Three Things

Jan Taddeo

The storm outside echoes the
storm raging within my soul.

So many people in need…
so much pain, so much grief.

Too many causes and campaigns
fill my mailboxes, sap my energy,
beg for my money.

Three things I must do...only three things?
You've got to be kidding—which three do I choose?

Books and letters, magnets and movies
implore me to dance as if no one is watching
learn seven habits and make four agreements
give generously, vote often, express myself!

Yet hundreds, thousands, millions live with hunger
and thirst, in poverty, enduring violence, and disease.
Did Mother Teresa, Martin and Ghandi cry out
with despair from the darkness of overwhelm?
What three things did they choose?

Three things. Three things we must do.
Is it to act in kindness, serve justice, love God and your
neighbor even as you love yourself.

But where do I start?

So much thoughtlessness,
hatred and fear.
Too little justice, too much selfishness.
Where is God? Who is my neighbor?

Three principles, ten commandments, twelve steps…
all number of things speak to us; and yet,
we must choose.

We must choose to do something, so three things
may be the right number…not too few, not too many.
But which three things shall I do? Will you do?

Here's an adage I've always liked:
Don't just do something, stand there.
Stand in the surf, or sit on a rock, or lay your
body across the earthy loam…and be quiet.

Very quiet.

Do you hear it? That still small voice, the
echo of your soul, reverberating with the call
to your own true self to emerge.

Then the calm within becomes the calm without.
The storm blows over, the sun recovers its position of strength,
And that glorious symbol of hope and unity emerges across the sky.

At the end of this rainbow, a treasure…
the three things you must do:

Go outside yourself and know the needs of the world.

Go within and discover your Life-given gifts.

Then arch yourself like a rainbow bridge between the two and
create a more beautiful world.