The United Nations marks an eclectic range of landmark days on its monthly calendar, which would give a stranger to the planet an interesting insight into what it means to be human in contemporary times, showing our collective successes, triumphs and failures. As the days pass through this month, we move through World Book Day, an International Day of human space flight – tributes to human ingenuity, creativity and hope, with the sad contrast of World Malaria Day and Immunization days – testimony to human indifference towards the many people who die for want of basic healthcare, leading to the stark brutality implicit in Remembrance Day for victims of Rwandan Genocide, and Mine Awareness day. Also, a rather wonderfully named Mother Earth Day whose intention is to inspire us to understand and trust that we can live harmoniously on this planet.
We create a mental picture of our collective identity through our choice of words and ideas. As a species, we use great effort and willpower trying to shape our time on this planet – to become a good person, more successful, to achieve personal ambitions, to become less judgemental, kinder, more focused– whatever concept we think we should be. In doing so, we often turn away from what we already are – from understanding our human joys, sorrows, hopes and fears as they arise out of the reality of our living and dying. We spend so much time in our lives trying to change things – ourselves, other people, the shape of how the world is – to fit into our ideals of better or worse. And in the effort of trying to become something else, we forget to know ourselves as we already are, without holding any preconception of what we might still become. To wake up today, now and live freely as if we were taking our first or last breath; creating a living intention of change without grasping hold of an idea of a tomorrow yet to come. Our thoughts spring out of our emotions, so maybe if we could understand and accept what is already there inside us, we would deepen our appreciation of the beauty, alongside transforming the mess that we collectively create each day as a species.
On our own Sunrise calendar, the Diversity Festival is drawing closer on Sat 8 July. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer to help us at the festival from 11 to 5pm., or a part of this time. It will be a fun day working in a friendly team of people.
Also, would anyone be interested in helping us to create a beautiful visual carnival parade, either by joining in the parade – you’ll get to learn some great African dance steps led by professional teacher Rebecca Jeffreys, or else helping us to make costumes and props. Let us know if you’d like to be involved in making this happen.
In the meantime, hoping that this finds you well in these days of glorious spring sunshine –
With our good wishes
Naomi and the Sunrise team