I knew an angry man who had an affair with his neighbor's wife. He professed his love to her many times. One time, he even said he would leave his wife to be with her. The woman was very enamored of him. He was a man of many talents. But he was not inwardly balanced and he was addicted to alcohol. After he drank, his anger was a terrible thing. Often, his children had to threaten him with the idea of the police to tame the raging bull in him. It was a very sad situation.
I knew a young man whose mind was very sharp. He had a love for literature and he was a gifted writer in his own right. His mother died and he was very much affected when he was still in school. After happy times in college studying the great literature of the world, he did not find a job to suit him - and he was embittered by the world. So much brain power, but no job - no practical way to live in the world that harnessed his unique talents …no way to awaken him to joy. How do you give a Shakespeare a job? You can't. But we live in the age of jobs and people must get by. A mediocre position was the only thing he could find. It destroyed him.
His father was a good man. But he did not really understand his son. Whose father does? Very few really. The young man got a job on the ferry that his father captained. He worked as a steward and he secretly hated it. The money was not so good. One of his co-workers was a cruel person and he took a dislike to this young man. He distrusted his ways and his intelligence. Perhaps it was jealousy...who knows? - but this young man became the subject of his torments.
The bright young fellow endured so much taunting and name-calling. He was not one to brook a fight. It affected him a great deal. He was very sensitive. He could not turn to his father, the captain - because he was fearful of appearing weak. So he weathered the abuse in silent misery. He came to hate the world...despite his love for literature and the laughter he had once shared with his friends. Alas, his friends from his college days had scattered to the four corners of the earth. How he missed them! It was a very sad situation.
When you look at the world with a discerning eye you will see that most of us are forced to compromise. You will see that desires and fear, addiction and anger consume and cripple the majority, in one way or another. Very few men rise to the potentials that they are born with. Very few marriages are really happy. So much is wasted. Social conditioning and unquestioned traditions destroys us. The loss of loved ones, the cold, mechanical realities of making money and fitting into a crooked world...make us into demons or ghosts.
However brutish life appears to you....don't allow yourself to perceive yourself as a victim. There is such strength and beauty within you...don't let it be muted by this bitter world. You are child of eternity lost in the deserts of the world. Find your way home.
Don't compromise. Your love, your light is what is needed. Not your anger, not your sighs, not your resigned acceptance of the sordid realities that you perceive all around you. Find a way - find a way to not waste the beauty within you. No matter how impoverished you may feel...no matter how terrible a sinner you may consider yourself to be...be determined to discover that silence within which is beyond comparison. The seeds of a better life are waiting therein. You owe it to yourself, and to this screaming world, to bring those seeds the life-quenching waters of your unwavering attention.
There is so much despair on this planet. Greet it with a smile. That is the only business of a serious man;- learning to smile in the midst of tears – not a malicious smile…but the wholehearted smile of one who is acquainted with their real nature.
The word "ordinary" means "the business of order." Take care of the essentials. Be a responsible person. Bring order to your life. Then you will have the space to entertain the extraordinary. In reality, beyond the wavering needle of your hypersensitivity (the hyper-sensitive man is so easily crushed by the insensitivities of the world) or your dullness (the angry, addicted man is so dull)...you are an extraordinary being. Never settle for anything else! (When you do that, you do great injustice to yourself and He who created you).
- ► 2008 (31)
- ► 2006 (147)
- He is a man for whom the word "impossible" does no...
- India frustrates me
- The essential nature
- Family Life
- Idealism meets Reality in Washington and Iraq
- Extract from My Father The Spy
- I want to the best at something meaningful
- Most of us die without opening that door.
- The end of Misery
- The Many "I's"
- Further reflections on Ruskin....and Lord Siva
- Waste Not Want Not
- Doubts....doubts, they will come...
- And God said "Be nice to your wife."
- Today's World - the Opposite of Love
- I AM presence
- Book recommendation - towards a cleaner world
- Kill the ego!
- Meditations on Loyalty
- Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine
- ▼ August (23)