or shouted at someone because you felt angry? Did you feel that you were in control of your anger or were you controlled by your anger? When you are irritated or disagree with someone do you react violently and use hurtful words? When you are sad or suffering or your heart is in pain, do you simply cry and let it devour you or do you do something to relieve the suffering? And if you indeed do something about it, does this solve the problem or are you simple propagating more suffering? This is my insight on some people who unfortunately choose suicide as their solution to their suffering. I am deeply saddened to think that these people who have undergone tremendous suffering perceive suicide as the endpoint of their suffering when in reality, the suffering propagates to their loved ones who care deeply for them. One of the main reasons of this world's problems, I believe, is our inability to understand our feeling and control our actions. Even with our logic and our scientific tools, people still allow their feelings to control their actions and cause tremendous suffering.

When we recognize our feelings, we are one step closer into understanding them and we are now aware of what actions will follow. When we are angry, we now know that we are angry, and can now think clearly of what actions are possible to handle this anger. When we are sad, we now know that we are sad, and can now think of ways how to handle this sadness. When we are sad, should we dwell in the sadness? This is where one of the teaching of Buddha comes in handy, the teaching of impermanence. Accodring to him, nothing in this life is permanent, but this doesn't mean that we should be sad. This simply means that if we are sad at this point in our life, it means that it is not permanent, and happiness will soon come our way. When we are happy, we will cherish more our moments of happiness because we know that there will always be sad moments in the future. Should we be scared then if we are happy? Absolutely not! In fact, we should even be happier when we are happy because we know that this moment is only for happiness! If we are sad, we now know that happiness will soon arrive, so now, we can be happy! Without the polarity of up and down or left or right, the wheel of life cannot move forward. When we are talking with our loved one or any person in fact, we know that they or us are impermanent so we cherish more our moment with them and leave our smart phones behind and give our full presence to them. The greatest gift we can give and receive to any one is our full presence. If we have any friends who are depressed, our presence is our greatest gift. If we are depressed, the greatest gift we can give to our friend who is with us is our "graceful receiving" as what Fred Rogers mentioned in one of his interviews. Whether or not we can understand or agree with what they are saying, just simply being there is the greatest gift we can give and receive. If we understand this, we can now sincerely reach out to someone if we are suffering or reach out to someone who is suffering. We can be honest with our own self and speak honestly of what we truly feel. If we can truly convey our feelings without any aggression, then we can also accept sincere words and actions from those who truly wanted to help.

I have mentioned earlier about the ubiquitous distortion and distraction with the present age of convenience and digital interactions. I truly believe that one of the major sources of depression is the feeling of disconnection despite the convenient world of internet connection. We seem to have been disconnected with our own self and with our Creator that we have started questioning our purpose in life. We are now spending more time trying to figure out why do we exist than simply enjoying living harmoniously with the beautiful creations. In order to fill this void of disconnection, we drown ourselves with information from the news, instagram, twitter, facebook, and many others. We seek fulfillness from artificial ephemeral objects yet we still feel disconnected. 

I believe that all of us are not disconnected from our own Being and our Creator. We are simply masking the connection, creating the illusion of disconnection. One of the ways we can remove this mask is by being more in touch with our own being by providing time of silence for reflection and reverence. Instead of binge watching dramas and movies, which only creates more chaos within us, we should find more time to be silent and be in touch with nature. I truly believe that if we have trouble trying to unmask our connection, nature can help us be in touch with our center. I also believe that this is why the indigenous people enjoyed living with nature without spending too much time pondering on their existence. In the bible, God provided Adam and Eve the Earth as a paradise to enjoy life and creations. The moment that they dissected life and tried to know its functions, they felt disconnected. 

We are here to live in peace, harmony, and love with all of the creations!

Don't worry too much on those feelings of anger or sadness, for these too shall pass and know that you have control over them. 

I am praying everyday and sending my intentions, that all of us will someday be a loving neighbor for one another and truly live a Heaven on this Earth.

"Isn't it wonderful to imagine that an infinite number of stars exist above you so as within you?"
(Photo taken on my family homestead on December 14, 2017, the day after I arrived from the Philippines) 

19 Oct 2017

Do we really have to make an impact or make a difference?

It's been a while since my last post. The homestead has been quite busy lately with construction and farm works. As what my farmer friends commonly say "there's always something to do everyday," and there actually is something that needs to be done each and every day. For tonight, unlike other nights when I just go to bed early, I was moved to write on an issue that has been instilled on the minds and hearts of our generation, and that is "making a difference".

