August 30

Today's quotation:

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or
Mohandas Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone.
We are it.  It is up to us.  It is up to you.

Marian Wright Edelman

Today's Meditation:

There have been many human beings who have been able to bring hope to others.  They've lived their lives trying to right wrongs and bring justice to the world, and then they've passed on.  And when they do pass on, their passing leaves us in a kind of paralysis, a state in which we're sort of frozen, waiting for someone else to come along and thaw us.

But there are billions of potential Gandhi's on this planet at this very moment.  There are billions of potential King's and Luther's and Jesus' and Buddha's all about us, all the time.  And you are one of them.  You have the potential to increase the amount of love and peace and justice in this world, just as the "great" people have done in their times.  The only thing it takes to unlock that potential is the decision to do so.  It takes your commitment and your willingness to make some sacrifices for the good of others.  And therein lies much of the problem--not many of us are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

This life is very short, and we have many choices to make while we're here.  If our choice is to help others truly and deeply, then it will take time, effort, and resources to do so.  Sometimes it will mean giving up the things that make us comfortable, at least for a time.  Sometimes it will mean going without something that you've wanted for a very long time.  Sometimes it will mean putting yourself into awkward or frightening situations.

But if not us, then who?

The difference that we make may not be on the scale of Gandhi's works, but it will be a difference nonetheless.  And it will be worth any sacrifice that we make, if we enter into it with no expectation of return and with a willingness to let go of the results.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of sacrifices do you regularly make in order to help others?

What do you consider to be the greatest contributions of people like Gandhi and King, Jr.?

What can you do today to help others?

For further thought:

Every act has its effect.  To do nothing is an act that stems from feelings of hopelessness and despair.  Please remember, no matter how dark the future looks, you can make a difference.  When you live the true life you were sent here to live, the difference you make will enhance life rather than destroy it.  Do not spend time worrying how big a difference you make.  Anything that enhances a life makes a difference; helping one individual recover from a broken heart; easing one person's pain; helping one ugly duckling discover his or her beauty.  Keep working as long as you live, and live as long as you can, and when you finish your marathon they will hang a medal around your neck that says, "You Make a Difference."

Bernie Siegel

  

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