So much grief in our human experience could be avoided by doing one simple thing: putting ourselves in someone else’s point of view. If we remove our ego (our sense of self), set aside all of our self-ish tendencies and think for one minute, “How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of this action?” Would we live a little differently?
Would we be more thoughtful? Would we try harder to go the extra step because sometimes it’s so pleasantly unexpected when someone does that for us? Maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge each other, to assume that everyone is out to get us. Maybe we’d do things with greater love, everything from donating our time or money to those less fortunate to bagging our own groceries when we see the cashier is slammed because she doesn’t have a bagger.
The bigger point to be made here is sometimes, it isn’t all about us. Strike that. Sometimes the benefit isn’t meant for us. There is always something to be earned, even by letting go of our pride and realizing that it is more important to find growth in not always getting things exactly our way.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is guilty of this. Every day. I know I am. A part of me expected Scott to notice that I shoveled the driveway today even though my back has been hurting this week. I expect my kids to see how hard I work to create an ideal childhood for them each day by doing little things like writing hearts on their snack bags or setting their shoes out by their backpacks in the morning. I know they won’t think of it now, but at some point, a part of me wants to be recognized for all the things I did “right.” The reality check is, that day may never come.
The secret to happiness is that the only TRUE JOY in this world is to give everything we possibly can and expect nothing in return besides the joy of giving. We cannot do anything in life and expect to be acknowledged by other people. That’s not to say we never will, but the odds are not usually in our favor. There is one who sees it though. And those acts of kindness, understanding and consideration do have a ripple effect. Even if you’re not a big believer in divinity, those times when we do the right things even when no one is watching are what make miracles happen.
This is the magic we possess, realizing that our human experience isn’t about “ME.” It’s about all of us. So I am challenging myself to start living more consciously, to keep my eye on the horizon of humanity rather than my own day-to-day struggles. I know it won’t be easy because I have a temper and I often think something is owed to me, but I am going to try to look at it all differently. And I ask you, what if you found joy simply in creating happiness for those around you? Would you do more and expect less? I’m certain that “heaven on earth” concept will be much more of a reality than we feel it is now.