Every year or two, I listen to the collected speeches/sermons of Martin Luther King. I remember one illustration he used. If you’re by a river and a drowning man goes by, you jump in and save him. If another drowning man goes by, you jump in and save him too. However, when the third drowning man goes by, you ought to go up river and find out who’s throwing drowning men into the river.
The spirituality of many of us is drowning. It’s drowning under hurry, distraction, stress, and anxiety. We know that bettering the earth is an important part of our spirituality…   but when?  We’re tired!  We’re stretched thin!
We know the importance of the ancient spiritual practices to our soul’s well-being; meditation, examen of consciousness, spiritual reading, and so forth…  but when? We’re exhausted by day’s end.
Many stress-reduction, time-saving strategies are merely rescuing individuals from the river. Rarely do we think as clearly as the lecture below, about what’s causing our stress. There is a huge vacuum cleaner sucking up our bandwidth. We lay the blame at the feet of many factors; unbridled consumerism, greed, workaholism, and so forth, but they may not be the main culprits.
In this lecture at UC Berkley in 2007 (before the economic collapse), Elizabeth Warren  talks about her experience as a bankruptcy lawyer and law professor at Harvard. She has carefully researched U.S. government data about how we Americans earn and spend, and uses that data to help us see what is happening to us…  and more pointedly, what is happening to our children.
It’s a 57 minute lecture, but it’s worth your time (you can go to 4:45 to skip the introduction).
Forewarned is forearmed.  This lecture helps us see where our time, energy, and money are actually going. Once we know that, it can help us think about the kinds of things we must do to help one another stay out of the river!
Have a listen.

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