“The Privilege Of Cleanliness”

I was looking forward to my annual Summer indulgence – sitting on a dock, or a deck, with a beverage at my side, and reading an entire issue of “O” magazine, cover to cover.
Oprah and I go back a few years, although she doesn’t know me.
She and her then-daily TV show, “Oprah”, helped me get through a particularly dark period in my life.
Always offering advice that seemed directly targetted towards me and my situation.
It was like the church of Oprah, each and every afternoon.
She helped me understand that forgiveness means that you can never change what happened.  And understanding that changes the entire ability of one to be able to forgive!  And to be able to forgive, is to begin the healing.  From whatever has happened – or whatever someone has done – to be able to realize and accept that you can’t change that – and to move on – is a great “ah ha” moment, as Oprah likes to say.
And even now, five years after her daily TV show wrapped up, she continues to help people, through her own television channel, “OWN”, through television specials, and through her books and magazines.
And so, I was really looking forward to sitting down and reading the latest magazine  issue, which happened to be mainly devoted to the art of meditation, or stillness, or mindfullness, or focussing on “the moment”.
It all seems to be all the rage.
So much so, that there are even “adult” colouring books now that encourage we non-children to “focus” on colouring inside the lines of a picture or design.
I have always found stillness, and mindfulness, in cleaning the house, or the cat litter, or vaccuming, or doing up the dishes, or cooking, or word search puzzles.
But apparently, that’s not enough.
We have to focus on the present moment and quiet our minds from all the stress and worry and invading thoughts, that are always ever-present and scattered in our heads.
And through meditation, that peace, that inner calm, can be found.
I have never been one for meditation.
I can’t see how sitting in a lotus position and closing my eyes and trying to blank out the world will help.
But I CAN get behind being in the present moment, absorbing every single thing about a certain moment in time.  Appreciating everything that moment has to offer.  That moment that has been put there by the Universe for us to recognize.
In the final page of her magazine, Oprah offers an article, “What I Know For Sure”.
And in that article, in this particular issue, she talks about appreciating a moment where she felt moved to tears by the “privilege of cleanliness.”
And I thought “WOW!”  That is so TRUE.
It is something we take SO for granted each and every day.
The ability to pop into the shower or bath and get CLEAN.
And it always feels so GOOD.
And it helps with our health and our well being in immeasurable ways.  Ways that our ancestors and forebears could only imagine!
A weekly bath, at best, was normal – and not that long ago in our history.
And there are still many cultures and people who are not able to have cleanliness on a daily or even weekly basis.
It is a first world privilege, to be sure.
And that is something to be ever grateful for, especially as water becomes a scarcity in many first world areas.
Populations whose water supply is being polluted by oil spills, such as the one that recently happened in Saskatchewan.
Entire towns that are on “emergency use only” water alerts because of lack of rain.
And so, as Oprah gives thanks for the “privilege of cleanliness”, I think we all should be thankful for EVERYTHING that we have.  For the clean water that we drink – and be mindful of that everytime.  For the food that is on our plate – and the vegetables and animals that contributed to that.  For the roof that shelters us – and all that is involved in keeping our abode a safe haven.
And that “mindfulness” should also act as a form of meditation and salvation for us all.

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