“Welcome to your life….there is no turning back!” Meaningful lyrics written by a wise duo back in the ‘80s…Tears for Fears. Even their name speaks wisdom. When we read these lyrics, we can almost have this sense of anxiety or fear for this roller-coaster ride we’re about to embark on called life! But really, facing those emotions and choosing to get on the ride allows us to find our calling, our purpose and track with it, and then this wonderful thing called life can be nothing but joyous!
Our calling and purpose can be anything we do….even down to the smallest gesture of staring into the eyes of an elderly person and telling them that you love them as they face the fears of the evening of their lives. It can be taking a child’s hand into your own as you walk them towards that one fear that seems to stand out for us all as children….our BICYCLE!
Callings and purpose do not have to be some grandstanding feat! We sometimes erroneously think that our everyday actions are insignificant and cannot possibly make a difference in someone’s life or change the World in some way, but change comes one act, one person at a time. Sure…there are those who receive all this grand recognition for having played a major role in changing the World somehow, whether it be in the field of technology, arts, communications, spirituality, science, politics, human rights and on and on!! They receive accolades such as Nobel Peace Prizes and other awards of recognition that society deems appropriate. But what about all those who worked behind the scenes? What was their calling? Certainly, people like Edison, Alexander Bell, Kepler, Martin Luther King had assistance of some sort.
And why do we feel we have to be so big to make a difference? Why does ego say you are nothing if you do not receive the financial reward or the World’s recognition? Everything in life is dependent upon something else….cause and effect and it runs infinitum! The Tibetan Buddhist use the term “independent arising” when contemplating emptiness. It’s very difficult to grasp the teachings on emptiness, but when we do, we begin to understand how we all play a part in everything that makes this World of ours function. The clothing you wore on your job interview when you greatly impressed your new boss passed through so many hands before it made its way to you. It was designed by someone, sewn by someone else, packed, shipped, delivered and put on display by all these different individuals. The Buddhist masters tell us this is how we can grow our gratitude by understanding how we are all dependent upon one another for EVERYTHING in this World! Food, clothing, our homes, our electronics….well, you see the picture!
So why, then, do we feel so unimportant when we “think” we contribute nothing? That “I love you” that you said to that elderly person may have given them so much comfort that forever you will remain in their thoughts. Maybe even when they draw their last breath they will remember your smiling eyes and those comforting words, and through your compassion you changed fear into acceptance.
When Martin Luther King gave his infamous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in August of 1963, there was an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people in attendance. Imagine all the preparation that had to go into planning such a Civil Rights-changing event! Many “behind the scenes” organizers volunteered their time. There were chartered busses from New York City and Birmingham, Alabama, chartered airlines to help transport the many who attended. Yes, Martin Luther King is who we honor, who we recognize to have brought this change, but there were many others who contributed who will never be recognized, whose names no one even knows. There were those who provided water on what was probably an incredibly hot and humid day in Washington. Some provided meals, made sandwiches. We are all interconnected to facilitate change. Just because we don’t become famous or receive this incredible accolade, in our hearts we can smile and know that we, too, have played a part in changing the World, just like those at this infamous march. We don’t have to grandstand or allow ego to dictate to us that we are worthless unless we stand out to all and everyone knows our name.
“As long as you breathe the free air of Earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service.” (Sri Yukteswar) This is how we contribute to a changing-World… through acts of kindness, devotion, service, and we can do so in our daily lives with humility and complete anonymity. The 20th Path on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life is that of Yod. Among its many meanings, there is one which can greatly influence our daily lives.
Yod is the smallest of the Hebrew letters, yet it symbolizes that greatness is found in the smallest things and that it is in humility, service, trust and faith that all great things are accomplished. It encourages us to understand that we each contain within us a talent, an art, a beingness that serves the World and can make even the smallest gesture an act of greatness and change in the World. Understanding this we come to find that our calling, our purpose, not matter how insignificant it may seem to us, can be life-transforming to someone else or maybe even be the inspiration to someone like a Martin Luther King who was inspired by the words of Ghandi whom he greatly admired.
So no, there is no turning back once we get on the roller-coaster, but this is the gift we have been given….the opportunity to grow and contribute to this World through our interconnectedness with others. We ALL make a difference…we all can change the World one act at a time. As Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the World.”
Debbie Peluso obtained her Bachelors degree from the University of Metaphysics in association with the University of Sedona in Arizona. She is a certified practitioner in Meditation, metaphysical/spiritual counseling, and is a working astrologer and co-owner of Zion Yoga Studio in the Washington, D.C. area. She also facilitates the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.