You are here

Service to Humanity

Meet Our Latest Scholarship Recipient: Joanne Thompson

TOS-USA - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:43
February 20, 2018

My name is Joanne Thompson and I am in my last semester of the nursing program at the Oglala Lakota College. I am from a federally recognized Ojibway tribe, Pine Creek. I am one of 14 siblings and I come from a generation that lived by the old traditions. I will become the third person [in my family] to become a Registered Nurse, I have two sisters who became nurses in the 2004. Upon graduation, I plan to work on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a nurse. Plus, I am looking forward to working the South Dakota Native Nurses Association to support health promotion awareness, and promote nursing education. I feel very fortunate to have the support of the faculty and students while studying to become an RN.

Categories: Service to Humanity

Kern Matching Grant

TOS-USA - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:34
February 20, 2018

In our October 2017 newsletter, we wrote about how the Kern Matching grant was started in 2008 to help the Golden Link School. Since the school’s inception, it has grown tremendously and now provides a college education to students who are financially disadvantaged. (Please see the article “Donate $20.00 or more to the Golden Link College. Here’s why.”)

As we all know, education is important. A good education should not be available only to those who can pay for it. But sadly, that is what happens in many parts of the world. Every child deserves a standard of education that prepares them to navigate and excel in the world today. However, character building and right action need to be taught as well so children can succeed through right means. At the same time, “success” should not be something external to a child, but what they feel within themselves. Self-confidence and self-esteem should also be provided to a child, so that what matters to them is not based on what society is telling them, but what they are telling themselves. This is a very tall order for an institution of education, but one that the Golden Link College has continued to meet. And this is why the TOS-US and other TOS groups around the world, along with individual donors continue to support the Golden Link College through the Kern Matching Grant program.

We are pleased to announce that we have met the goal of raising $19,500 for the 2017 matching grant and would like to thank all of you who donated. This year will mark the tenth year of this endeavor and we are truly grateful to those of you who have helped keep this project going. We are also very grateful to John Kern and the Kern Foundation for their commitment to the work of the TOS.

We have now started the process of collecting funds for GLC for 2018. To donate, click on “Donate” and select Golden Link College on the drop down menu at the bottom. We thank you in advance.

Categories: Service to Humanity

Spiritual Midwifery

TOS-USA - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:32
February 20, 2018

During our last webinar on “What Inspires You?” (see our website under “Resources”), one of the participants asked how the TOS is different than any other service organization. It was a valid question. There are many service organizations in the world that help the homeless, advocate for animal rights and the environment and so on, what makes the TOS different? This led to a deeper discussion about why we do what do and what the significance of the TOS is in our lives. One participant said when she discovered the TOS, she found it helped her live the principles of theosophy that she was learning. This is what makes the TOS different.

The Order of Service is just a service organization like any other. What makes it different is Theosophy. It is the Theosophical Order of Service. Theosophy is not just the teachings that we read in The Voice of the Silence or The Secret Doctrine or even The Mahatma Letters. These are just words (beautiful as they are) on a page. In The Key to Theosophy HPB writes that Theosophy is altruism. In The Mahatma Letters, the Masters write that Theosophy must be practical. In other words, without the applicability of Theosophy, the writings mean nothing. They continue to be words on a page.

“Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun. Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer’s eye. But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain caused it is removed.”

These words from The Voice of the Silence, so often quoted, show that our work as members and supporters of the TOS have a task before us. It is only one example of the instructions we are given in the theosophical teachings. Otherwise, they remain poetic words on a page in a book we refer people to, without ever having tried to live what is written. Once we begin living the teachings in our own lives, we begin the process of spiritual midwifery. Meaning, we begin birthing a different way of living for ourselves and everything and everyone we come into contact with.

Kinship or brotherhood with other living beings on our precious Mother Earth is not just a fanciful term. It is an underlying fact of the unity of all life. We cannot survive without the help of other beings. It is absolutely impossible. Those who feel this are not thinking about the fact that the food they eat to survive comes from the earth. The earth itself is alive because of the sun’s heat and light. Life is symbiotic at many levels. This basic understanding is a fundamental principle in Theosophy and one, we as workers of the TOS, must live and teach to others through our work. The suffering of others is our own suffering.

An Order of Service also has its own significance. As brothers and sisters of the Theosophical movement, we must find a way to work in harmony with one another so our work and its vibration is of the highest quality. Often it is mentioned in many theosophical books to work together as fingers on one hand. The analogy is wonderful. Try working with just one finger! You won’t get a whole lot done, nor will you do it efficiently. Aside from that, you will find the hand becomes fatigued. The same thing happens when only a few people do the majority of the work in a group. The group, like the hand, loses vibrancy. Learning to work together as a unit, more work can be achieved and more needs met. We cannot help birth the spiritual lives of others, when we ourselves are not practicing brotherhood in our lodges and study groups.

