My nephew is a boisterous sort, freely flinging his opinions wherever he may feel inclined, and sometimes they’re actually pretty poignant and land where they are supposed to in order to trigger a necessary response. That’s the great thing about family. They can sharpen you like no one else in the world.
This particular idea that Matthew shared was on a post about homelessness in Sarasota that I’d thrown out there. He said something to the effect that what is necessary is for people to actually build shelters instead of merely building awareness. While I do find his point to be true that we as a people do need to provide shelter for people, I don’t want to disregard the merit in building awareness as well. For when we address a societal malady, it is not only what we do that is important, but the why.
As someone who does what I can to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, I didn’t take offense to Matthew’s statement, because The Flow Factory in itself is somewhat of a self-regulating homeless shelter that has housed many people since I’ve become the primary resident. It has not brought any sense of permanency as far as a home is involved, but it doesn’t offer that for me, so I don’t really advertise it for others. Considering that we will all eventually shuffle off this mortal coil anyway, there really is no such thing as a permanent home. Nevertheless, the energy that is extended here is always one of sharing, openness, celebration, collaboration, and love, those things that I find to be the necessary components of home, for however long one resides there.
As these things are cultivated here in The Flow Factory, I get to use the results of my little lifestyle experiments as fodder for letting the rest of the world know that there is indeed another way to go about living than merely repeating the societal patterns that are not giving us the results we truly want in this grand experiment of life.
Sometimes, I get too caught up in the building of the home that I don’t always do the building of awareness, which I actually feel is the higher calling in the grand scheme of things. Because when we as a people are looking for another way, when we have grown tired of seeing the same suffering repeated over and over again as we have become mired into the routine, we need to be shown another way before we can change our direction. As a people who identify ourselves as the individual memory sets we believe ourselves to be , our awareness grows by those who move beyond the memories of “the way things have always been done” and have the courage to take the turn unnoticed by the rest of us and report back to us on the life beyond ourselves. Building awareness of needs unmet and the multiple ways the universe conspires to meet those needs when we move beyond our attachment to the known is a vital role in directing the course of civility into the civilization we are creating together.