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Water and truth — how much you are needed

ryan's well2Ryan Hreljac was a 6-year-old first grader in a small Ontario town when he learned that there were people in Africa who didn't have clean drinking water -- and $70 would build a well that would give them that good water. Ryan began a campaign to raise the necessary money. Now, 10 years later, his message has reached around the globe and he continues to work towards his dream of clean water through the work of the Ryan’s Well Foundation at www.ryanswell.ca.

This remarkable story dramatically illustrates the potential that is in each one of us to make a radical difference in our world by reason of our presence.

However, what comes to my mind is that it is not only clean, pure water that is in such desperate need. There is also a critical need for truth itself -- the symbol that water has so long represented for humankind.

Truth has something to do with love. It has something to do with integrity, and freedom. Truth is characterized by an open heart, fairness, and compassion and respect for others.

The debate that has been raging in the United States this summer about health care reform vividly underlines the great need there is for truth in our world. How sickening the lies and misinformation. How sickening the anger and even hatred revealed.

We cannot all be about the business of helping to provide clean water for people who lack this most essential of commodities.

But we can, if we will, do something about making some truth available -- a continuous, dependable supply of purifying, life-giving, soul-saving truth.

We do not need to go anywhere. We do not need to wait for some future time, when perhaps the omens will be more propitious, or we will be more wise, or more holy.

We can drink at the well of truth any time. We can do it right now in this very moment -- because truth is what we are, and when we are still, we sense the beautiful presence of that truth with us.

And we can reveal that truth in our everyday living, in our words, actions, and thoughts.

We can have an attitude of respect for other people, and for Nature, and for ourselves. We can be fair. We can allow a little bit of trust to come into the picture. We can stop seeing other people as demons.

As I say, probably the work that Ryan is doing won’t be for us. It won’t be for me, anyway.

But this is the beauty of truth. It will find its own form of expression in us if we let it – a form that is unique to each one of us.

Pure, clean water is essential to our survival. But Truth is essential to our survival also, let alone our happiness -- and it flows ceaselessly from the eternal spring of our own being.

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