Maine to New York City: March 2011.
Our duty fulfilled a little after six pm, a newscaster’s voice was the last sound my fellow volunteers and I will associate with the memory of volunteering at Grand Central Community Center. As we left the Soup Kitchen, a crowded audience of New York City’s homeless was sitting in chairs, eyes fixed to the TV, all learning about the revolution in Libya and the earthquake in Japan. Our group of five exited the shelter and entered the streets of midtown Manhattan, to the shopping district of centralized wealth and consumerism. I stole a glance down the dusky Avenue and saw the ghost of the twin towers through the gray sprinkling mist before we descended into the submerged world of the New York subway. Below, a man was asking the crowd for a donation: his wife and kid were starving and had no money for dinner “God bless you, have a blessed day,” he said. Further along in the bustle of commuters, a gospel trio sat singing behind an offering hat, their song filling the air with the harmony of a Spiritual: “It’s been a long time coming but I know change gon’ come.” Was this change a reference to something greater than the change jingling in my wallet? Before I could answer myself, the announcer shouted:
“Attention, righteous children of Creation! All Aboard! [The Train of Thought] , destined for departure.”
With no echo of beginning & no prospect for an end, these tracks will take you farther than your mind has ever been. (Stand clear of the closing doors please!)
…And welcome! How pleased we are to have you on this trip through space and time, to teach you of the Middle Way my medium is rhyme. Our consciousness is building now so don’t get left behind, as a people we are growing now in ways we can define: Responsibility, humanity, an educated mind. Our duty to ourselves now extends to humankind.
Reciprocal relationship: Self and Society. Learn more about yourself – the spirit and the Soul. Soon see us all grow cause the parts make up the whole . . .
May we all consider perspective gained through the empathy of new experience: acknowledge the lives of others by stepping into shoes, see our collective consciousness shaped by a myriad of views. Our very nature itself is an eternally evolving sphere of emotions and opinions. Knowledge of self is a personal dominion.
Permanence is an illusion so epochal contribution is all that we can claim. The time is now for revolution, the time is now for change. The time is always moving and we never stay the same. Synapses rearrange as our energies exchange, scientists are mapping the evolution of our brain.
Suggestion: Self-contemplation, reflect on your perceptions. Become aware of your thinking and your thoughts from sense impressions. You get it? Connection. Ponder this ability unique to human beings. Through conscious understanding you will see a deeper meaning. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your brothers. You owe it to your sisters and you owe it to your mothers, to your fathers, those you know, those you don’t and all the others.
“Personal growth mirrors the growth of society. And it is only through dedication to the full growth of all individuals who make it up that a society has any hope of being true to itself” – Nietzsche
…Attention, righteous children of Creation! [The Train of Thought] is now entering the station. I leave you with one decision as I conclude my train narration: Get off or keep on moving, know the train will never stop. All you have to do is be aware as we ride The Train of Thought.
-Gordon Fischer, a writer.