I determined a long time ago to be as good as I can possibly be—which I define by not causing damage to oneself, others, and the environment. However, this pact was not the real challenge. The deal was to be as good as I can be while living in the real world, as part of a society.
Monks stay pure, but they do not have to deal with traffic, bureaucracy, bills, children, deadlines, lines, AC breaking down, local news, and general exhaustion. A lot of wonderful people felt inspired by this wonderful world as they sat under a tree, climbed a mountain, or isolated/surrounded themselves in nature. But the real challenge to commit to being a friendly citizen is to live among others and remain this way, even during the toughest moments. My mom said that once. She wanted to make sure I procreate. I agree with her.
And I have met many other inspiring people who do help the community and remain 100% positive. The man whom I named my main character Lovelle, whose name is actually Lovelle Williams, is such a man. Another unbelievable woman that comes to mind started a great Montessori school for children in Scottsdale, AZ, called Shalom Montessori. She chose to use her infinite professional talents and kindness and energy to create a great program that now many children in the community benefit from. I am blown away by her.
Back to Lovelle: I met Lovelle Williams at a leadership program in San Francisco. He had been born addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He had been homeless. But the man I met was positive, inspiring, smart, and warm. He had a garden in the heart of San Francisco. And his name was Lovelle! How much more perfect could he have been? I had been drawing my “Heartlings” throughout the conference. I was searching for one image that would be my main character. There was one image that I kept repeating, as my favorite design. Then Lovelle Williams spoke. He might have been in his 40’s. Everyone in the program was inspired by him, like a fan club. I couldn’t stop flattering him. He walked me to the car and gave me pretty sunflowers, but he never once hit on me. Not even a tiny hint of anything inappropriate. Even as I look back, I know he was focused on the program, and his garden project. I determined during that conference that my main character would be named after him. And my main character became a gardener, which was a perfect fit. My main Lovelle had been a “he” for all those years.
My baby’s crying. I’ll just go back to the main idea:
Planet Earth and Planet Heart use the same letters for a reason—we must act on Planet Earth the way we want it to be—all heart!