April 23

Today's quotation:

No university on Earth gives masterís degrees of living, of happiness.  How strange!  We seem to be missing the essential, the all-encompassing knowledge for which universities were originally created!

Robert Muller

Today's Meditation:

We pass on a lot of information to our young people, but very little wisdom.  We teach strategies for making money, for performing well in the professional world, for building bridges and airplanes, for prescribing medicines, but very few strategies of developing relationships, compassion, or fulfilling lives.  Most of us, if asked, would say that we would rather be happy than rich, but most of us don't teach our own children to pursue happiness instead of wealth because somehow we've bought into the idea that wealth equals happiness because safety is somehow involved in the equation.

Do our elders not teach us to be happy because they don't know how to do so themselves?  Do they neglect helping us to find inner peace and joy in living because they never were able to find those things themselves?  Do they not teach us to live fulfilling lives because they don't feel fulfilled?  I know that when I teach, I always try to find positive material around which to base my lessons, writings and readings that will get my students to focus on concepts and ideas that can help them to understand their lives if they buy internalize the messages.  It's not that difficult to do, but I've met very few other teachers who do so.

We need to teach our young people to have a realistic self-respect, to focus on possibilities rather than limitations, and to be aware of all the blessings that they have in life.  If we wanted to have a university of happiness, we would teach them patience, compassion, love, perseverance, self-discipline, and mindfulness instead of long division, algebra, the names of the state capitols, and the names of generals who led battles five hundred years ago.  If we were to do so, we would be helping them to gain real knowledge rather than helping them to store information.

Our knowledge can be a tremendous asset.  It can help us in many ways to become happier, healthier, more loving people.  But we must be sure that the knowledge that we have is truly knowledge, and not just information that takes up space in our brains but provides no real benefit.

Questions to consider:

Why do most people in our society consider "knowledge" to be simply stored information?

How can we make sure that we learn some of the more important things of life--the wisdom that can help us to be happy?

Who are your most important teachers, and what "knowledge" have they passed on to you?

For further thought:

I know what I have always known:  that the knowledge will never be enough.  This is the secret we keep from ourselves.  And the moment it is revealed, we become aware of a need for something else:  for the wisdom to live with what we do not know, what we cannot control, what is painful--and still choose life.

Oriah
The Invitation

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