You Can Make A Difference

May 15, 2013 Comments Off on You Can Make A Difference

Here’s a true story to show how effective a timely expression of appreciation may be. A young man tried the above practice on his rather gruff employer, whose heart melted when he heard the words, “One of the things that I appreciate most about you, sir, is your brilliance as an inventor. You have so much to teach me.” After saying that and more, the youth urged the astonished elder to pass on the voicing of appreciation to another person. The man sat with his only son that same evening and awkwardly told him how much he appreciated his many fine qualities. “I never take time to say such sentimental things,” he said, “but rather tend to keep to myself and be demanding and harsh because of the pressures of work. But please know that I do love you.” The youth began sobbing and confessed, “Father, thank you so much. You can’t imagine how glad and relieved I am to hear that. I was planning to commit suicide tomorrow because I thought you didn’t care about me any more, or even like me. Now I won’t.” You never know how much difference your appreciation will make.

To prepare yourself for this sadhana, stand before a mirror and look at your face, right into your eyes, and say aloud, as if talking to another person: “I am grateful to you and appreciate your being in my life.” Then describe to yourself in many sentences all the good you have done during the past five years. You can jog your memory by reading from your list of goodness that you made earlier. You will soon see the reflection in the mirror soften and begin to smile as it absorbs the happy feeling of your appreciation. Once this art is perfected between you and you, you can begin to appreciate others in the same way. Don’t be shy. No one is shy when angry. Why be shy when we are happy and lovingly grateful?

There is a brave new world on the horizon for followers of dharma, one in which we are kindly to each other, trusting and aware of one another’s feelings, a world in which we acknowledge our debt to others and express our thanksgiving, first in our silent heart and then outwardly. Gratitude is one of life’s richest resources, containing the power to change people’s lives. Its opposite is a disease that erodes all contentment and fills our life with emptiness and despair. Take heart. These sadhanas on gratitude and appreciation have worked wonders for many. Yes, each one of us can make a difference. The world is changing, and we can make it change for the better, or we can leave it in the hands of those who make changes for the “badder.” It’s our choice.

I appreciate you, our reader of Living with Siva, you and other men and women, boys and girls who are strengthening Hinduism in hundreds of remote communities, upholding the Sanatana Dharma, being a beacon light to others on the path. It is you who are inspiring us to produce this series of books on contemporary Hinduism, giving us so many ideas and cheering us on. You are making a great difference by simply living the dharma, aspiring for self-transformation and speaking on these high principles that are so important to us all and to the future of humanity.

Just a little bit of kindness is so easy to express. Just a little bit of kindness heals the mind. And in this day and age, when so many are frustrated, troubled and need a little bit of help, appreciation and encouragement, your kindness can help. Your criticism, your gossip about them, hurts them and also hurts yourself. But the kindness that you express in what you do is healing unto you, too. So, see yourself as a being that always expresses kindness. What you think about, you become. –  Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,  from:Living with siva


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