If you ever wanted to visit all the old gold-mining towns that sprung up like weeds during the Californian gold-rush, you would eventually come across a small town named Junction City. Not so much a town as it is a cute post office snuggled up next to a gas station that is also a grocery store.
You know, one of those places you drive by and never think of again.
Only a gong-ho historian would be able to see passed the sleepy façade and know that this place used to be a go-go-go scene for investment bankers and emerging business men hoping to grab more than their faire share of the gold.
I bring Junction City up for two reasons. One, to illustrate how our environment shape the lives and destinies of the people who live there. When the environment changes—gold rush, forest fires, flood, earthquakes—the lives of the people who live there is forced to change and adapt with it. We used to have more control over that change. Some might argue we (humans) used to be the driving force behind these drastic changes.
With the rise of unpredictable and extreme weather patterns, things are spinning rapidly out of control. Who knows what the place we call home will look like a decade from now? What will our street look like in December, 2019?
The second reason I bring up Junction City is because I used to live there. Actually, I lived at a small Tibetan Buddhist community just up the road from that gas station/post office combo. There were thirty or so of us, living together on 200 acres. Magic.
One of these people were Helene, the recipient of my next random act of kindness. Which is extremely fitting, seeing how Helene and that community thought me everything I know about generosity. People gave of their time, energy, and resources. In spades. We also had a Free-Box where people donated everything they no longer needed. Clothes. Books. CD players, Tea sets. So brilliant. I loved it. My entire wardrobe came from the Free-Box. In other words, everything I wore was the result of other people’s random acts of kindness.
‘You get what you want by giving it,’ was a phrase I often heard. I also found this quote by the Dalai Lama really inspiring, ‘Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.’
So as a small gesture of gratitude and kindness, I send my friend these cute giraffe cards. I picked them up last time I was in London. She loves giraffes. I love lions. She still live in the States. I now live in England. By sending these cards, I hope we’ll pick up our old habit of sending each other cards and letters. Receiving a handwritten letters is sometimes the greatest gift of all.
See you all in a few days.