Greetings my gentle readers to the “Be Yourself, Often” blog. A time when we can sit down with ourselves and our reflective thoughts and mind interfacing with matter.
Over the past 3 weeks (with the exception of the week I took off to be in Copenhagen), we have taken a look at the perfect, parfait driven live from the cornerstones and ultimate pinnacle of a pyramid. In God we trust, with the All-Seeing eye on the obverse of the American $1 bill. But this is the pyramid symbolic of personal and strength that we are reflecting up. The 4 bases of this pyramid will be the Mindfulness, Reflection, Gratitude and Altruistic giving with the pinnacle representing Prayer/Spirituality.
As we have learned, the main 2 cornerstones and anchors of the pyramid that is the person in strength and humanities is mindfulness. That is being at one and connected and in the moment, appreciating all aspects of the moment. That we are able to mirror also says so much and that reflection on the acts and also the root causes and etiologies of the action. Gratitude is the giving of thanks for what we are able to experience… and embraces both the positive and the negative. It is very hard to give thanks for the negatives when compared to the positives, yet they are needed.
Altruism is I feel the fourth corner of the square that denotes being able to have a life with depth and breadth. This is the corner that presents the most challenge in reflection and action, as it is the hardest to capture. While on the surface, it may appear simple that a person does an act without expecting anything in return; identifying the root motivation may make altruism greyer than we expected.
For example, if a person does something nice to another and hope to simply advance their karmic positives, it would be hard pressed to really consider that altruism, even if it was meant as giving. Sadly, the thing that comes to my mind is the blatant hypocrisy that people go to church on Sunday and then slander someone through gossip or negative actions the rest of the week. That is like giving for karmic positives.
Indeed, I believe a more accurate depiction of altruism comes clearer when we look at actions across time. Why indeed must we expect something in return? For we know that that creates resentments and negatives often, which is on that slippery slope, swirling down the drain.
To get a real feel of altruism, I believe we need to look at examples where there is unconditional love and giving, with an intelligent concern for others and the ego-rat has stopped nibbling away at the base psyche. The examples I come up with are nature in its habitat, where everything is as it should be and the falling leaves begat life for the tree and that unending cycle. Such a perfect ecosystem, repeated over and over again at a macro and micro level.
A mothers’ love would b a close second and very much intertwined with the Mother that is Mother Nature that we have defined above. Even in times of challenge, when mankind is at their worst you hear real altruism. I know a wonderful person who was a young girl in Stalingrad in 1942. When the bombs were falling in the siege of Stalingrad, with the enemy at the gates, the mother by the grandmother covered the child. This is to me one of the most touching reflections of altruistic giving, and can be seen in the Madonna of Stalingrad, painted by a German Officer at Christmas 1942. I have seen and heard both sides of this picture, and they are humbling.
Down the linear (or circular) conceptualization of altruism is the unerring love and giving of pets and animals. Those that have been loved or abused yet are still dedicated and full of true love and giving. Despite the fact that we think we are superior, we as humans can learn a lot from animals. Any hero who has rescued a pet knows that.
And that leaves the concept of a hero. Those people with nothing to gain, lots to lose but stand on their belief systems and integrity. We see them identified across the centuries and we know some of them from time to time if we are lucky to cross their paths. They speak with conviction and belief and want to advance what others can learn and do, even when there is no remuneration, rewards, gifts, accolades or titles. In my experience, they often have or are facing major health crises and yet always want to look after and give a positive word or thought or learning or just by being is an inspiration. Like the boundless love of an pet, the protective embrace of a mother or the seamless perfection of Nature, these people enter your life to be themselves.
And if you have the courage to let them do what they do and listen and learn with the openness of a child with peace, patience, silence, humility and serenity… then their touch will I believe, impart a window of their magic to you. And know that maybe you too can be a hero to someone someday.
Can you imagine and then to see and know and resonate and feel that you can be yourself, often.