What is that saying? Everyone is the center of their own universe? Well, maybe in my case Lily is the center of my universe. But generally speaking, so many people are so focused on themselves and their issues that they can’t see past the end of their nose.
I have always lived my life in service of others. From a very early age, I was interested in, and genuinely concerned about the well-being of others. I was the kid who would make Christmas and Hanukkah cards for the toll collectors when we drove into the city on Christmas Day (though I was always too shy to hand them out). I am still this kid. I walk around and see where help is needed, and I help. Whether it’s offering my seat to a pregnant woman on the subway or helping an elderly person with their grocery bags, helping others – and sometimes (especially when they’re strangers!) not asking for anything in return – has always been deeply engrained in my being.
It is because of this that I often have a difficult time trying to reconcile the selfish and sometimes hurtful actions and words of people who are near and dear to me. Let me be clear. I realize that I am not the center of their universe. But if someone sees me struggling, offering me a ‘how can I help?’ instead of giving me a look of pity would go a really long way. I don’t need pity. I need help.
The pity, the ‘I don’t know how you do it’ comments, the watching me struggle and not offering a helping hand or just the plain old silence of an unanswered email or an unfulfilled promise – these things sting me so deeply. And I can promise you that these kinds of actions, or inactions, sting others as well.
Have compassion. Take your blinders off. Realize that there is a whole lot of things going on around you – some of it miraculous, some of it sad – and see if there’s a way you can help grow that miracle, or ease the sadness of another person.
‘Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realize.’ This is the motto of Swami Vishnu that I strive to live by – though I have an especially hard time these days with the ‘meditate’ part. I, too, am a work in progress after all.
Om tat sat.