This morning I facilitated a conversation with fifteen people. The topic was centered on how to be helpful and kind to other people and living things. To get the question rolling I read a paragraph that I had been working on for a month to create a statement I felt would be acceptable to everyone. Acceptable to scientists, philosophers, atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, geriatrics, and teenagers, to everyone, but it was largely rejected by those present. I wrote this as a life strategy and not as a group creed that we all sign on to and become a member. I see it as a way a mature person relates to reality.
We strive to make our world a place where all beings can
live a full life. The journey toward that goal begins with
cultivating kind relationships within ourselves, with our
living companions and with all sentient beings wherever
they live. We choose to create love for them in our inner
world and kind actions in our outer world that will help
them to thrive. We accept responsibility for helping that
part of the Universe we live in to fulfill its potentials and
for helping all living things everywhere to thrive.
We understand that we thrive when we help others to thrive,
and as we cultivate the habits of kindness toward others we
cultivate kindness toward our own selves. We have seen
people grow in contentment, vigor, wisdom, and prosperity
by doing kind acts and we choose to follow that path.
We see our life as an opportunity for doing helpful things.
We realize these existential foundations of our existence:
The matter that embodies us,
The space that enfolds us,
The energy that empowers us,
The time that encourages our actions!
These things support our life and goals.
They give us opportunities to thrive.
Okay, the statement may sound a little too creed-like, too like a religious dogma, but I don’t see it that way or intend that it should be used that way. This is not something I propose that we do as a group; it is a personal strategy for coping with the problems of the world we find ourselves personally immersed within. It is a way of approaching the reality that the Universe presents us with. We have no choice in what the grander results of the Big Bang will provide to the galaxies, but we do have a considerable choice of what becomes available to us as individuals here on Earth. We may not be able to create gravity, for example, but it behaves in a very predictable way and therefore we can use it to our advantage as we see fit. Time is also very predictable and the results of its actions are as predictable as gravity. One thing is very obvious: time permits action, and if we don’t act at the appropriate place and time to accomplish our wishes, that opportunity is lost forever. In that way time encourages us to perform while we have the opportunity.
I see it as a good thing to strive to make the world a better place for our living companions.