Saturday, January 21, 2012

Uppers and Downers for the Heart

Twice lately, I came across stories that uplifted my heart.

The first one is about SOIL, a nonprofit organization led by a young Stanford grad, Sasha Kramer who  is helping solve some of the most pressing problems facing the people of Haiti, with one simple initiative: compostable toilets.

The second one features Dan Sudran, the founder of the Mission Science Workshop in San Francisco. Moved by his love of science and the will to make a difference, Dan developed a grassroot science education organization now serving over 250 city children every week. 

Each time, same expansion felt in the heart, and a great gladness that steadies me in my resolution to continue with my own work.

Uppers for the heart, I call them.

The heart, such a fragile organ . . . It does not take much for the tide to turn either way, up or down.

Down my heart goes whenever I let mind linger into stories that do me no good. 

Several times during the day, I catch myself thinking of a man whose repeated misdeeds continue to run havoc in a community. Although I have removed myself from the situation, there are still ripples to be felt from that person's actions. And each time, the danger of heart contracting in anger and fear. The mind has this malicious tendency of wanting to linger in filth. 

If not that man, another one also triggers me to go down a downward path despite all my good intentions. It does not take much. The mind grabs on to a few words, and off it goes. Once down, it takes a lot of mindfulness and will power to extract oneself from the pit. 

Up or down, which way do you want your heart to go? 

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