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.