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The Thief. Monday May 16, 2016

I watched, with some delight, a small child emerge from my much loved local TESCO Express, with an ice lolly. His father was attending to some more serious financial needs at the cashpoint outside.

The child announced boldly, "I am going to have an ice lolly!" The amusing part was the time it took for the father to realise his son had just helped himself inside the store while the dad was distracted. When the truth struck, the father was horrified and you can imagine the drama of woe that flowed from the revelation and return of the stolen goods.

The child didn't understand. His was a world-view where abundance was the norm and provision just happened naturally. In fact, for him, abundance was within easy reach.

I sensed a profound 'moment' here as I walked back to the house. Thinking, I wondered at the way we take fish from the Oceans without payment. I thought about the way we claimed the harvest as our right even though the soil and the seed and the sun did much of the work. I pondered on the way we cut down the rain forest without fair exchange.

And before you are tempted to assert that many industries do put as much back in as they take out, let me agree with you. My point is that we all take from the Universe without payment – and that's the way it has to be. You cannot pay for the Sunshine (though you can rent a sunbed). You cannot pay for the Air (though you can buy Oxygen). Somewhere along the journey we all realise we can never pay back what we have received, the Universe is way too generous – it will out-give us every time.

So what could be our response?

Firstly, "Thank You!" I am genuinely grateful for so much beauty and free provision in my life. From the Cherry Blossom to the emerging Chives and other herbs. They are my delight.

Secondly, remember. The Universe does give freely, in abundance. When we are working hard to 'earn' a living, it is too easy to forget that ice lollies are there for the asking, if not for the taking!

Thirdly, pay it forward. Whilst we can never pay back the Universe for all its gifts, we can play a meaningful, purposeful and deliberate part. We can choose to create, to build, to make and to grow because that's our role, I believe, to be stewards of the good things we freely receive.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Anghared Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 6:18am

Thank you for stirring my senses. I am sat in bed about to have a cup of tea. The smell is comforting. What is different about it this morning? I thought about the people who had made this tea that had picked it, and sat and imagined the beautiful tea plantations where my cup of tea began.

Next I looked out of my bedroom window at the sea, looked up at the sky and truly thought "What a wonderful world".. Deep breaths, a smile as my husband snores , would love to say gently next to make. "How blessed am I. " Will now take my daily test, thank you for helping to start my day so graciously.

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 7:15am

Oh Anghared, that's so beautiful. I'm now going to enjoy my coffee at a much deeper and higher level. You transported my mind away to the tea plantations... so now I will pop off to the where my coffee comes from! Thank you, L'xx

Norman Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 11:20am

Angharad croeso! your comment reminds me of a pub discussion with fellow humanists a few years ago, where we decided that a Humanist "Grace" would thank all the people who played a role in bringing the food to us, from farmer to shopworker via sailor, train driver and lorry driver...

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 4:42pm

It's also a more generous awareness, isn't it, Norman? When we think of all the love, energy and effort that goes into bringing us our food, I believe we appreciate it more. L'xx

Zareen Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 6:39am

Thanks Lex for reawakening my sense of gratitude for the good things generously given & for my sense of gratitude. Your narrative was very evocative of the little boy sucking on an icelollie while his Dad was taking cash out of the cash machine, each absorbed in his own activity. Sometimes I reckon we are all like the father and son, totally unaware of others around us. I wish all of us a more mindful day.

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 7:16am

Yes, Zareen, YES! Let's have "a more mindful day" - let's be present and grateful, as I am presently grateful for your words. May it be a beautiful day for you. L'xx

LillyPet Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 7:24am

Morning Lex,
What a beautiful blog! My heart went out to the little boy going from literaaly sweet innocence to having to take on board the complicated dramas of how we live. Yes we take from our beautiful planet and many take advantage of the abundant offerings of nature. I often look up at the sky in awe of it's beauty and feel so glad to be on this blue planet. It's easy to lose sight of it as we go about out daily business.
Thank you for a heartwarming blog Lex. Love and loveliness to all :) LPxx

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 7:43am

Hi Ya LillyPet, yes! We make it way too complex for our little ones. Shall we restore some simplicity today? I've got lots of work to do today - good work, but it's the most beautiful day outside and I'm thinking... maybe gratitude and presence is more important??? I may let your kind words be a gentle nudge to enjoy a bit more of Nature today than originally planned! Have a lovely day, L'xx

Hopeful One Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 7:48am

Hi Lex - thank you for reminding me not to take things for granted and to maintain 'an attitude of gratitude' for the bountiful Universe which in all certainty has never asked a crumb from me. So we could pass back via the Universe what it gave to us. We could say something or do something today with no expectation of any payback. We could give someone a smile today or ,like 80 year old gardener plant a tiny apple tree in his garden fully aware that was unlikely to live long enough to enjoy the fruit.

The Joke squadron was up with the larks this morning and found this laugh in its cross wires.( It could happen anywhere but the USA seemed appropriate)

Mrs. Agren, the 5th grade math teacher, posed the following problem to her class: "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One-fifth is to go to his wife, one-fifth is to go to his son, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each get?" There was along silence as the class worked out the answer. Little Mike was the first to raise his hand. The teacher asked for his answer. With complete sincerity in his voice he said, "A lawyer"

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:09am

Hi Hopeful One... love what you've written and the joke... that's about to go out On Air! I'm very grateful for people with vision who plant trees - knowing they will never see the fullness. Let's do something amazing today not expecting anything in return - I'm with you on that! L'xx

Sally Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:23am

Thank you, Lex. You are a ray of sunshine on a greyish day. You made me think about the true bounties of the earth, and that's a good thing to do in a world and lifestyle where it's so easy to overlook them.
You don't have to go far to have examples, either: our shops sell Lancashire strawberries, Jersey royals, etc. Today I shall think of the places where they were grown. A bit of armchair travelling thrown into the bargain!