About nine years ago, I was able to go to one of the most prestigious college in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Los Baños. This school is known in the Philippines as one of the top schools to go to when one wishes to learn Agriculture Sciences. I remember the Dean telling us that we are the "cream of the crop," that we were among the best of the best. That time I did not believe a word he said, and until now, honestly, I still do not. We were told that we will make a great impact on our nation, that the University has produced hundreds, maybe even thousands of scientists that helped push Philippines to greater heights. Many of the students, especially the competitive ones, were all fired up and inspired. I wasn't. Even at that time, I knew that there was something wrong.

I would like to point out that making a difference to the community or nation is not entirely a bad thing, when done in the proper order. What I found lacking when I was in the University is that there is no building of the being, the individual, the core values, and the rooting. Without rooting of oneself to a solid ground, when we try to impact the society first hand, it will be susceptible to fail due to our egos muddying our perspective. What I found mostly common in our generation is that we choose to shout out our movements, focus on publication materials, taking the perfect shots, and we try our best to portray ourselves as someone who we are not. Maybe in the beginning we had virtuous ideals, but along the way, we get strayed from where we truly want to go to because we are not rooted properly. 

I questioned the statement that we should do something to impact our society. Currently, I know that actions and efforts done humbly, quietly, and slowly, are the true steps to improving the society. Prior to that, we must first make an impact on our own selves. You want to make a difference to the society? Well, do something to change your own self first. If I can't discipline my own self, how can I even dare to imagine changing the society? If I can't choose the right thing, when no one is around, how can I sincerely do the right thing for everyone? Recently, I am humbled by my actions here in this small piece of land in the mountains. Last year, I felt that my steps are too small, too silent for anyone to hear. I almost lost my will to push through, but I did try to push trhough. I moved forward slowly, with the guidance of my family and friends. Slowly, amazing, good people came to this town. I didn't make any loud statements, they simply arrived, and when they did arrive, I was very happy, and helped them with all I could, no matter how small. I trust that this was the result of all of our small efforts to improve our own selves. So, I threw away the idea of changing the society or the world. I focused on my own self, on my own land. This does not mean that I do not care for others or ignore their needs, it simply means that I am rooting myself properly so that when the time comes that they need help, I can help them sincerely and know that my intentions are not shrouded by my ego. I will know that I need not shout out my achievements or the things I did to help them. I can share some ideas for educational purposes but not to improve my self-esteem. I do not need to boost my self-esteem any longer because I know where my ground lies. 

Forcing oneself to make a difference or an impact to the society, or comparing oneself to others who are making an impact, is one of the sources of unhappiness that may lead to depression. When I was in the University, we were told to offer ourselves to the nation and make a difference. But I strongly believe that prior to serving others, we should learn first how to overcome our demons, our egos, and be sincerely grateful for the experience of living. We should learn first how to appreciate what is directly in our grasp, and that is our own self. Appreciation means taking care of our own health, giving time for us to contemplate on nature, forgiving our mistakes, choosing the right choice,  and understanding our own self.

Here on this land, nature may seem harsh. It's inconvenient, the winter is cold, not many people visit, most of the time I am silent, there are far too many insects, wild animals appear, and countless more challenges but what I do appreciate is that I have time for myself. I have time to reflect on  my past actions, time to appreciate the warmth of the sun during winter and the cool breeze during summer, time to know when bad thoughts arise, time to know how to handle them, and time to learn how to truly live. Yes, maybe someday I can do some sort of impact to the society but  I am sure of one thing- I have added one more person to this world who is changing himself for the better, and that is the biggest impact that I can currently do, and all of us can do it! Imagine that, all of us, changing our own self to be better humans, more loving, understanding, forgiving, humble, happy, and content. We will not need to make conscious effort to impact the society because each individual is rooted properly to Love.

12 Sept 2017

The Beautiful Community in the Eastern Hills of Iwamizawa City, Hokkaido, Japan

Rainy days such as today give me time to sit, focus, and regroup my thoughts and activities to be done. I am happy to be able to write again after weeks of busyness here in the land. I have planted strawberries and garlic for next year's humble income and prepared the shiitake logs.

Strawberry seedling mulched with straw

Preparing beds for garlic with straw as mulch

Shiitake fungi spreading beautifully on the logs

I am finally done with some of the biggest field jobs that I have to do for this year so now, I can move on to finishing my tiny house! But, before that, I have time to write on this blog.

I have searched far and wide in Hokkaido and in other parts of Japan for a place where we can settle and start the homestead but many were not very welcome. Many were doubtful of our intentions and did not provide any full help. There are thousands of hectares of unused farmlands that are left abandoned and sadly, many towns leave them as they are. Many government officials that we have encountered looked at it as troublesome and thought that it is not worth the effort to fix the documents of the land. When we were already desperate, we encountered this land here. I was not expecting any help from the community because of my previous experiences but once I approached the local office, the people  were welcoming and helpful. The current local community developers, who are now my good friends, invited me to events in the community to get to know them better. I met the local farmers and artists living in the town. Many of the people who live in this town are builders and DIYers(do-it-yourself builders).

I met this farmer who owns a big orchard, though they are not growing organically, they help the people who move in to this town by providing part-time jobs. Last year, I was saved financially by helping in their farm. The best thing was, they told us to work in our own time. We can decide for ourselves what time or day do we want to work. I was able to work on my land on sunny days and work on theirs on rainy days. They also gave me advice on the climate on this area, places where I can buy cheap materials, and showed me some available lands.

I also met this old guy who also grows shiitake mushrooms in this community. This guy is like my grandfather! He visits me regularly to check on my shiitake and provides me with helpful advice. He showed me all the ropes around growing shiitake and other wild vegetables. Even though I will be growing the same mushroom, which makes me a potential competitor, he still shared with me all his mistakes, his successes, and showed me the beauty of doing things small-scale.

There are also local people who moved in to this community recently and are helpful in all ways! They tell me what available materials that I can procure, such as tiles, firewood, bathroom, windows, and many more! It's almost as if I don't have to spend much money on materials. 

Many of these people who have moved and are starting to move in to this community are people who have built things for themselves. Who chose to do it with their own hands rather than paying somebody else. Many of these people have evidently suffered in their lives and are now reaping the harvests of their hard work. I can feel that this community will become brighter and warmer by the year. Though not all of them are aware of the things that I am aware of, I'm sure we are all guided to gather here on this community. 

There is this wonderful Japanese phrase that are commonly uttered here "住めば都" (Sumeba Miyako). It translates as "as you live(in that place) it becomes your home". This is true in its entirety. I was a foreigner, an outsider, but the land accepted me, the people accepted me, and I can definitely say that this is my home now. No amount of missile from North Korea will make me leave this place for this is the place where the next of my kin will be born. This is the place where I shall see them grow along with the children of my friends who are moving in to this place. This is the place where we can show that there is no need for fancy slogans, forceful gatherings, or egoistic "alternative" lifestyle facade to gather people in a community. The attraction of people in this community may have been started by a family, quietly, patiently living in this small town. Through their mindful silence of satisfaction, joy, and hard work, the people slowly arrived and now I have also arrived.

I will not say "Come move in here" or "This is the best place in the world". This place is the one that I can Love with my whole self and I can help make this the best place for people like us. This place is the one that I can put my effort in to fostering and beautifying not because I want more people to come but to simply revive the beauty of this Yezo (land in Ainu language). As this place beautifies and energizes, people with the same wavelength come.

Maybe someday, I can be like the farmer and the old guy who helped me and be an Angel for other people. I am sure that the small and humble steps we are making are making thunderous sounds in the Universe.

Someday from one, there will be two, and three and four people on this land

11 Jul 2017

The Five Steps to True Societal Change

It has been almost two months since my last post, and that was the birthday of my Co-creator. Everything is bursting with life, the freezing winter seems so distant, and all beings are frolicking in the summer heat and rain. 

Blue skies, lush green vegetation, harmonious chirps of birds, buzzing bees

I have been very busy planting, hand weeding, and building the tiny house that I haven't created the energy to write a new post. I am blessed to have visitors coming in the homestead every week and bringing good news and new opportunities to make life brighter and more meaningful. Having to do several tasks within a short span of season takes a lot of energy and requires concentration so that I can provide my full presence with each activity. But, as I lack practice on mindfulness, my energy gets drained and I lose focus and concentration. As my energy gets drained the results of any activity becomes poorer and I had to redo several tasks. I am reminded again that to be able to be there for others, one has to be there for oneself, first and foremost. I was focused on simply doing tasks and forgot to get back inside, to my own healing. My body feels tired and sluggish as I continue to ignore its plea to rest. Fortunately, I found a time to rest and sit and contemplate and appreciate. Now, I am writing this new post on Awareness.

When I visited my Co-Creator in the Philippines, in one of our meaningful conversations, a deep insight has arose within me and I immediately shared it with her and now, I am sharing it here. In the Philippines, I will bluntly say that suffering can be seen everywhere and it is not being concealed in any fancy masks. In Japan, suffering is masked with convenience, social welfare supports, and being protected by strong sense of maintaining the status quo.

