Posts Tagged ‘Humility’

Highest Honor

Everything natural on this earth is alive, if fact earth itself is considered to have a soul, called Gaia and she is female in her form. The soil germinates seeds and grows food for us. The plant itself is alive as it grows, water brings life, in fact without it; there is no life, just like air. All the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air) are a culmination of life and all living beings are an embodiment of these elements. You need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sun for warmth. This applies to all created animals, they are a combinations of all elements of life. We are therefore no different from any living thing on this earth, but we are somewhat superior, one might even say we are at the top of the food chain. Have you ever wondered though how was it decided that one would manifest as a plant, an animal or human being? If lives of animals were not sacred, they would not be afraid of dying. While, we’re at it, who decides which animal spirit will be a rat and another a lion?

Well, according to Vedic literature there is actually a science that determines who is born in what form. They believe that existence starts in the most basic form and evolves to the highest level, which is spiritual enlightenment. Where one is no longer subject to the limitations of the elements, nor gets to be born and die again, but live in the purest form reminiscent with the source of their soul. According to them, existence therefore, begins on the earth as rock and with is the densest vibration and gradually over time, that manifestation changes form into something else. Think of how mountains go through erosion and what was hard rock now becomes soil. The soil can germinate life and eventually graduate into manifesting as a plant. The next stage existence is that of animals, which is a more enhanced experience of the elements and less dense dimension. Animals can protect themselves; reproduce with intention and most importantly are driven by their instincts to ensure survival. I would assume it starts off small and climbs the ranks, over time to being an elephant, maybe.

The next, not final, stage of existence is that of being born as a human. In this dimension of existence it is considered the highest honor compared to all living things on this earth. We are not driven by instincts, but we have our intelligence, will power and insight to spiritual enlightenment. Art is the highest expression of human intelligence and all of us have that gift, whether creating or enjoying it. Most importantly we all have eternity engraved in our souls. All of us, at some point wonder, where exactly do we all come from and where we are going, ideally none of us want to die or age for that matter. Ancient Eastern texts (Vedic) believe being born human grants you the opportunity to change the destiny of your soul by how you exhibit your human experience. We cannot merely exist to eat, reproduce, protect and die; this would make us no different to animals. Likewise spending all our days wanting to have more than others, when in actual fact the value of lives is exactly the same. “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 7).

 “Once we take human birth, our destiny is shaped by karma. Karma are actions pertaining to the development of the material body and such acts sentence us to future births in the material world where we reap what we sow. If we act according to good moral code we produce good karma, likewise if we engross ourselves in fleshly desires we create bad karma. If we don’t learn good lessons we are sent back to try again, with a better starting point if we were good, or worse off if we were vile. The material world reforms us, teaching us through reward and punishment to acknowledge God’s supreme position. – (Swami Prabhupada, Veda, Secrets of the East).

I may not fully understand the evolution of the soul as described above. Whether our souls evolve over time, arrive as is or travel from one dimension to the next, is not important. What is important to is that we realize the strength of what we possess within our souls. The bible says God created us in His image. He spoke things into existence and we possess the same power. We have dominion over earth and all things created, therefore, it is expected of us to experience life on a higher level. It should be above the animalistic instincts. Our vibrations can change the course of humanity and digging deeper within ourselves for the eternity we yearn for, will lead us to attain our individual pursuit of excellence. Remember, a plant only graduates to the next level by blossoming to the best of its ability and bear the maximum amount of fruit it possibly can. It has mastered the dimension of being a plant, and it needs a new challenge, and we are no different. We need to live with the desire to rise up above our current form of existence, master it and move on to the highest and purest form of existence where we are not tied down by cumbersome bodies. Consider the Lotus flower; its seed sprouts in mud and it rises up from the murky mud to flourish on water effortlessly basking in the sunrays. The murkier the mud; the brighter the flower becomes. Some people rise up from the lowest points of life to become noble citizens, which is a reflection of how quickly they have absorbed life’s lessons. We too can learn the lessons presented in our mud, and the most important one is the humility of acknowledging that there is a God and we are not He. 

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives and existence and perhaps may never know all the mysteries of life. But we can live each day with the gratitude of being alive and being who we are. Many yearn for the gift. We must appreciate our souls for being different and gifted, in this way we honor He who created us. For we no matter how difficult things can get, we are bestowed with the highest honor that exists in this life and we need to be mindful of it. Finding our passion, doing the best with our abilities and sharing our light with others, adds its own flavour to this earth. Let us not despise our lives over the meaningless comforts of modern life, whether we live in abundance or lack thereof. It should never overshadow the sound of our souls that should be listened to.

If you are young and healthy, you are the wealthiest being on this planet. Sometimes it may take lying in a hospital bed or an old age home to realize the value of your youth. Use it wisely and: Give thanks for it. Everyday!

