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What’s Next on Your Awareness Test?

Paul Sutherland

When we see people in need of help, do we respond in the way that a friend, brother, or sister would? If not, we can and must do better.

At the recent Parliament of World Religions in Toronto, I was on the final panel on the last night to answer this big question: “Now that we have all had a few days of lectures, discussions, panels, networking, and inspiration on all things religious—what should we do with it? What’s next?” So, I ended my bit by explaining where I started the convention. I had brought thousands of books to the event and had schlepped the books on a large pushcart through the three levels from the parking garage of the Toronto Convention Center to our booth. At the booth we gave out the books as wells as postcards championing the need for early-childhood education and discount cards for S&H subscriptions and GAIA TV.  Moving the books was hard work. I told the gathering of the beads of sweat that formed on my face as I pushed my cart past the delegates, attendees, and presenters at the Parliament. On the first trip I thought, Surely someone will ask if they can help push the cart! But no one did. So, on the next load, I decided to make the book schlepp an “awareness test,” as we used to call such episodes …

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