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The Sassy Sandpiper: Put a Little Love in Your Heart

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The Sassy Sandpiper discovers the new “Bottom Line.”

By M.R. WILSON, Columnist, TB Reporter

If you’re feeling sad, frustrated, and hopeless about The World In General (TWIG) and think your one small voice or vote will never make a difference, there is reason to think again.

A new chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives has opened under the leadership of the Rev. Fred Clare, minister at Unity of St. Petersburg. (Don’t be put off by the word “spiritual.” For anyone not so inclined, think of spiritual as opposed to material—love, justice, peace, equality, environmental and social responsibility vs. money, exploitation, profits, tech toys, cars, fancy houses. We’ve come to know these attitudes and practices as the “Bottom Line.”)

Saturday (Aug. 18) before last, a group of 30 or so, including Yours Truly, attended the second meeting of Compassionate Citizens of St. Petersburg. I instantly admired Rev. Fred and soon admired everyone there—a diverse group of listeners and speakers, note-takers, the quiet and the vocal, all tuning in to learn how to offer their own unique abilities toward teaching others about a New Bottom Line. We all agreed that the status quo no longer works, except for a fraction of the population.

What is this New Bottom Line? Simply stated, it puts people before profits. It strives to create a world based on love and generosity, awe and wonderment of the universe, care and concern for local and global environments, economic and social justice. The New Bottom Line isn’t another Utopian dream cooked up in the La-Land cynics try to blame for every good, hopeful plan that comes along. Some will yawn and call it unrealistic. Well, folks must be unrealistic if they hope to impact the “reality” of the status quo.

M.R. WilsonWhere to start?

Compassionate Citizens of St. Petersburg are learning how to talk to each other, learning how to listen to understand, not to agree or disagree. Think about that for a minute. Pretty powerful, says I.

It’s not all talk, either. Action is the key. Consider “table opportunities,” chatting and passing out information at public events such as Circus McGurkis, Oct. 20 at Gibbs High School.

Not up for crowds or even engaging others one-on-one in these kinds of conversations? You can still be a part of the effort by living the example. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

One tiny, elderly woman looked bewildered as we split into pairs to practice our presentation and listening skills. But Jean had already demonstrated her unique gift: reaching up to her friends from a tai chi class, she offered a hug and a smile to each one. She reminded me of St. Teresa of Calcutta. As a matter of fact, Jean is the one who told me about the meeting.

See what “one person” can do?

The next meet-up is 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22,  6168 First Ave. N. For more info, contact

Lo and behold, TWIG has leaves.

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The Sassy Sandpiper: Put a Little Love in Your Heart
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The Sassy Sandpiper: Put a Little Love in Your Heart
The Sassy Sandpiper discovers the new "Bottom Line."
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TB Reporter
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