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget you Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say –‘Life is not pleasant anymore’. Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young before the silver cord of life snaps and the bowl is broken. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12

 

…as you say!

Be very careful when a naked person offers you a shirt – African proverb

First of all, how can someone give you something they don’t have themselves and secondly, why are they not wearing that shirt? Clearly, if it’s good for you, it will surely be good for them because you are both naked. It’s like food, if someone doesn’t want to eat something, but insists that you eat it; you get suspicious or eat it with discontentment in your heart knowing that this poor person is also hungry yet they are giving you all their food. The intention may be good, but the reception may not be entirely perceived in the same manner, it usually comes with a bit of an after taste if accepted at all. Parents may be an exception to the material application of this principle but not in its entirety.

A parent will go hungry for their children any day, however as the children grow older, they may not be as accepting of this sacrifice and will insist on sharing. The predicament comes when the parent lays out rules that they do not follow themselves. Most parents would say “do as I say and not as I do”. You use bad language, gossip, are untidy, stingy, lazy, etc. while preaching the opposite to your children. It’s not rocket science that your children will probably turn out like you. You cannot teach them something you don’t know yourself.

Another great example is a relationship. You must really be afraid of someone who doesn’t love themselves and yet claim they love you. This person overworks themselves, they don’t deal with hurt in their lives, tolerates disrespect from all and sundry, puts absolutely everyone and everything ahead of him/herself. They basically do not take care of their bodies and well being, either by living a risky lifestyle or engaged in other self destructive behavior. Now tell me how can this person give you love, which is; patient, kind, gentle, non-envious, etc.? Because of the inadequacy within themselves, their idea of love is distorted from the onset and what they consider love may be a very dysfunctional realty. Unfortunately you end up trying as hard as you can to “understand” this persons’ distorted definition of love and that is where abuse begins.

Unless someone does something themselves, it is not easy for anyone to follow their example. It is in our nature to judge others by their actions and only judge ourselves by our intentions. The world is not going to change by what you are planning to do, it is only what you actually do, and well so, that will change it. A manager, who knows absolutely nothing about the role and is not even trying to change, cannot expect you to shoot the lights out. That not only leaves you disgruntled, but you lose respect very quickly for that person. They don’t have the ‘work-hard’ shirt themselves, but they expect you to wear it, cleaned-and-ironed everyday. At times, the manager does manage to make you to comply, but, this usually comes through some intimidating re-enforcements. This is damaging in the long run, more to themselves than to you, interestingly.

Most importantly, we need to apply this principle on a very personal level and allow it to shape our characters. Before you expect something out of other people, please make sure you posses it yourself. No matter how many lies you tell yourself to believe that you are exhibiting certain noble traits, people can see right through your nakedness. You can fool some people sometimes, but not everyone all the time. It’s not good enough to think and speak your truth; you need to live it as well. Wearing the shirt is no easy task, I know, it takes intention, discipline and perseverance. We are not all born with brilliant traits, in fact we have had to learn these over time and the learning never stops. To build credibility, you need to do what is required of you, from yourself and towards those you have committed to deliver to. Doing as you have promised, when you promised it – consistently, will make others respect and consider you honorable. I read in one book that: Holiness is when what you think, what you do and what you say are in perfect harmony.

Self-leadership is key to you getting to the next level in life. How you lead yourself will determine how others perceive and treat you. It is absolutely necessary for us to be able to be great leaders; leaders of our homes, companies, children, teams, and the world.

Proverbs 18 vs 3

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”

Don’t we all?

I don’t know who the narrator of this story is, but it is just too powerful not to share. Remember the story about the black and white dogs within us (Flesh vs Spirit)? Whichever one you feed the most, is the one that wins the battle. Let us feed our spirits…

 

One evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car, I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to finish work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him he had no car, no home, no clean clothes and no money.
There are times when you feel generous, but there are times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of the Don’t-want-to-be-bothered times! “Hope he doesn’t ask me for money,” I thought.

 

He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very nice car,” he said. He was ragged, but had an air of dignity around him. I said “Thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.
He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened, something inside said, “Ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say yes, but I held true to the inner voice. “Do you need any help?” I asked. He answered in three simple, but profound, words that I shall never forget.

 

We often look for wisdom in great accomplishments. I expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing here but an outstretched grimy hand. Then, he spoke three words that shook me. “Don’t we all?” he said.

 

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.
Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can GIVE help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that!

 

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse of something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos that only you, through a torn world can see.  Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise to minister to a soul too comfortable in himself.  Maybe Someone looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum and then said, “Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.” – DON’T WE ALL?

 

Author Unknown

 

What do you need help with today? Being honest with yourself about who you and what your weaknesses are may just change your life. Some need monetary assistance and some spiritual. Regardless, we all need help somehow and we can all give it.

 

Be a little kinder and smile often. It doesn’t only look good on you, but it makes the world a brighter place.

 

 

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”.

 2 Corinthians vs 9-10