Theosophy provides a beautiful explanation to the why’s of our existence. When we are with others unfamiliar with theosophy, do we hid the teachings that give meaning to our life or when given an opportunity, explain it? And do we explain it in our own words from our own experience, or do repeat lines from a pamphlet? Many of us are afraid to do so because of how we may be perceived. The founders of the TS gave little attention as to how they were perceived because they believed in the work they were doing. Do we? It does not mean that we need to start proselytizing Theosophy. But when comforting another, do we connect with the vibrant energy around us to provide calm healing? Are we comfortable mentioning the resilient spirit which lies within us all? There are ways to promote Theosophical service, in other words, theosophy, through our demeanor, our words, and our actions without ever having to get into a heavy conversation.

Our work in the TOS must connect to the Theosophical principles or, like the unlived teachings in a book, it will lack the power to bring unity to the divided, love to the fearful, and peace to the conflicted. Our work must take into consideration the realms of consciousness, seen and unseen. Not just of humans, but of all life. That is true Theosophy in action.

Categories: Service to Humanity

For the Love of Life Winter 2017-2018

TOS-USA - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 04:49
February 14, 2018
Categories: Service to Humanity

What Inspires You? Webinars

TOS-USA - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 18:03

What Inspires You? is a series of four webinars in which the Theosophical Order of Service in America (TOSA) explores what inspires and helps strengthen our practice of service. The format is an inspiring five-minute video screening followed by a short discussion among participants.

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

November 2017 Coming Soon!
Categories: Service to Humanity

A Month Of Kindness

TOS-USA - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 23:08
November 27, 2017

In October 2017, the TOS ran a “Campaign for Kindness” in which members were invited to perform extra little (or big) acts of kindness. The results are in, and they’re awesome:

  1. I rescued two worms that had washed onto the sidewalk after a heavy rain. Had they stayed on the sidewalk in the sun, they would have baked to death. I put them back in the grass—within a few seconds, they had wriggled to the ground and began burrowing into the dirt.
  2. I carried a heavy box for a pregnant coworker and loaded it into her car.
  3. I let another driver into the lane in front of me.
  4. I found a bug in my house and gently took it outside.
  5. I watered my neighbor’s flowers while she was away.
  6. On my days off I provide free plumbing and electrical help to whoever needs it. My community has many elderly people and I've been busier than busy.
  7. I collected new socks and donated them to the homeless.
  8. I assembled ziplock bags of essentials like water, snacks, and socks and gave them to the homeless.
  9. Despite the fact my daughter is in dialysis she is pushing herself to start a kidney support group to help others…she is one awesome young lady!
  10. Every Fall since 2002, I’ve donated dictionaries to 3 rd graders at 27 schools in Chicago’s western suburbs. I do a 35 minute talk to teach them how to use their new dictionary. It’s so important to get the kids to start using this book while they’re still young.
  11. During a conference, I brought a wedge cushion and an exercise mat from home to one of the participants who is 8+ months pregnant because I could see she was uncomfortable. She was very grateful and used them all weekend.
  12. My co-worker cleaned his girlfriend's garage so she would give me a free massage when I desperately needed one.
  13. I work at a school. A lady called and asked how to pay off a lunch balance account. I asked her the name of the child, and she said she didn't have a name in mind. She wanted to pay it forward to the most delinquent account.
  14. Several years ago I started to carry in the empty garbage cans of my neighbors on garbage day. I figured that would make life a little easier for both my elderly neighbors and also those who work. Once they realized what was going on, they seemed appreciative, which was a nice reaction but not necessary. I did it because it helped the people around me, and that was rewarding enough.
  15. In October, I raised $1,764 for St. Balderick's, leaders in funding research for childhood cancers. I also raised $200 and donated my hair to Hair We Share so they could make a wig for a child who lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
  16. When I see Facebook posts by rescue groups about animals in need of emergency care, I am not always able to send money, so I have started doing the Ho’oponopono Prayer as well as long distance Reiki on the animals.
  17. My friend was having lots of medical problems, and his birthday was near. I alerted his friends and asked them to call him, not just post on Facebook. He was thrilled to talk to so many friends that he normally wouldn't have. I think those things really matter—I’m sure he felt the love.
  18. I dropped an anonymous card to a Veteran today. I walk by his house at the lake and appreciate listening to his music, looking at his garden, chickens, dog, and all of the flags he has out. So I just sent a note of appreciation.
  19. I frequently call my US Senators to ask them to vote NO on any horse slaughter language and keep the horses wild.
  20. I helped a baby cockroach out of the bathtub (and later off the floor) so I didn't step on him.
  21. I shut off the shower while soaping up to conserve water.
  22. I helped a spider move to a better location in the kitchen.
  23. I loaned a former Lodge member some emergency money.
  24. I sent daily thoughts of healing to the Caribbean and to Mexico.
  25. I gave the bus driver a little wave goodbye every evening.
  26. I sent my indoor houseplants thoughts of love and appreciation most days.
  27. I helped shuttle a lodge member who can no longer drive back and forth from meetings.
  28. I deliberately use humor and teasing in my office most days to foster good feelings among coworkers and refocus attention from insignificant annoyances to loftier things.
  29. I sent hope for compassion/wisdom to leaders and members of the TS, TOS, and ES every morning in meditation.

Thanks to everyone who makes the world a better place with their little (and big) acts of kindness! As Dr. Seuss famously taught, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Categories: Service to Humanity
Powered by Drupal

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer