So I am about to veer off the artistic path, onto a decidedly more spiritual one for this post, but I hope you will indulge me. What I wanted to share was an email I got about a week or so ago from my friend Donna Magic. Donna sends out something called the The Daily Word to which I subscribe. It usually contains a quote and then her thoughts on that quote. I always find the messages thought provoking and it's her beautiful way of making the world a better place.
Anyway, this message was one I found I connected deeply with and with her permission, I would like to share it.
"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have. -Doris Mortman
Making peace with who you are means knowing who you are. It means respecting yourself and respecting others...being kind, loving, and ethical...in other words, being moral. In Buddhist teaching, morality does not mean a forced or puritanical abiding by rules. In my own definition, morality means living with intentions that reflect love and compassion for ourselves as well as caring for others. As the philosopher George Santayana said, "Morality is the desire to lessen suffering in the world." Living in a way that doesn't perpetuate hurting ourselves or hurting another is considered to be an expression both of great power and great compassion.
The Buddha said that if we truly loved ourselves we would never harm another, because if we harm another it is in some way diminishing who we are. There is no way to lash out at someone physically or verbally, to belittle their achievements, to exploit them in some way, to consider them unworthy of hearing the truth, and emerge undamaged ourselves. We are capable of so much more, and we dishonor that potential when we don't live with integrity."
Isn't the truth of this just inspiring? I can hardly read it without tears in my eyes. I wish in our most difficult moments we could remember even a small part of this and act accordingly. It would change the way the world is.
In my life, the people I have connected the most deeply to have been people of great wisdom and compassion. They know who they are. People who carry this kind of energy draw others to them like a moth to a flame. I've talked about kindness here on my blog several times. It's a message that can't be repeated often enough. We all want our lives to be happier, for the world to be a kinder, gentler place. The truth is, it's our responsibility to bring that to the world. We can't just sit there, simply hoping for something to change. WE must be that change. It starts with us, very simply one person at a time.
Awhile back, I posted about the concept of luminaries -people whose light and vision helps to strengthen and improve the lives of those around them. This is another way to spread the light and as Anne Frank once said
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
So what are you waiting for?