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:33am

Aye, Sally, 'tis wonderful, isn't it? I'm enjoying some journeying in my imagination today - and an elevated sense of gratitude. Enjoy all your fine fayre today! L'xx

Tutti Frutti Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:25am

Hi Lex

A really nice post and it's sunny in the London suburbs today and I can hear the birds singing. My score was 55 which is very good going for this time of the morning!

Anyway I was particularly struck because your post really overlapped with the series of sermons we are having at church at the moment. The Bible reading is 1 Timothy Chapter 6 verses 17-19 if anyone is interested and the themes so far have been very much: recognise, enjoy and be grateful for everything God has given you and use it to help others.

Love TF

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:35am

Hi Tutti Frutti I see your point! 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. Great call to lay up some heavenly treasure - to pay it forward and upward! Thank you! L'xx

Mary Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 11:42am

I think this is good advice regardless of whether one has a religious faith or no. Thanks Lex for elucidating and LillyPet for raising the subject.

LillyPet Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 11:21pm

You're welcome Mary :) x

Skyblue Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:51am

Such wisdom here, Lex, written in such an inspiring way. So many times, people have asked me how to deal with the overwhelm that comes with moments of abundance-awareness....they feel like they might explode with gratitude and at the same time feel that they are not worthy and can barely cope with it all. 'Just say thank you' is my usual response, but I will be sure to add the 'remember' and 'pay forward' bit next time. This is the complete remedy and so beautifully simple. What a wonderful way to start the week, thank you so much! xx

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 8:58am

Ah Skyblue, your kind words have lifted me up, thank you! L'xx

the room above the garage Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 9:09am

This is lovely Lex, I adore the lolly story, oh to be the fly on the wall...!! I remember a much older man telling me my newborn was beautiful and to enjoy her as "you'll find she is not yours to keep, you only get to look after her for a little while" changed my entire outlook on parenting. Great blog today, thank you Lex, love ratg X.

the room above the garage Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 9:10am

I meant to say...your love about being a steward made me think of it.

the room above the garage Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 9:11am

Love? Line! I'm having a day :-D

Mary Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 11:44am

Oh RATG - you make me realise I should treasure my moments with my children more, and make sure I do the best job I can of raising them! Not always easy - as we know - but the right thing to do for their sakes.

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 4:45pm

Ah RATG and Mary, doesn't stewardship set us free!? But seeing ourselves as stewards of our children is the highest level of maturity and appreciation. Thank you for sharing. L'xx

Mary Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 11:47am

Lovely Lex, as always. Just lovely. Today I did not work for the sunshine. I did not create the beautiful candle blossoms on the horse chestnuts, or the lush voluptuousness of the peonies I can see from my window. Truly we live in a prodigal world. I am grateful and always try to pay it on first. Thank you for this, my friend!

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 4:46pm

Oh Mary, hasn't it been magnificent?! Perhaps I'm changing in my later years, but these seem like the best days of Spring ever. May an abundance-mindset make its home in our hearts permanently. Paying in forward... L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 12:19pm

Lovely, Lex, first thought was 'out of the mouth of babes'. But then I thought 'into the mouth of babes' more appropriate!!!
Just following Jon Cousins' new book each day and today's asked me to sit quietly and enjoy ten minutes of mindfulness and I thought of the beautiful day outside; could hear the birds singing - free concert; the many, many different colours in the; the sound of the clock ticking - restful and my dear liddle dog, breathing peacefully with a big sigh every now and again...bliss. So thankful, and then I read your blog...even more thankful....loved Angharad's 'view' of the sea - jealous! Husband's snoring?...nah, not jealous...have one of my very own!
Bear hugs all round x x

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 4:49pm

Thanks for the Bear hug, Oh Bearofliddlebrain! May your generous hugs come back to you in abundance... and may you be surprised (pleasantly!) by hugs you weren't expecting!! Here's to more moments of awe and wonder, gratitude and bliss! L'xx

Lexi Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 12:59pm

So grateful for this blog and your reminder Lex to live outside of my head and its drama. Today I woke up feeling sad for something I do not have. Your blog reminded me that the universe is abundant and so rarely do we ask for what we want or take the time to be present and mindful with what is immediately around us. Thank you for the reminder. I'm off to take a run in the beautiful woods near my house on this sunny day. xo Lexi

Lex Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 4:52pm

Hi Lexi (love your name!) I trust the run was even better than you imagined and that, having opened yourself up to a reminder of the abundance of the universe, that you saw this everywhere you looked and continue to look. I'm smiling to myself 'cos yesterday I mowed the abundant grass again, and the daisies have returned already! I love their resilience, persistence and... abundance! L'xx

The Gardener Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 5:24pm

We produce outdoor vegetables, often under horrible conditions. Who harvests them? The despised immigrants, because for decades few english people wish to do such back-breaking work. Polish, sikhs, lithuanian, bulgarian, sicilians a long time ago - nexd time you pick up Englis veg be thankful, as we are, that they are harvested by these people who have often been starved out of their own countries.

The Gardener Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 5:27pm

The little boy and the ice lolly, How many of us parents have had to cope with a screaming toddler at the check-out wanting the tempting sweets (wicked sales procedure). And how many of uas naively believed that Dad's cheque book was a bootomless well of money, write an amount and hey presto! Need diversion - awful 2 days, and Mr G caused major chaos by letting the cat into the road - family opposite straight on to their bikes and found her cowering in the church garden - another thank you

g Mon, May 16th 2016 @ 10:42pm

Thank you Gardener for always telling it how it really is without all that sentimental crap.

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