I have found out, through deep looking, that true societal change can be attained in five simple steps. If any of the steps is overlooked, the movement or action that we will do for the community or society may cause more suffering.

The first step is awareness of your own suffering. You are aware that you are afflicted. You are humble enough to accept that you are suffering and it is caused by inner and outer factors. You are aware of your own greed, your own inclinations, and your own mistakes. Many people gets stuck in this awareness that they tend to blame themselves and result to depression. The key to overcome this step is to simply be aware and not attached to your afflictions. Look at your afflictions and tell them "Hello dear afflictions, I know you are there. You are there but you are not who I really am." This is one of the ways Thich Nhat Hanh has taught us how to deal with feelings and mental perceptions. You do not ignore your afflictions and pretend they do not exist. Pride is the one blinding us from our afflictions and as we ignore them, they grow bigger and root deeper that these affliction seem so natural to us. So, simply accept their existence within you and give them your full presence.

The second step is awareness of the suffering of others. Some people skip the first step and immediately focus on the suffering of others. This may seem virtuous at first glance but behind it lies a dangerous trap. If one only looks at the suffering of others, we may have the tendency to feel more superior or more "blessed" than others. We may overlook the fact that all of us inter-are and are connected. We may be trapped in the notion that their suffering is more than ours. We must first be aware of our own suffering to have a true and realistic view of the suffering of others. To be truly empathic of others suffering, we must be deeply in touch with our own suffering first so that we would not judge others immediately. If we are truly in touch with our own suffering, when we see a person making mistakes, we would not think "That person is a bad person and he or she must be punished". Rather, we would think "He or she is suffering like I am. His or her actions are reflections of the sufferings he or she has gone through." We should not think beyond this for now. We shouldn't think immediately of what we can do for others. We should first think of what we should do within ourselves, what we should do to overcome our afflictions.

The third step is making actions and efforts to face your suffering. If you are suffering with pride, then try to focus your energies on your feelings and balance your pride with humility. If you are suffering with greed, then balance it with discipline and generosity. If you are suffering with loneliness, balance it with the openness to meet new people and friends. If you are suffering in a relationship, don't allow pride to hinder your openness. When you are suffering or hurt by your partner, the very first person you talk to is your partner. Tell them that you are hurt and tell them to help you overcome this. Ask them the reason why they have caused you suffering. To be able to relieve the suffering of the one you love, you must be able to overcome your suffering as well even if this was caused by the very people you love.

The fourth step is to re-evaluate yourself. Look again deeply within you and observe if there are any hints of self-satisfaction in the movement or action that you are about to do for others. This fourth step is overlooked by many and jump to making action in the community or the country. Many people are doing something in the mask of doing it for others when in reality the action stems from the sense of self-satisfaction or self-righteousness. This action usually results in phrases such as "At least I am doing something, what are you doing?" "I am sacrificing myself for others, how about you?". When phrases such as these are being uttered by people who are trying to incite societal change, they are likely trapped in their ego. When one is truly in touch with one's own suffering and other's suffering and the action springs from true intention of healing, the actions will be silent, without proclamation, but strong and steady with each step. Without this fourth step, the action will be ephemeral and will cause greater distortion and suffering. 

The fifth step is the actual Doing with Being. You are now in touch with yourself and with others, and you have balanced yourself and re-evaluated yourself. You can now do the action or the movement for others, community, or country without being strayed by your ego. You are now Doing while Being. You are no longer sacrificing yourself because you know your completeness and you have an Eternal Source of energy. You no longer give something in expense of your own because you are completely aware and you feel that their suffering is your own and their happiness is your own. You will not be brought down by naysayers and you know you need not feed their energies because you know that silence with compassionate action is the loudest form of change. You work under the beautiful shade of humility, without acknowledgement, without fame, because you know that the false light of good deed in fame is a deed cloaked in self-righteousness and self-satisfaction. Your action, no matter how small, will reverberate throughout the cosmos and bring change within each person you encounter and will soon bring everlasting societal change. 

Try to go into the first step first before proclaiming your actions. Maybe some of us are lost somewhere within the four steps. I have been lost somewhere as well and I am now doing something in a small spot in this beautiful earth, silently planting, hand weeding, and dancing with the butterflies and await patiently and eagerly for the arrival of good tidings.

I am doing this not because you are wrong, or they are wrong, but I am doing this because I am happy and with this energy, I can water the seeds of happiness within you.
(Photo of a Cosmos in Ginhawa Cafe in the Philippines)