“Recognize the other person is you.”-Yogi Bhajan
Reading this very short and straightforward sentence, how easy not to dig deeper. I challenge you to sit on it, though. Let the simple six words run through your head. Allow those six words to come to the forefront every time your feelings are hurt. Where, exactly, is your pain coming?
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi
A misquote of the above that is seen often circulated, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The idea is the same, reinforces, Yogi Bhajan’s quote. Being able to first, recognize that you play a role in the world as well, a part that likely involves the suffering of others. Gandhi challenges you to progress to the next step, once you see that you play that role, to spend your time and energy making the very changes that we wish we could see.
As a female veteran, I often find myself feeling left out of the celebrations of Veteran’s Day. It’s very easy for my friends to forget that I served three combat tours since it isn’t something I brag about or bring up in casual conversation. If you read through my blog far back enough, though, I am proud of my accomplishments whilst in as well as the strides I have made since retiring. On days such as Veteran’s Day, I find it easy to start getting angry or bitter. This year, however, I allowed those quotes I mentioned above to roll through my brain. I whispered them to myself when I woke up and when the darkness started to creep in. After I had attended an incredible Veteran’s Day ceremony at my friend’s school (her boy interviewed me as his veteran!!), I started thinking about maybe some other veterans whom may have been forgotten. Sadly, I don’t bother to ask most people. I AM “the other people.” I fixed that, though. I picked up a card, wrote a personal note on it, and hand delivered it to someone else whom I know to be a veteran. This person works in a position of authority, and unless you asked, or were observant enough, you wouldn’t have known them to have been a veteran. We aren’t all hat wearing or bravado types, some of us just proudly served.
What are some ways you are trying to enlighten yourself? How are you trying to better yourself to in turn better the world? Are you following a daily routine? Volunteering? Do you attend church and donate your time to ministry?