For Goodness Sake – Meeting a Community's Spiritual Needs
For Goodness Sake (www.goodnesssake.org) is making a difference in its local community, in people's individual lives, and in the world. It's an organization that encourages and supports people on their own spiritual journey. Our Guest, Andy Hill, Director, explains how FGS makes a difference and shares some of his own insights.
I think many people have established ways of doing things -- solving problems, dealing with business, running a community, viewing the world. But so many of these ways, even though they're accepted, don't work any more because they're very "me-centered." So many ways of thinking and acting are based on the assumption that we have to take care of ourselves. On a certain level, that is very important.
- when we focus on ourselves to the exclusion of someone else, or
- believe that we’ve got something (a job, house, land, spouse) that someone else can take away, or
- think we’ve got to get something before someone else,
- we create a rigid community.
And this kind of community -- what can I get out of it, what's in it for me -- brings down an economy.
FGS encourages people to think differently and to use different parameters:
- What can you give of yourself to bless the people around you?
- What do you have that you don’t need that you can give to someone else?
- What do you have that you still need that you can give to bless lives?
When we start to operate from this unselfish, giving standpoint, our lives become so rich and blessed that we wonder why we didn't see all the blessings before.
FGS also offers a different way of approaching problems. The normal way is to take the problem, analyze it, and come up with solutions related specifically to the problem. Somewhere in there, we may look for a higher understanding. But the key question is whether we're looking to our own and/or others' higher understanding or digging deep by looking to a Higher understanding. Quite often, when we just look at human ways and means, we're looking at recycled ways of solving problems.
If we go into meditation or prayer and gain a sense of peace, a whole new way of solving the problem becomes apparent. Instead of letting problems overcome us or predicting problems, we find ourselves living in the present. And if we're immersed in living in the present, we're not extending ourselves out into a future that doesn't exist yet or burying ourselves in a past that's past.
A lot of people are finding healing of past events through forgiveness. They're realizing that the pain or issue they're carrying around doesn't exist any more except in their imagination, and the only power it has is the power they give it right now. In reality, it only has as much power as they give it.
Gradually, through the various teachings we offer here, the way people are looking at themselves and the world is changing. We encourage a lot more compassion and caring for people in our community.
Located in Truckee, CA, the non-profit organization
- offers workshops, discussions, classes, and talks on spirituality and/or healing from many different viewpoints;
- has a large selection of books to borrow or buy on many different religious and spiritual perspectives;
- holds modified wisdom circles that revolve around reading and discussing a book of the group members’ choice;
- shows thought-provoking movies and docu-dramas;
- gets involved in the community by offering musical performances and art shows;
- supports local groups by letting them use their cozy and safe venue to show movies or hold meetings whose purpose is to help or bless others.
Most of all, it creates an environment where people feel to explore various religions, spiritual teachings, philosophies, and outlooks on life.
In all these ways, FGS tries to meet the community's needs -- to listen to and cater to every element in the community. FGS is a wonderful thing. It's spiritually and politically neutral. We're here to present possibilities -- to provide teachings that allow people to do what they need to do to learn more about themselves.