The day dawns bright and sunny. It is Easter Sunday; it is a day of new beginnings, a day of optimism and hope. For some, it’s a religious holiday, for others it’s a day to celebrate surviving the trials and tribulations of this past year. We lost too many loved ones, the good and the mean ones; the pandemic didn’t play favorites. Too many people lost their jobs and too many businesses shuttered their doors and filed for bankruptcy. When poverty walks in the door, good health flies out the window, and so we said goodbye to family members, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and the people who live on the fringes of society, the homeless and the mentally disturbed.
When events of this magnitude occur, I look for the meaning behind it. These cannot be random happenings; there has to be a reason we’re seeing it on a global scale. If it was just happening in America, I might be able to chalk it up to consumer greed, to the vitriol that has divided our country, to the lack of empathy we show to those who cry out for our help, and to our society that has gone from being a nuclear family living on one income and taking care of its members from the womb to the tomb to families barely surviving on multiple incomes and barely talking to one another.
Do I dare mention that being religious has nothing to do with being spiritual? I see more people going to church, temple, or mosque and then saying and doing the most abominable things to others without giving a thought to the emotional or financial damage they are causing. I see people who are quick to criticize but don’t see themselves as being blameworthy. I see the “phony holies” censoring other people’s vocabulary while they don’t see the damage they are causing by having an affair while still married to someone else. I see politicians deliberately eviscerating their opponents, going for the jugular, not caring whether their allegations are true or false. I see all of these things on a grand scale, not just in America but on a worldwide stage.
You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to know the difference between right and wrong and live according to doing what you know is the right thing. If you live by those rules you will be putting yourself on the spiritual path. If you don’t live by those rules you will be condemning yourself to a lifetime of feeling unfulfilled, the glass, just out of reach, half-empty.
I ran across one of Yogananda’s books Autobiography of a Yogi where he says if you don’t like your life, change it; if you don’t like your karma, change it. That simple sentence changed my life. Until I came across that sentence, I didn’t know you could change your karma while still reaping it so I made it my business to change my life and my karma and I’m still reaping the benefits of those changes.
What is the legacy you want to leave? What do you want to be remembered for? What would you like your obituary to say about you? Maybe each of us would benefit from answering those questions if we write out our answers to cement those answers in our minds as a reminder of how we are doing living up to our own expectations.
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step so let us begin our journey with that one step and change our destiny. Let us try to make a difference in at least one person’s life while we still have the breath in our body and the opportunity to do it. Let us join together to work for the benefit of mankind and let us be kind to one another.
Written by Connie H. Deutsch
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