Consciousness is defined as the awareness of one’s own existence, one’s own sensations, thoughts, and surroundings. This disregards any awareness of these same factors in others. So, I like to think of consciousness as mindfulness, and not in the philosophical or metaphysical mode. I mean mindfulness in that fact that there are others in this world besides me, or my limited view of the surrounding world.

I read many different types of books and magazines. I cannot understand some of the things that I read, such as a young boy or girl in Africa having to walk miles to get a bucket of fresh water. When I was their age, we were not monetarily rich, but I could walk over to the faucet in the kitchen and get fresh water to drink.

I think I can say that I am aware of the conditions that others live in; but I also like to think that I am mindful of the problems these conditions are for the people. They do not share in the wealth of the European world. The boy or girl fetching water is happy for fresh water, where I am complacent due to the ease of having a drink of water.

Complacency is not happiness. This is am very mindful of. The fact that I am complacent with a cup of fresh water can mean that fresh water is something I deserve. It is my right to have this. And, in current western society, the idea of deserving more is troublesome. If I deserve more, then someone deserves less.

I am mindful; I am conscious of the fact that I do not deserve more just because I live in middle class, western society I am mindful of the fact that my pleasures are achieved by the sacrifice of others. I am also mindful of the fact that this is not the way things should be. This is not the way things can continue. We must do something to change this.

My call is to talk with people with the idea that we can soften our demand for what we deserve and risk a little discomfort on our part for others to benefit from the basics in life. I pray that this is the lighted path.  

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