Living to Give
--by Peace Pilgrim (Apr 02, 2001)
In my early life I made two very important discoveries. In
the first place I discovered that making money was easy. And in
the second place I discovered that making money and spending it
foolishly was completely meaningless. I knew that this was not
what I was here for, but at that time (this was many years ago), I
didn't know exactly what I was here for. It was out of a very deep
seeking for a meaningful way of life, and after having walked all
one night through the woods, that I came to what I now know to be a
very important psychological hump. I felt a complete willingness,
without any reservations, to give my life, to dedicate my life
to service. I tell you, it is a point of no return. After that,
you can never go back to completely self-centered living. [...]
Now there is a living to give instead of to get. As you concentrate on the giving, you discover that just as you cannot receive without giving, so neither can you give without receiving - even the most wonderful things like health and happiness and inner peace. There is a feeling of endless energy - it just never runs out; it seems to be as endless as air. You just seem to be plugged into the source of universal energy.
You are now in control of your life. You see, the ego is never in control. The ego is controlled by wishes for comfort and convenience on the part of the body, by demands of the mind, and by outbursts of the emotions. But the higher nature controls the body and the mind and the emotions. I can say to my body, "Lie down there on that cement floor and go to sleep," and it obeys. I can say to my mind, "Shut out everything else and concentrate on this job before you," and it's obedient. I can say to the emotions, "Be still, even in the face of this terrible situation," and they are still. It's a different way of living. The philosopher Thoreau wrote: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps he hears a different drummer. And now you are following a different drummer - the higher nature instead of the lower.
--Peace Pilgrim, http://www.peacepilgrim.com
Mildred Norman, started walking for a peace pilgrimage in 1953 and stopped counting after 25,000 miles; she kept walking, criss crossing United States six times, walking for her entire life. She carried no money, nor would she accept any. She went without food until it was offered to her or she found it in the wild. She slept wherever she could, such as a bus station or a corn field, if no one offered her a place to sleep.