It is said that change is inevitable. We see this with the weather patterns, in technology, with what is “in” and what is “out,” and we see it in society as a whole. In the US we are facing changes in our governmental administration and what it decides to focus upon. The possible decrease in funding for the environment, healthcare, social welfare, education, and other areas means that even greater stress will be placed on non-profits (NPOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who will be left to figure out how to best help those who are in need. This puts the TOS in a unique position.
The Theosophical Order of Service was created to provide a way for theosophists (and sympathizers) to put theosophical principles into practice. Theosophy is altruism at its core because the essential teaching of theosophy is that all life is one. The understanding of this fact should instill in us a sense of reverence for all life. It should also stir a desire within us to help that life evolve.
What makes us different from other service organizations, however, is Theosophy, the divine wisdom, which is key to the work we do. Yes, we are a service organization, but theosophy also offers food for thought to the profound questions of existence. And it is when we go through difficult times that we begin to look at our lives and the world around us a little more closely. Given the changes on the horizon, it looks like our help will be needed in many places and in many ways. We just need to be creative as to how we can best help.
One quality that I loved about Annie Besant was her fearlessness. In many ways, she epitomized the Golden Stairs through her “brave declarations of principles” and her “valiant defense of those unjustly attacked.” These are qualities we must have in the service work we do. Suffering takes place in all life. It is found in animals, people, plants, and even in minerals. But the form suffering takes differs depending on what suffers. As workers of the light, we must be sensitive to this as well.
TOS groups are welcome to take up whatever project they feel drawn toward. When the TOS was first started, groups focused on what they felt was the greatest need. Many groups worked to help prison reform and child welfare because in 1908 those were the needs seen and felt at the time. No differently today, with a new Board in place, discussions have taken place as to where our focus should be and what is the greatest need. As a national organization, with groups scattered throughout, we’ve asked ourselves ‘how do we create community?’ And ‘how, as a Board, can we best serve those groups so those groups can best serve others?’ These are questions we need to continue asking.
To help with the cohesion of our organization, we encourage our readers and groups to use the tools made available them to publicize their efforts. While many are not drawn to social media, it is a method many people use to let one another know about the work they do. We have designed a Facebook page and encourage you to “Like” the page. We have also updated our website and would love to hear your feedback.
Change may be inevitable, but the one thing that does not change is the power and strength that comes from our ability to work together for the betterment of humanity in the name of love.