On the first day of Spring I read a book that had been gifted to me some time aback by an old friend of the family. It was an unusual book but I salute the author for the way she seemed to transport me and as I would imagine her many other readers, into the heart of an ancient Indian city in contemporary times. Throughout the book I watched a young man not much older than you or I, make his way through an apathetic world whilst trying desperately to find himself. I think for many young people, this character may very well represent us. ‘God doesn’t lead you into deep waters to drown you’ the main character read but thought scornfully to himself after, “No, but he likes to leave you there until you’re wrinkled and no good to yourself or others.” Though throughout this book, many times I would be struck by one of those rare ‘Aha’ moments as Oprah would call them, this one part echoed within me. As an individual who had struck on hard times which seemed never ending, I know that there are occasions where you wonder if there really is anyone sitting upstairs and if there is, is He just watching our plight with uncaring eyes? I have seen many others in similar positions cursing God for the hand of cards he had dealt them. As I watch and as I learn, there is one thing that I have realized – You are responsible for the outcome of your life. Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer. But I also believe that faith without works is foolishness.
The money won’t fall from the sky, the lotto ticket won’t magically appear. The HR officer for the job that you want won’t somehow find your number and call you up before you even drop in an application. You won’t win that competition if you never make an entry. Those ten pounds won’t magically disappear when you get on the scale tomorrow. That book isn’t going to write itself. Before you can achieve anything, you must do something. This seems like a fairly obvious concept but I know that sometimes nothing evades us as effectively as the conspicuous. I woke up this morning, searched everywhere for my phone only to realize that it was on my vanity in plain sight all along – same concept. Everything in life comes with its own set of obstacles and each and every one of us is equipped to deal with them differently. I think that action is the key to success and like Lao Tzu said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’
In the same way, I believe that our actions have consequences – whether good or bad. And when we act we must be willing to face those consequences. If we succeed we give thanks to those who have helped us and to God who has guided us. If we fail, we consider what we did this time that may have caused us to fail. Then we try again. You can look at life as an experiment, where humans are the test subjects and the crazy scientists – we are all in different scenarios and we go through trial and error until we find the right way. But thankfully, all around us there are many examples, there are people among us who have tried and failed or tried and succeeded – their lives and their choices are the examples that may guide us in living ours.
You can look at life as an experiment, where humans are the test subjects and the crazy scientists – we are all in different scenarios and we go through trial and error until we find the right way. But thankfully, all around us there are many examples, there are people among us who have tried and failed or tried and succeeded – their lives and their choices are the examples that may guide us in living ours.
Don’t blame God if your expenses are more than your income – think of some way to improve yourself to make a better life. He has given you the ability and He has given you the opportunity – you just need to open your eyes and find it. If you’re overweight and find it hard to fit into your favourite jeans, don’t blame God – He didn’t tell you to skip your exercise session and eat a tub of ice-cream. I suppose you might wonder: ‘If I am in control of my life then why do I need to think of God at all?’ Because there is a spark of God in each and every one of us and it is that spark that connects us to Him and makes us capable of greatness. How bright that spark shines, depends on us. I will never forget the saying, ‘What you feed is what will grow’- it is a truth that is applicable in every area of our lives.
Have you ever heard the song, ‘Apathy is a death wish’? Strange title I agree, but for someone who likes reading beyond the underneath of things, I find it to be most true. Apathy – indifference and unconcern for what goes on around us. When you go through every day what do you see? Do you think of the little things that make our world work, or do you see the big picture? Do we care about the woman who can’t afford to send her children to school or to us do we just say it doesn’t matter? Do we watch as our classmate gets bullied and think it doesn’t concern us? Do we not feel anything when we see people suffer or do we say it’s not like we can do anything about it anyway? We can’t go through life just going through motions – not seeing what really matters, or not caring about it either. “Give me your eyes” portrays this clearly and I feel comforted by the song because it lets me know that I’m not the only one struggling to be better. You might wonder ‘How is one person going to make a difference?’ – You’d be surprised. One way to motivate others to be better is to live that way yourself and be a living example. It’s not that you don’t have the ability – you just have to convince yourself that you do. We need to understand that our actions also affect other people – what we do and what we say doesn’t affect just us. Do you want to be the person who snapped at the cashier for moving so slowly because you had a hard day? Or do you want to be the person who understands that just as you had a hard day other people may be having them too and believe it or not – how you treat them will make a difference. All in all I think we all need to sit down every now and then and ponder upon our lives. Are we taking responsibility for our lives and actions? Are we just going through motions and missing out on what’s really important? I think the sooner we realize these things; the better off we’ll be later.