This isn’t the most profound insight anyone has ever had. Maybe it goes without saying.
Yet with all our material prosperity, and all the education, information and resources at our disposal, shouldn’t things be a lot better than they are, for a whole lot more human beings? For our environment? For our shared and individual quality of life?
It would seem that a whole lot of people are not “waking up”, and we know this to be the case. Solving our world’s problems is an immense proposition. If it weren’t so critically important, we might choose to ignore it, which is what a lot of people seem to be doing.
Question: What’s the difference between ignorance and indifference? Answer: I don’t know and I don’t care.
This old joke suggests the roots of the problem, of our shared ongoing human dilemma. The situations we face seem just too complicated, too fraught with conflict and difficulty. As a result, people too often choose to remain uninformed and unconcerned.
Rendering Complex Issues Simpler By Making Them Profoundly Personal
Simple proposition: do I choose to be part of the problem or part of the Solution? How can I, with my choices and my actions, know that my life makes a positive difference?
We believe that nearly everyone reading these words lives a conscious and responsible life. Kevala Customers are fine people — we know from our interactions with you! We also believe that most of us are aware of areas in which we can do better. Our reasons for refraining from changing habits and patterns vary, but most of us are pretty clear about where we can make important improvements.
The Dalai Lama offers this guidance: “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Aware of today’s seemingly endless challenges to our world and its inhabitants, isn’t it time to increase our commitment, as individuals, to helping build a better world? If not now, when? If I don’t do it, who will?
Each of us can transcend excuses, rationalizations and justifications. We each can take small steps, alone or at times with others, to build a better world. This is what we mean by “Enlightened Living”, and you’re free to substitute any other term you prefer.
One Person CAN Make a Significant Positive Difference!
Being part of the Solution, rather than part of the problem, is not difficult. Each person can make the effort to improve his or her life. If saving the world is as simple as saving one’s own self, one positive change at a time, a precious opportunity comes into focus.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
We agree with most of this, but perhaps we can put a more positive spin on being happy.
Transcending Selfishness Through Enlightened Self Interest
Where does Selfishness rank as an enemy of peace, freedom and happiness in our world? More importantly: Can Selfishness ever lead to lasting happiness?
Enlightened Self Interest: stated simply, this is the idea that persons acting to further the interest of others ultimately serve their own self interest. It’s very different from Selfishness, of course, and our belief is that Enlightened Self Interest is indeed a path to Happiness. We trust that Emerson would have agreed with this interpretation.
Thus, actively being part of the Solution becomes a sure way to create authentic and enduring happiness. We are “doing well by doing good”. It follows that, to the extent we “take a low road”, we become part of the problem and also actively diminish our personal happiness?
What if, starting now, more and more people accepted the idea that, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”?
What if, starting now, we knew in our hearts that each of us does make a huge positive difference, and that this is true no matter how many others remain part of the problem?
You Must Be the Change You Wish To See In the World — Mahatma Gandhi
Can we escape this compelling statement of reality?
Great philosophers, spiritual teachers, and wise people from all walks of life will attest to the timeless truth that with our thoughts and actions we create our individual lives. We are only limited by our resistance to stepping out of the shadows into the sunshine! Every person who starts an enlightened journey discovers something else: the effects of one’s own choices have a much larger “ripple effect” than we ever imagined possible.
From a holistic perspective, our actions have innumerable effects not only on our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives. Our choices, in large and small ways, also affect every other being and everything else in our world. Though I won’t see how my lazy choice hurts someone in a distant country or otherwise causes harm I’ll never know, just how much am I willing to choose the risk of doing less than my best?
Far better for us to choose to experience life in the manner suggested by William Blake:
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
If, for even a moment, we could know that our personal commitment to being part of the Solution was making a significant positive difference in our world, wouldn’t we resolve to sustain and broaden our commitment? Do we have faith that things work this way?
Mahatma Gandhi gives this awareness eloquent expression, adding a crucial element:
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
We Are Abundantly Blessed. Let’s Pay It Forward and Not Waste This Life!
We are human beings, living in America. How does our good fortune compare with that of humans and other living beings around the world? How about all the countless small creatures and all species that live and die without any sense of what it means to be alive in human form?
From a holistic perspective, it is reasonable to know that it is nothing short of foolish for someone enjoying this precious life in a human body to ignore opportunities to be in service to others, especially to those less fortunate?
A great spiritual teacher wrote the following:
“Now that you have obtained the precious human body,
You continuously get carried away by mundane actions.
Don’t you notice that your life is running out?”
What’s the enlightened way to accept these words? Isn’t it by understanding that this great teacher is offering us Freedom? Happiness and Freedom? If we understand it this way, aren’t we all possessed of a precious opportunity? An excess of “mundane actions” is hardly preferable to the joys of helping others and finding other ways to be part of the Solution rather than part of the problem?
We all deserve continual love and support from ourselves, because we generally do our best under often challenging circumstances. So, as we give ourselves love and support, let’s also remember to increasingly awaken, inhabiting realms of joy and fulfillment as we make the most of our precious human bodies and help build a better world!
We are grateful to you, our Kevala Customer! We’re honored to support your nutritional well-being, and we’re here to respond to your questions and requests.
With Appreciation and Best Wishes,
Kevala Management and Staff
© Copyright 2015 Karuna Corporation. All Rights Reserved.