We had longed for the New Year to begin. We are in its second month already. How are we? Are we doing better in health? Are we able to contribute to the happiness of our family? Is our neighbourhood a good place because of our presence there? February is a special reminder of the power of love. People around the world take time and spend a lot of money to celebrate their love for each other. The spouses renew their love relationship and pledge their commitment the rest of their lives. The young disclose their love and desire for their future marriage alliance. It is indeed a time of unexceptional experience of joy for individuals and families as well. We may not be celebrating “Valentine’s Day” strictly, but we want to revisit the decisions that we had made some time back in our life and strengthen them to live with greater enthusiasm and deeper love.
Needless to say that every day we are forced to breathe the air of selfishness, envy, hatred, and vengeance. Media may present revenge-taking as an unexceptional art and an extraordinary ability. TV programs, movies, advertisements, news papers and Internet in general may have no problem to trigger thoughts of lust and greed. People may not be ashamed to involve themselves in immorality and wickedness which may lead the young to imitate the same. Role models for integrity and honesty may seldom be found. It may even appear that dishonesty is a necessity for growth or even survival. However, the good news is for those who determine to live a life of integrity we are not discussing about impossibility.
We need to remember that we are made by the choices that we make. We may not be able to change the others’ choices for themselves or for treating us, but we can choose what we want to be or how we treat others. Our thoughts are our choice. Our words, our feelings, our dreams, our expectations, our food, and our goals are indeed our own choices. True, life in the world, where vices are often lauded as virtues, may not be easy. Where priorities are misplaced and values irrelevant, life undoubtedly is difficult. However, we cannot forget that we are designed—our bodies and minds—in such a mysterious way that we don’t have to be totally influenced by everything that happens around us. There is a system placed in our body. We have the potential to accept those that help in our growth and reject those that harm us. Again, this too is a choice. The point is that every person in the world is struggling. Some may accept and some may not. The good news is that we can live happily even in the presence of difficulties and troubles of the world. Even when people insult us we can return with a smile.
We are aware that the nature teaches us so much even though it, with all its storms and earthquakes, may seem going against us. Louis Griffith writes, “If you take the time to pause and look, you’ll find that the world is filled to the brim with symbols of renewal and hope. One of the most apparent symbols is the flower.” For example, “The lotus flower grows and thrives in unlikely conditions. This delicate-looking flower emerges from shallow, murky waters without a speck of mud on its white or pink petals. It spends its nights covered by muddy pond water, and bursts forth each morning to greet the day. The lotus flower represents life. Sometimes, our circumstances are not wonderful. We might find ourselves buried in conflict, hardship, or internal suffering. These conditions do NOT make us any less worthy or beautiful. Instead, they strengthen us and add new dimensions to our soul, just like the many petals of the lotus.”
Therefore, instead of focusing on the ‘heavy mud’—the difficulties and troubles in our life, we must focus on the sunshine—the opportunities to grow and the joy of serving one another. “We need to look for the blessings tucked into every day and use them to nourish our soul.” We can and will prosper, despite tough conditions. No one and no power can stop anyone from being joyful and prosperous.
WISH YOU A LIFE OF LOVE AND JOY!
-Dr.Vara Prasad Deepati