Over the past few days, the universe has repeatedly presented a message. It relates to a subject about which I am passionate…one that I embrace in a way that brings me hope and peace, but one with which I also occasionally struggle.
I subscribe to a holistic inspiration blog. I am fascinated by how often the daily message speaks to me and aligns with other elements of my life. Yesterday’s reflection was about an individual’s part in the universe, in the collective existence of life, in something greater than human existence. This concept includes the comfort of connection and of shared experience, and promotes the value of our spiritual being. Along with the benefits of this symbiotic relationship…this oneness of people and planet… there is an inherent responsibility… a duty to consider the greater good. The Daily OM post inspires by inviting readers to imagine what a different world it would be if we all worked for the common cause.
I believe in oneness and the philosophy of the common good, but this is also where it gets a bit tricky. At times, being conscious of the weight of our decisions is a challenging and overwhelming prospect. Such choices complicate my decision-making, but as I considered such things, I came across a related reflection. The post discusses a book by Rebecca Solnit called Hope in the Dark wherein the writer asserts that perfection is the enemy of possibility. I agree. I think humans often perceives things in terms of absolutes…. completion or failure, success or failure, perfection or failure. But those are very limiting perspectives especially when it comes to solving the world’s problems. The idea that one must ‘solve’ the problem to have an impact is incorrect. It makes our singular attemps to make a difference seem insignificant and even useless. It causes feelings of helplessness and defeat, and many people just give up. I have faced this many times but I’m sharing where I am now…how I embrace the common cause.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
The above passage from the Talmud is the expression that I feel best suits the situation. Do not let fear or failure deter the attempt. Do not despair that the problem is not solved or doubt the impact of small endeavors to do good. Small deeds do make a difference. An individual can be the catalyst for systemic change. Transformation is just a series of small changes and the power to make those changes is within each of us. Individuals make up the collective body of mankind and a better world is created each time we choose the common good.