“A Grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.” Plato
I once knew a wise man. A rare gem of a man, whose wisdom lit up a sorry world. He once said “Life begins when you have something to give.” When people came to him, unhappy and forlorn, he counseled them to write a gratefulness journal.
Life can be difficult. Life can be challenging. Life can be full of wounds that cry out to us to learn to heal. Of course, it is not us that do the healing. That is the domain of Nature. But, we at least, must open our hearts for Nature to step in and work the miracles which we were born to share in.
I hear angry voices all around but I know that the poorest man is he who can’t forgive. My friend told me this today. He said of an ex-lover “He’s a poor man. He can’t forgive.” When he said these words…and the story that went with them…I was so grateful. Grateful for the little things. I could relate – I once loved a woman – loved her so terribly much – and yet she slammed and bolted the door in my face. The light was blocked out and the pain was sealed in ice – at least that is how her ego would have had it. And cold, like the North wind she left things untouched, unopened, all stitched up with anger. Blame took over and framed things as her bitterness saw fit.
I had made some mistakes. Heartless, foolish mistakes. But never was I malicious or hurtful deliberately. The poorest person is he who can’t forgive. I have no doubts now as to the profound wisdom of this.
Everyday, greeting us at the door of our experiences…are a thousand ways to dig a ditch between ourselves and others; between ourselves and forever. Why life brought me that wise teacher, I do not know… but I am grateful. Even today the love of his heart guides and leads me.
He gave me some profound guiding words; words that challenged and transformed me. Such is the power of words. Rare words – that come from another level – that are really listened to. Words that become the messengers of real affection. I have yet to rise fully to the challenge he placed before me with those words. It is buried within me - waiting to hatch. I see that now. I also see that I have yet to fully comprehend the love he represented…Miracles are interwoven through time – but they are not bound by it. The mystery continues to unravel.
I once asked him for some words of wisdom to help me rise to the challenge he handed me. He paused for a moment…then he said…smiling…in the warm, sunlit, green tree-dappled Californian afternoon: “Purity of heart is everything.”
The most beautiful words…are the words that mirror clarity. When my friend said today… “He’s a poor man. He can’t forgive”, I lamented and smiled at the same time. How true!
When you no longer value what is valueless…you extend something vital and profound…You can’t truly give…unless you have something valuable to share – and you can’t do that without knowing yourself. You need to go beyond insecurity and greed – to really unravel the mystery of your own existence. You have got to stand alone, whilst holding hands with the world.
That which is worthy of sharing must be discovered with the pure eyes of the heart…You have to leave the madness of conditioned thought systems to awaken to that kind of vision. It takes guts to find that kind of treasure. It lies not outside yourself. It is the easiest, most natural thing in the life. It is the toughest thing in the world. There are so many factors to this – the secret of secrets. But never forget Plato…
“A Grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.”
Have you learned the lesson of a gratefulness? Perhaps, it is the only true lesson which we can learn!
The people I really admire; the people who build lives of meaning…are people who can concur with this kind of sentiment. They are people who have learned to lose (who do you know who has really learned to lose? That’s no easy lesson to learn perfectly!). They are people who know to share. They are people who have something of their own to give. You can’t buy such individuals. Nor can they be imitated. There is a simplicity and a nobility about them.
Some things in the educational process need to be repeated again and again…until they are ingrained deep, deep, deeply into us. Plato's line is surely one of those things that demands skillful and poignant repetition. That is, if you seek an education that values love. Seek nothing else…and you will be truly rich.
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