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LEGACY -- The Imprint We Leave Behind
Every day, we have an opportunity to do our part to bring more love, peace, and joy into the world. Our every action can make a difference in somebody's life. When we leave this earthly body and this planet, it is helpful to know what we have learned, and what we have left behind. This is called our "legacy."
Here, we will take the letters of "legacy" and describe in more detail what that can look like.
L -- Love Lessons
We have daily opportunities to share love in the world. We can be kind to those we know, and those we hardly know. Our behaviors reflect our feelings.
So, it is important to ask oneself, "What is the most loving thing I can do in this situation?" We also learn to love ourselves, and receive love from others. This caring, nurturing feeling reinforces our knowing our own beauty and God-like-ness. We can also teach others to love more by setting an example, being a role model.
E -- Energetic Experiences
By living fully, in the moment, and being the vibrant creation that we are, we feel a deep connection with all there is in the world. This feeling of connection affects our actions, thoughts and feelings. We have had many different types of encounters. Some of these encounters have been joyous and meaningful, filled with love. Others may have been painful, challenging and ultimately enlightening. We leave behind the complexity, depth, and intensity of what we have lived.
G -- God's Grace, Gratitude and Generosity
We live in God's grace, knowing we are loved, cherished, forgiven, and appreciated. With this, we do not need to applause, attention, and approval of others. By knowing this about our lives, we develop freedom to help others become their true selves. We are generous with our resources including our time.
We live in gratitude and appreciating our gifts and talent. We do not take for granted our good health, mental and physical skills, and ability to connect and care about others.
A -- Affirming Actions and Availability
We live with a positive attitude about ourselves, life, and the world. Our actions reflect this positivity. Our actions affect others, and they, in turn, affect others.
So, by affirming that WE ARE LOVE IN ACTION, we become instruments of God's unending love. We make ourselves available to others in need. We listen, care, and support those around us who are hurting.
C -- Courageous Connections
We develop friendships and intimate connections with others. We are courageous and take appropriate risks. We live out our potential and dreams by going out into a challenging world, and difficult situations. We speak up for justice, truth, and integrity of all people. We are mindful and selective as we venture into uncharted waters. We also teach others to be courageous by our example. We are blessed to have resilience, the ability to bounce back.
Y -- Yearning for Yonder
As creative human beings, we have the gift of imagination. We can see beyond the obvious. We wander, and we wonder. We explore and we move into the spiritual realm. This energy of exploration means that we are continuously expanding, and learning new ways of being. We move into worlds different than the one we were raised in. We travel to different places, see different people. All the while, we realize we are one with God, and each other, and nothing can separate us from that knowing. As we have goals and dreams, we inspire others to see that were is more beyond the horizon.
What a journey it is to live this human experience! Since we are spiritual beings, we have a depth to us that transcends what is visible. As we move into later life, we become aware that our legacy is not just money or possessions, but an imprint that has made a meaningful difference in the human world. And for this, we are grateful and blessed.
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Living with 10,000 Chickens
I grew up in rural central New Jersey on a 10,000 white leghorn chicken farm. All chickens, no roosters. My father, mother and I worked hard every day collecting, cleaning, sorting, and packing eggs.
My Dad did not believe in caging animals. So, no cages. Coops with room to run around, and free range time on five acres during the warmer months. There were about 200 per room. Chickens made lots of noise, cackled from 5 a.m., and smelled like manure which they readily manufactured. The laid eggs in wall nests, and slept on wooded perches.
We got to go outside when the chickens moved onto the range for the five warmer months, April through September. I remember the small pleasures I had as I fed them by spreading grain from pails. There was an airport nearby, and I imagined the pilots getting a laugh as they flew overhead. I wrote out words on the ground in grain, and the chickens all ate in the configurations of the words, making them even larger. At age eight, words like "shit" and other curse words were my favorites. My father never knew.
We had several dogs as pets during my childhood, but they would run out to the highway and get killed. So, we couldn't have dogs anymore. However, when was around age ten, I had a pet chicken named "Troodle" for Gertrude. She would run across the room in the coop when I called her name. She would sit down in front of me, and I would pick her up and pet her. She had a painted red mark on her white feathers.
When the chickens molted and were sold to the butcher, Troodle was spared. Although she had molted like the others, eventually all of her feathers grew back, and she looked vibrant again. She lived over five years which is long for a chicken and died of old age. I was about
fourteen, and cried very when she passed. I never had another pet chicken.
I learned about nurturing animals, the cycle of birth and death. We had to deal with diseases and hurricanes. I worked with my parents every day after school, and all day in the summer and on weekends. I started around age seven. I collected eggs, and helped wash, sort, and pack them. I was proud that our truck had letters written on it saying, "David Obsatz and Son."
At times, I really resented the farm and the chickens, the daily routine, and the lack of free time to play with friends. However, we spent many evenings in the summer as a family going to the ocean in Asbury Park, about fifteen minutes away. We watched the waves, the pigeons, the seagulls, and eating salt water taffy. You'd think that I would be tired of birds of any kind by evening.
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O Holy Night: