Another year begins… Let’s pray with intention to bring joy, light, compassion, and most of all the ability to live everyday with expanded awareness in this coming year. When we reflect on this past year, or even the last decade, we can congratulate ourselves on the many positive changes and transformations occurring throughout the world. We can certainly pat ourselves on the back achieving the technical and intellectual expertise that makes our lives more secure and fulfilling.
Though the paradox is interesting ; despite our ingenious inventions, medical achievements and intellectual skills are we living more wisely than we did the last year or the last century?
In our lucid moments we recognize that many of our inventions and decisions are beneficial for us and the environment, and many are harmful too. But for all our intellectual insight we cannot seem to change the way we think and live! It’s not to say that we are all living unintelligently or are bad people. The problem, as I see it, is that we have simply not completed our education. Gandhi said, “Knowledge without character is incomplete.” By this he was not implying that we know for our own good but that we are confused about what our real needs are.
To a large extent media and advertising dictate what we need. Demand is created by advertisements. The hidden and subliminal message is that what we own, or eat, or smoke, or wear has the power to endow us with self-respect! Actually it’s the other way round. Your car may be supremely swanky but that’s not why it’s dignified. You, as a person, give it dignity and worth ; otherwise it’s just a hunk of metal or concrete.
When we depend on possessions for dignity or fulfillment we are giving away part of our freedom. We become servants of the things we bought to serve us. We then have to drive that car, we have to own that suit, or house or watch. We rush about caught in a perilous game of catch up.
There is a deep chasm between what we know as good for us and our ability to act on it. This ability exists in the subconscious and has been planted there through years of repetition_ it becomes an addiction!
This belief that we can only find fulfillment from outside or ourselves, whether in worldly possessions, others adulation or acceptance is most critical and underlies our constant search for happiness.
I do believe that we are larger than our addictions! I believe too, that we can connect with this more productive part of us by doing something that we think is significant. It could be music, gardening, athletic or scholastic pursuits, raising a family or being a business person; to be an achiever in some area that we consider really important.
Begin step by step :
Observe your lifestyle and habits.
Examine what holds the power outside of you.
Focus on an activity that you are passionate about.
Act on that passion.
The fact is that we all have the ability to crown our lives with dignity and self-worth. So get exicted about what a great challenge and opportunity this is! When you can do this you’ll be exicted about your life forever; and this is the way it was meant to be!