Sunday, January 25, 2009

One Small Part...

Sometimes it is really easy to get self-absorbed. What is more important to a person than what is currently going on in their own lives? Often, the answer is nothing. Yet, every once in a while, we are reminded there is a bigger world out there and we are just one small part of it.

In the last two days, I have read several very different things reminding me of that fact. The first was one of Mother's books, "Only With A Highlander". In the book, a character describes a huge painting where the people are represented by small dots of color. The people are, in fact, so insignificant they do not even merit a whole brushstroke. That's a bit humbling. Next, was the book "The Candy Bombers" by Andrei Cherny. There are so many things that stood out for me reading this book, it is hard to pick just one. However, reading/knowing what the men and women (not to mention the people of Berlin) did to make the Berlin Airlift a success amazes me. One person alone could not have done it. One person alone did not make or break it. Individual people may have had a big impact (Tunner, Halvorsen, Clay, etc.), but the success came from something larger.

Finally, a friend of mine talked to me today about her guru, Amma. She is known to many as the "Hugging Saint" because her mission is to essentially spread love and compassion. She does this by hugging, sometimes up to 45,000 people in a day, one after the other. On her website Amma responds to a question regarding how she can hug/love everyone, no matter how different. I had asked myself this question since I automatically thought of all the dirty, stinky, and "weird" people (all those people I wouldn't want touching me). Her response really hit a chord.

Amma replied that "when a bee hovers over a garden of varied flowers, what it beholds is not the difference between the flowers, but the honey within them." What did I get from that? It is not the outside that is important, it is what is inside (trite, but who of us actually lives by this?). The outside is essentially a shell holding the soul, the only truly important part of each person, together. Why would we ever look at the "shell" when it would be so much more interesting and rewarding to focus on the soul?

We are all just one small part of the whole. If we could learn to see past the surface to what or who we really are underneath, perhaps the world would be a more peaceful and better place.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could see things that simply! Some people are nice on the outside, and really ugly and nasty on the inside. At times, I try to balance this cynicism with the thought that we all want the same things in life (according to Mazlow anyway) and that the differences don't matter as much as we think. Of course, that's a bit harder to live out when people exert so much energy in making distinctions and pointing out differences.