The world needs a homemaker

August 4th, 2009

Forgive the double posting from The Laundry Line, but this is so very important to see everywhere we look:

Last week I attended a retreat and came home infused with quiet calm and well-being. Then I glanced at the headlines in the newspaper and was shocked anew at the unimaginable depth of pain in this world. The scope of suffering is inconceivable. How can we respond in the face of this? Where do we begin to do good? I will tell you the only way I know to begin.

Empty the full hampers, sort and wash the laundry without resentment or commentary.

Sweep the floor of dust, mud and crumbs at your feet.

Don’t ask who made the mess.

At the grocery store, give your place in line to the person behind you.

Ask the checker how her day is going, and mean it.

On the way out, give your pocket money to the solicitor at the card table no matter what the cause.

Buy a cup of lemonade from the kids on the sidewalk stand. Tell them to keep the change.

Roll down your car window when you see the homeless man on the corner with the sign. Give him money. Have no concern over what he will do with it.

Smile at him. It will be the first smile he has seen in a very long time.

Write a thank you letter. Yes, a letter. If you do not have a reason to write one, do it without a reason.

Do not fight with your partner, your roommate, your spouse, or your children. If that seems impossible, just do not engage in the next fight, and don’t worry about the one that comes after. It might not come.

Do not try to convince anyone else of your point of view. That’s why they call it “point” of view. The point is just you.

If you feel yourself tensing in frustration, no matter what the circumstance, say, “I’m sorry.”

Do not indulge in despair over the futility of your impact or question the outcome.

Make yourself at home and take care of it as your own. It’s the only one there is.

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  1. thank you for this reminder ~ it makes me think back to this yoga class….the teacher told us, make it your practice to give,give and then give again. it can be as simple as putting nuts in your pocket for the squirrels. giving will never make you feel bad ~ peace and love

    Comment by Jamie lyn — August 4, 2009 @ 1:30 am

  2. Amen….

    Comment by Michelle A — August 4, 2009 @ 3:11 am

  3. oh thank you for this – so touching and a very helpful reminder. Thanks to tracey clark for the tweet to let me know it was here.


    Comment by Romi — August 4, 2009 @ 3:32 am

  4. This is so inspiring. Thank you for writing it. It really struck a chord with me.
    I just found your blog and so glad I did!

    Comment by anita tedaldi — August 4, 2009 @ 3:41 am

  5. Amazing post, thank you for this very important reminder. I think I will print this out to keep it fresh in my mind!

    Comment by Loukia — August 4, 2009 @ 3:57 am

  6. Just perfect

    Comment by thea — August 4, 2009 @ 4:41 am

  7. This afternoon, this is what awaits: Unpack from the weekend trip. At least three loads. Hot water rinse. Sesshin (looked it up). Figure out kids' fall schedules. Empty the dishwasher. Sticky breakfast dishes sitting all morning. Hey! At least they are sitting. (Bad Zen humor.)

    Comment by jena strong — August 4, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  8. What wonderful words of encouragement. I try to keep in mind that no matter what my struggle…to give give give and be appreciative and it seems to reciprocate itself in some form of another, at some point. Thanks to Tracey Clark for the tweet.

    Comment by Lesli Watters — August 4, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  9. thank you, i can't wait to start

    Comment by Jill — August 4, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  10. All I can say is, "I will."

    Comment by Puna — August 4, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  11. So beautiful, the words of a vow.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — August 4, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  12. Thank you. I needed this gentle reminder.

    Comment by Mama Goose — August 4, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  13. I loved this post on Shambhala, so am glad you reposted. It hit me just exactly right, right in my heart, both times.

    Comment by mommymystic — August 4, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  14. Thank you.

    Comment by Alyssa — August 4, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

  15. For me, I say prayers, "May everyone live in safety, be happy, be healthy and live with ease." I even Twittered it the other day!

    And then I pay attention to this (picture me holding out my arms and wiggling my fingers!).

    Peace be with you!


    Comment by Mary Castillo — August 4, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

  16. Thank you! This post brought me joy today…so much joy and thought, that I shared a link to it on my blog.

    Thank you!

    Comment by joyful.mara — August 5, 2009 @ 12:44 am

  17. Thank you Karen.

    Comment by Fiona Robyn — August 5, 2009 @ 8:33 am

  18. Wonderful list.

    Thank you.

    Sending you peace and hope šŸ™‚

    Comment by Lisa — August 5, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

  19. This is so beautiful, Karen. Thank you. I've printed this out and put it in the kitchen where I'll see it every day. Bless you.


    Comment by Meg — August 6, 2009 @ 1:03 am

  20. all i can say is this:
    i am so grateful that you are living on this earth at the same time i am.

    Comment by jessamyn — August 6, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  21. Yes. Thank you.

    Comment by Judy Merrill-Smith — August 6, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  22. A lovely list of kindnesses. Thank you.

    However, I was a bit confused by the one about giving pocket money to a solicitor … in the UK a "solicitor is a lawyer and there's no way pocket money would ever cover their bills!

    Following on from your list I"m now going to do the laundry and sweep the house with a smile on my face!

    Comment by PinkFluffySlippers — August 7, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  23. Beautiful. I'm glad that I came across your blog today! Fridays are my day to do all of the household tasks you mentioned in your post and I'm inspired to make them meaningful!

    Comment by Heather — August 7, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  24. LOVE this. Thank you for posting it.

    Comment by Allison — August 7, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  25. I love the image of being in a state of quiet calm and well-being. I'd love to "talk" and see how I can help you promote your retreat for moms (my blog is about moving moms from mommy survival to mommy revival, so I think it would be a perfect fit).

    Comment by Stacey / Create a Balance for Moms — August 7, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

  26. New here, and am loving what I've read so far.
    LIfe with reverence, gratitude. I have 5 kids, and laundry is my home.

    Comment by deb — August 10, 2009 @ 2:02 am

  27. Reading this a few times has changed how I see everything around me. Each time I read it I notice something new.
    I've been in stressful crowds the last two weeks -airports, big museums,traffic, family gatherings- and now I see people more. Like today the invisible table cleaners in the crowded cafeteria, and a guy selling ice cold bottles of water out of his cooler on the street. I am grateful you wrote this. I think it is so needed right now, especially by me.

    Comment by Janet — August 14, 2009 @ 3:26 am

  28. How kind of you to say so, Janet. You are the one the world is waiting for.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — August 14, 2009 @ 3:35 am

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