Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Great Equalizer

By now I think everyone has realized that the economy has spared no one, everyone is affected and it looks like economically, things are going to get worse before they get better. It can be a time for anger, it can be a time for blame. It can be a time for self-pity. Anger is self-defeating. It is like taking poison, only hoping the other person will die. Justified anger is even more dangerous, that one is certain to kill you. Self-pity in its essence is total absorption. We can get so caught up in me-me-me to the point that we lose touch with everyone else. Again, it may be certainly justified, but instead we need to pull out of our self-absorption and start diving into thinking of others and doing for others or we will surely go under ourselves.

Adversity can be a tremendous time of opportunity. Sometimes the life you know has to get pulled out from underneath you, and only then, does this downturn make you discover what it really is you want out of life and more importantly, what your priorities are. I do not believe in coincidences at all, I think everything absolutely happens for a reason.

I learned many years ago about the virtues of "getting outside of my own head". Basically the theory is to stop worrying about what's going on with me, and think about what is going on with others. I mean it's kind of hard to worry about your own life when you're completely focused on something or someone else. So much of this philosophy leads into living a good life. Doing for others. Now one may question, how can I do for others when I can hardly afford to do for myself? There are many ways. Do you know someone in need? Someone who is a shut in or disabled? Dying of cancer? Lonely? How about the homeless? How about children with life threatening illnesses? How about animals, the most loyal creatures on this earth, who just need a safe place to sleep? The key is to start somewhere and make one small difference. There is a timeless story that has circulated among teachers of school-age children and has often made the rounds in animal rescue, called "The Starfish Story".

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.


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