“….Develop the heart Too much energy in your country Is spent developing the mind Instead of the heart Be compassionate Not just to your friends But to everyone Be compassionate Work for peace In your heart and in the world Work for peace And I say again Never give up No matter what is going on around you Never give up” — Dalai Lama XIV The following is a piece I wrote last year during the inception of the occupy movement. It may seem it has little to do with flowers, but in reality, everything has to do with flowers; from the food in our bellies, the heat and structure of our homes, the oxygen in our lungs. All these miracles are possible because of plants; which grew from seeds; seeds started in a flower. As we reexamine what is broken with our political/economic systems, we cannot overlook the ailing of our own minds and hearts. We collectively gave birth to our culture, our communities and the systems they support. Yes, it’s true that there are people who are using their power in selfish and foolish ways, but honestly, I think many more, given the same power, would make similar choices. Our culture is sick with loneliness, separation, and worry. And so we buy more than we need, eat more than we hunger, drink more than we thirst, watch more than we create, and deafen the silence with incessant doing. Many are making money without working, while simultaneously contributing to the demise of the planet and supporting work conditions that do not support the lives of workers. Their primary concern is profit, despite already having way more than they need. The fact that we, as a nation with abundant resources, cannot get it together to care for our sick is a quintessential reflection of our cultural shortcomings. How can we turn a new page and create a better life for those yet to be born and for all other life on the planet? I believe that personal integrity stems from the full recognition of our connection with all life and the elements, and when we act from a place of integrity, we cannot fail to remember the far-reaching ripple of our choices.