Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going
to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness,
and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought
of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
|Today's Meditation: |
Treating someone as if they were going to be dead by midnight does not mean asking them if you can have their car or stereo or home entertainment center. It doesn't mean walking up to them and saying, "I'm sorry to see you go, and I'll miss you!" The idea, of course, is that we would be much less likely to dwell on those aspects of a person that we dislike or that bother us if we knew they would be dead soon. If you knew a person who was going to die this evening, would you spend your last moments with them complaining about some personality trait? Would you argue with them just for the sake of being right?
Extending "all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster" to all of the people you know would be an arduous task, no doubt, but not impossible. Just as everything else in the world, it would take practice--it would take a lot of effort to get really good at it. But would it be worth it?
Imagine what your world would be like if you were able to do this with everyone--how would people treat you if they knew they were going to encounter sincere kindness whenever they were around you? Ironically enough, there are probably many people who would avoid you if you were to act this way, but that simply shows that they're not ready to care for themselves, and it's hard to have someone else care for them. But the others, those who are good to themselves and who understand goodness when they see it--their lives would be enriched by you, and they would love being around you. And you would love being around you, too, for you would recognize that you're spreading very positive things around with the people you know and the people you do business with.
As Og says, "Your life will never be the same again," just as much because of the way you treat yourself as because of the way you treat others.
|Questions to consider: |
How much care, kindness, and understanding do you extend now?
Why does something like this take effort, practice, and perseverance?
Why don't more people look at this as a valid life philosophy?
For further thought:
Our lives are also fed by kind words and gracious behavior. We are nourished by expressions like “excuse me,” and other such simple courtesies. Our spirits are also richly fed on compliments and praise, nourished by consideration as well as whole wheat bread. Rudeness, the absence of the sacrament of consideration, is but another mark
that our time-is-money society is lacking in spirituality,
if not also in its enjoyment of life.