Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Better to give...

There are times when I am selfish in group settings... I often rationalize that people are ignorant to the greener grass on my side. Why shouldn't I appreciate something that would otherwise go unnoticed? Meditation brings me to greater awareness of this reality... it is my instinct to look out for #1. There is yet another kind of selfishness... one that manifests itself in the form of benevolence, generosity and kindness. It is a sense of gratitude that we feel when we share our wealth... when we benefit others by our actions.

The more we give, our capacity to give becomes that much greater. This experience is most visible to me around those who live fully in the present moment. When I pass by a homeless person, I acknowledge their presence. Sometimes I am inspired to talk to them, ask how they are doing, or find out if there is anything that I can do to help them out. Some ask little, if anything. To those few living in the now, it is more than enough to know that someone is concerned about their well-being.

We are all living here in the now, however, many are less conscious of this reality. Worries about the past and future cloud our minds, and render us oblivious to that which is right beneath our noses. To embrace this notion of the present moment provides an opportunity to share the experience with those around us.

Just think about riding down the elevator with a person that you don't want to talk to... it'll be about 30-45 seconds of awkwardness before you move along in your respective lives. Now imagine that an earthquake hits, and you are about to spend hours together in the darkness of that shaft... perhaps even witness each other's death. Think of the connection that you will make with that person over the next several minutes, hours, days... think about how it will feel to pour your heart out to them. And realize how profound that experience will be like for them... discovering how vulnerable we are, and how many qualities that we share being human.

When we wipe away the glories of our past, and the expectations of our future, we embrace the present moment and the connection between each of us. Our actions, words and intentions do affect one another... with conscious intent, we can make the world a better place.