It is important that we stop expecting others to show us love, acceptance, commitment and respect when we don’t even show that we possess these ideals for ourselves. We must grow up and take responsibility for our current condition.
“Those who find joy and peace completely within are the truly happy ones. This bliss is in direct proportion to the disentanglement from worldly attractions. Eventually, they actually become one with Divinity, the very Source of bliss that resides inside.”***
Have we forgotten the role responsibility plays in social behavior? We can move towards congruence or away. Every decision: To smile at the clerk and say thank you (towards); to grumble at the clerk and frown, or mumble something nasty with hatred (away). Each situation depends on our mental attitude and follow-on actions. If another acts poorly towards us we can choose to return the action in kind or respond with kindness instead. We change the equation, on the spot, in that very moment. (I am not speaking of physical violence; you have a right to protect yourself!)
With each response, we have either negated the negative or depending on the next outcome, turned it to a positive. Every single decision, whether alone in a car, or on a crowded street corner, is about our actions being affected by our internal belief system, which can be simply stated as “Love thy neighbor as thyself!”
Our primary goal, realizing our present condition, is to take responsibility for making the correct choices. Then we must envision how that relates to our future condition. The decision we make today creates that next future. That wisdom either enhances (or detracts from) the harmony in our personal lives. Good choices are the thousand small wins that increase the intensity of our personal “light” each day, which builds confidence and strength. Progress is made through our independent striving for happiness while remembering that for all or our actions there will be reciprocal reactions. Golden Rule. We can create (or re-create) that future, and because we exist within the realm of universal consciousness, we have a responsibility to do that. The Supreme has given us the means to accomplish that purpose. We must, however, take the responsibility for this “pursuit of happiness.”
It seems no one speaks of these responsibilities anymore. It is like we choose pathetic animal desires and “what will be, will be” with little regard for future results. Unfortunately, that is a script designed for a disastrous ending.
When in history, societies have veered from the “Path of Truth” the ending doesn’t usually go very well. Do you agree that the place and purpose for our species is to create a “individual happiness as primary goal” philosophy? Is it possible that we have the ability to affect our outcomes, which inevitably affects the outcomes of those in our periphery? If your answer is yes, you must see that there is great responsibility associated with that process.
If we come to understand that certain actions will provide the greatest returns in our lives; it would be self-defeating to choose another course of action. Therefore, with proper knowledge of our place in the realm of universal consciousness, we can act in a self-loving manner and still produce the greatest outcome for ourselves and for our fellows as well. This is something we are capable of creating through our free will decisions as well as our positive mental attitude choices. We should understand that our duty is to protect and enhance these liberty systems. This means that we learn to overcome “learned” prejudices.
Because we create futures, we must accept that along with that creation comes great responsibility. This too, is the Golden Rule. Each decision made creates a certain future, and the next decision another future, and the next another future, and so on. The combination of the decisions made creates our ultimate end, a reflection of our past free will choices. We, alone, are responsible for that future!
If each one of us is striving for “God-dedicated” action with each self enhancing decision made, the sum total becomes overwhelming harmony and prosperity for self, and by reflection, for the community. Krishna says:
“Engage in action, do your work, but with full control of your mind and senses. And be aware that the work you do should contribute in some way, directly or indirectly, to the higher good of humanity.”***
In other words we must be self-loving without being selfish. The “God-dedicated” path is the one that develops self-guiding traits that enhances the harmony of self and contributes to the unity of the community. We cannot separate ourselves from this two-part responsibility.
In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck said, “Life is difficult.” Life is Difficult— we are not like the clouds of the sky blowing around in the wind with no purpose or influence. We are not just mammals in simple survival mode any more. We are the purpose, the influencers and the creators of our own experience in this world we call Earth. Whether we create a chaos or harmony is totally within our control! In Golden Rule parlance we realize a principled happiness within self. Then we find ourselves wanting to share that happiness with others. The more that works the greater the happiness index becomes. There is confidence in our personal existence and support in our network.
We are limited only by our mental attitude and taking personal responsibility for holding up our part in this system of progress. The point is we are either moving forward or we are dead. We can’t sit still for long without someone else picking up the slack and providing for us. Our responsibility is to provide for self, whenever and wherever possible, with our highest achievement as our end goal. Once we achieve full harmony within ourselves, we develop capacity for the support of others, the Golden Rule fulfilled.
***The quotes above are from: “The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners” by Jack Hawley ©2001. A New World Library publication, ISBN 978-1-60868-014-6