Fable of the Town Leader by Facundo Cabral

Our grandparents told us the story of how long ago the leader of our town government, who was far from being a tyrant, had been elected because he was the best human being available.  So the people put both the present and the future of our town in his hands, but in the long run he got more and more tired of everyone agreeing with him all the time, being waited on hand and foot by the loveliest beauty queens, and no one allowing him to lose at poker games.  He was desperate to resign, but that was out of the question, and so the solitude of power was bound to kill him.  Before he died, his exceptionally noble soul enacted the most loving, most beautiful laws ever heard of, for he had loved all that was good and beautiful in life.  These are the decrees he left behind:

I ORDER that in this town nothing should ever be held to be more valuable than life itself, so that we can go hand in hand seeking truth.

I ORDER that every weekday be as bright and luminous as any Sunday.

I DECREE that every house be outfitted with flower boxes and that their windows should be kept open to catch the green songs of spring.

I DECREE that everyone free him – or herself of all lies and take off all masks of secrecy so that all can sit down together and talk of beauty and justice.

I DECREE that more attention be paid to Isaiah the prophet’s “The lamb and the lion will lie together” and that the food they share will have the fragrance of the dawn.

I ORDER that all bread be flavored with tenderness, that joy will be our town’s banner and love its only armament.

AND STARTING TODAY ALL MONEY WILL CARRY AN EXPIRATION DATE SO THAT NO ONE CAN ACCUMULATE IT TO BUY POWER AND DOMINION OVER OTHERS.

THERE WILL ONLY BE ONE ARISTOCRACY, THAT OF THE SPIRIT, AND ONLY ONE PRIVILEGE, THAT OF INTELLIGENT IMAGINATION.
~Facundo Cabral

Excerpt from the book, What Does It Mean To Be Human
Edited and compiled by Frederick Franck, Janis Roze & Richard Connolly

Resolutions & New Beginnings

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.
~Diane Ackerman

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die.
And the next morning when I wake up, I am reborn.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Help me to be aware of my selfishness,
but without undue shame or self judgement.
Let me always feel you present,
in every atom of my life.
Let me keep surrendering my self
until I am utterly transparent.
Let my words be rooted in honesty
and thoughts be lost in your light,
Unnameable God, my essence,
my origin, my life-blood, my home.
~Psalm 19

I’m a big believer in the power of a fresh start, perhaps because my life has been full of missteps and failed attempts.  Even on those occasions when I manage to get it right, I’m always cognizant of the fact that there’s a deeper realization awaiting. So the idea of starting over, of second chances and renewed opportunities is so promising that I find it irresistible. There’s just something so hopeful about beginning anew.  So luckily for me (and you), the first of something is always just around the corner: The first of the week, the first of the month, and yes most especially, the first of the New Year!  There’s no better time to look inside and imagine the possibilities.

So, in that spirit….I promise to practice kindness and reverence for all of life.  I promise to see what’s beautiful and true and to give thanks for all that I’ve received.  I promise to choose love over fear and indifference, to grow in faith and  be a reflection of God’s great mercy.  I promise to live from my heart, casting my light into the darkness that others may find their way, just as I have found mine through the luminous souls of those who have come before.