Earth Mothers

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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Every once in a while, if we’re fortunate, we’re allowed to witness some of the very best of humanity. When we do, it can inspire us to keep going and to feel more hopeful and to bring out the best within ourselves.

Join me this week as we consider what true compassion and caring can do to mend the fabric of humanity when they are put into action. Stay with me.

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This week, I’ll begin with a short piece I wrote several years ago while sitting in a coffee shop and witnessed something that deeply moved and inspired me. For reasons that will soon be obvious, I call the piece, Earth Mothers.

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Their voices rising and falling like a soulful incantation, they lean close and join hearts in a timeless ceremony as they make plans to tend the sick, the children, the old, the lonely, and the oppressed. Laughter and weeping spill out like songs from faces the colors of ebony and mahogany and deep earth.

Over coffee and cinnamon buns, they share communion and weave the threads that hold the world together, mending and healing and breathing life into the torn and wounded fabric of humanity.
(Earth Mothers, from Uncollected Poems, by the Scott Lennox)

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Much like John Steinbeck confessed in his book Travels With Charley when he called himself “just plain nosey” as he listened to a conversation at the table next to him in a café, I have to admit that I listened to the nearby conversation those women were having more out of nosiness and curiosity than any sense of literary interest. I couldn’t help overhearing them and there was no way I could keep from being moved by what they are saying or by what they were preparing to do.

Ranging in ages from around fifty to what I’ll guess to be eighty, they sat around a coffee shop table laughing and crying and taking notes as they sipped their coffee and strategically mapped out their activities for the week.

It was impossible to tell if they were part of a particular faith community or if they were a self-organized and well-formed group of natural-born nurturers and care givers. What was obvious was that they were intentionally preparing to touch the lives of other people in a number of meaningful ways.

Given their directness and their level of engagement, it is also evident that they’d been at their task for quite a while and that each of them was personally committed to what they were doing. The sisterhood they shared was obvious and beautiful to see. Without holding back, they expressed their sorrow for the struggles of those they were caring for. And they were equally unbridled about the joy and love they were spreading and receiving.

That morning, amid the bustle and noise of a coffeeshop, I was offered the gift of witnessing part of humanity at its finest. I saw great ladies demonstrating some of the very best qualities in us as they prepared to take whatever steps they could to touch the lives and hearts and minds and spirits of those who were suffering and alone, as well as those who couldn’t advocate for themselves.

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Another element revealed itself in their conversation that bears a second look. It was apparent that they could see themselves in each of the people they served. As they spoke, I heard several of them talk about how someone had once touched their lives and lifted them up when they were powerless to do it on their own. Among the things driving them and moving them to action were humility and a lived-understanding of our common humanity, regardless of race or gender or any other outward factor.

One of them said it perfectly and plainly. “There’s nobody here but us. There aren’t any outsiders. That lie has lived way too long.” I couldn’t agree with her more.

The conviction in her voice stopped me in my tracks and stirred something in me that’s deeper than language. It’s from that place, that unflinching stand against the things that artificially separate and diminish us, that real healing can happen, not only on the individual level, but also on the collective level.

As I wonder what would happen today if we softened a bit and chose to see ourselves in the people we encounter, I offer this week’s Beautiful Questions for your consideration.

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Question One: What would most likely happen if you saw yourself in other people clearly enough that it moved you to treat them with greater acceptance and compassion, and without judgment?

Question Two: What simple shifts in your thinking would make that outer change possible?

Question Three: Regardless how small it is, what might be the result of taking that kind of action more and more in the days and weeks ahead?

Question Four: What changes would take place in how you feel about yourself?

As always, I’ll be fascinated to hear your responses. Write and tell me about them.

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As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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