"The one who dies with the most toys wins."
I saw this on a bumper sticker the other day and it got me to thinking about how many people strive for financial abundance in this life rather than spiritual abundance.
They believe, (and doesn"t society teach us), that our success is measured in "haves."
Do you "have" your own home? Do you "have" lots of money in your bank account? Do you "have" investments?
Success is also measured in "degrees." How many "degrees" you have from a university? Or even, do you have your grade 12 diploma?
I measure success in kindness. How kind was I to others this week? Did I perform a random act of kindness? Did I let another driver into my lane, rather than making sure the @$%#&! wouldn"t get in front of me? If I die tomorrow, I want to make sure I"ve done as many loving, kind actions as possible in the time I have. I want people to remember me for the smiles I brought to their face, rather than how many cars I owned!
I raise my children with the same philosophy. It doesn"t matter to me if they go to university or college. I want them to focus on how they can assist the Earth and how they can bring joy to the lives of people and animals. If they decide to become a veterinarian I"ll be thrilled for them. If they decide to volunteer for Greenpeace or the Red Cross, I"ll be equally pleased. I don"t care what they choose to do with their lives as long as they find joy in it and they can assist others to find joy as well.
Since we spend so many hours a week working, it"s important that whatever we are choosing to do brings us a sense of accomplishment. After all, every job is important but if I"m a lawyer and I hate my job, I need to find something new to do or perhaps take my skills into another avenue, such as assisting single mothers/fathers, or non-profit societies.
What I"m trying to express is this: it doesn"t matter what your job is, the question I would like you to ask yourself is: Does it bring you joy, and does it assist your fellow earth-mates?
Yes, I know what you"re saying, "what about the bills, who"s gonna pay the bills if I"m off saving the whales?" Firstly, if you are off saving the whales your expenses are quite a bit different than the usual cable and mortgage payments most of us share. But not everyone is ready to give that much of their lives to a "cause." That"s where volunteer programs come into play. You can offer your time to many different organizations, which, quite honestly, would love to have you. Hospice Societies can always use another pair of ears. Big Brother and Big Sister organizations can always use more volunteers as well. There"s an organization for everyone, from volunteer Grandparents to your local political party. Whatever aspect of yourself you would love to shine brighter (and if you aren"t getting the chance to in your day-to-day job) - find your niche within the wonderful world of volunteering.
Another aspect I would like to briefly touch on is caring for our elderly. Rather than having our parents move in with us so we can care for them, many people nowadays choose to send them to an old age home. Some elderly people do need round-the-clock care from a nurse or need the restraints of a locked facility due to some degenerative disease of the mind, but many are just old.
I would love to see more people becoming actively connected to our elderly, and focusing on how their lives are celebrated at the end of their physical journey, rather than putting them into a sterile environment while waiting to die. Wouldn"t it be great if people took elderly strangers into their home and allowed them to shine their light into the lives of their family? I"m speaking about the ones who don"t need special care - they just don"t have anywhere to go so they end up in a home for the elderly. The stories and knowledge these people have to share is enormous!
My grandmother, for instance, lived almost 100 years; she was witness to the advent of washing machines, TV and computers, and has even seen a man walk on the moon, all in her lifetime. What a rich store of knowledge and memories she was. Why, she is actually a living history book!
So rather than focusing on "who dies with the most toys," let"s see how many acts of kindness we can gift others with in a week. It not only brings joy to the receiver; it brings great joy to the giver as well.
much light, Aleesha
Author Bio :
Aleesha Stephenson is the Publisher, Editor, Graphic and a Regular Columnist for Timeless Spirit Magazine.
A Raw-Vegan, Reiki Master Teacher, who lives her Buddhist, Shamanic, with many eclectic Pagan beliefs, she home-schools two of her three spiritually enlightened children as her eldest has graduated and moved on to the school of life. Friend (and mother) to them all, she is also a life-partner to her husband David. Her life truly is filled with light.