Monday, July 12, 2010

Mutant Message Down Under

Props to my brother for recommending this gem of a book about a middle age American woman's three month journey through the Australian outback with an Aboriginal tribe. Rather than launch into a full review or synopsis, I'm going to make note of some of the parts that really moved me.

Trust in the universe
The nomadic tribe this woman travelled with carried very few if any possessions. When they needed water or food, they knew it would be provided. They had an absolute trust in the universe, which I find truly remarkable.

Respect for all life
The tribe believed in the equality of all living things. It wasn't just lip service either -- when they were fortunate enough to find a watering hole, they would only take what they needed and made sure there was enough water for other animals. As with other Aboriginal people, the concept of land ownership was also foreign to them -- why keep others' out?

God is everywhere and present in everything. Not a form, but a presence. Powerful.

The tribes optimism was relentless. Even when swarms of bugs covered their bodies, they would momentarily go limp and just accept it. They viewed the bugs as being necessary to clean the wax from their ears and the dirt from their nostrils. Everyone and everything has a purpose -- it may not be evident to you, but just accept it. Yes.

Personal Growth
Rather than celebrating getting older at each birthday, individuals would announce to the rest of the tribe when they were ready to celebrate having achieved some form of personal growth. Whoop! I would be having my first b-day right about now!

Inner purpose
Each person's role was to find and develop their talent and use it to help one another. They found it very sad to hear that many North Americans go through life not knowing the joy of service and also never knowing what their inner purpose is.

These kind of books really feed my soul. I checked out a few reviews afterwards and read about the controversial truth of the book. Fact or fiction, it matters not to me. The message is powerful. We can all learn something from it.

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