March 21


Today's Quotation:

When we're helping other people, we're nourishing our soul.  Depression or unhappiness means we've got the wrong goal.  We have forgotten that peace of mind is our only goal.  By concentrating on helping another person, we renew contact with our soul and with God.  We can feel peaceful again. . . .  Peace of mind has nothing to do with the external world; it has only to do with our connection with God.  Love really is the answer.  We're here only to teach love.  When we're doing that, our souls are singing and dancing.  When we remind ourselves that we are spiritual beings, that life and love are the flame eternal, that's when our soul is nourished.

Gerald Jampolsky

Today's Meditation:

There are many quotations out there that focus on helping other people as a way to be happy, and the idea is universal enough that it seems that it must be true.  The Dalai Lama has written a great deal about compassion and what it means, and the bottom line seems to be feeling what others feel in order to help them to work their way through their lives and their problems.

Helping isn't necessarily putting ourselves out there in society and spending our time at soup kitchens or homeless shelters.  The people who work in those places definitely have a calling, and their work is under-appreciated by society as a whole.  But you and I probably are going to be much more effective by helping our co-workers, our children, our spouses, our neighbors, or our relatives.

A woman I know once spent a lot of time with the woman who lived across the street from her, who was going through very difficult emotional times.  This woman felt that she was just offering a bit of support, but a couple of years later someone else told her that the other woman had said that she probably had saved her life when things were very bad.  The "little bit" of support that she offered, then, has affected the woman, her children, her spouse, her birth family, her friends, and all the people that she ever will know in a very positive way.

We're not all going to prevent someone from committing suicide.  But if I can help to build this man's self-esteem through love and compassion, his marriage may improve, and his children will benefit from the stronger relationship between their parents, and then their children will benefit.  And who knows--one day when I really need it, he may be there to help me.  This is what love is, and it does help our souls to share it.

Questions to ponder:

1.  If you could receive any kind of help at all right now, what would it be?  Can you think of others who may want that same kind of help?

2.  What are the long-term effects on yourself of spreading love and feeling compassion?

3.  Do you regularly nourish your soul be helping others?

For further thought:

Open your eyes and look for a human being, or some work devoted to human welfare, which needs from someone a little time or friendliness, a little sympathy, or sociability, or labor.  There may be a solitary or an embittered fellowman, an invalid, or an inefficient person to whom you can be something.  Perhaps it is an old person or a child.  Or some good work needs volunteers who can offer a free evening, or run errands.  Who can enumerate the many ways in which that costly piece of working capital, a human being, can be employed?  More of him is wanted everywhere!  Search, then, for some investment for your humanity, and do not be frightened away if you have to wait, or to be taken on trial.  And be prepared for disappointments.  But in any case, do not be without some secondary work in which you can give yourself as a human to other humans.  It is marked out for you, if you only truly will to have it.

Albert Schweitzer

more thoughts and ideas on helpfulness



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