As conscientious as we are in cleaning our homes, workplaces, communities, and the world—so too should we be as conscientious in cleaning up the I ME MY of ourselves. We were born into this world with our basic innate goodness-- genuine and childlike qualities of innocence, purity, kindness, gentleness-- until we started our life journey. Here our troubles began. Bit by bit, piece by piece, morsel by morsel we started gathering garbage and stored them up in our minds and hearts-- oftentimes unaware as these things sometimes seem small, trivial, and insignificant, especially as we are easily distracted by the business of career and living. The years roll by and the garbage piles up high and eventually overturn the basic goodness that was our inheritance from birth. Thus we get new labels attached to our names, such as—greedy, hard and cruel, vindictive, power-grabber, miser, pervert, selfish, envious, heartless, vulgar, and rude. There are many other labels that are hanged up on our person as we run the daily course of our lives.
Look at those labels—is that really us? -- You? -- Me? Who put them there? Well, we did that to ourselves. Great job we did, oh boy! What does it do? Let us count the ways. Accumulated garbage in our minds and hearts serve to weaken us and damage our innate goodness. It breaks up families, friendships, careers, and relationships. It creates wars of all kinds in our families, communities, and nations. It poisons our thinking, speech, and actions. In short, it is toxic like all garbage is.
How did we get that? In many ways—we took it, copied it, read and absorbed it, adopted it, espoused it, honored it, and praised it. In some cases, it was taught to us. In all this we are not blame-free because there was conscious effort in its gathering and participation. Now in the same way that our homes are kept dirty because of our laziness and neglect, so too do our minds and hearts wallow in filth and trash because we let it.
Can we change that? Of course we can, not without pain and effort, but we can. Let’s resolve to throw out our internal garbage. How do we do that? Bit by bit like all that trash has accumulated bit by bit. Let’s stop looking at our neighbor’s skin color, treat them as our equals, and junk prejudices of all kinds. Let’s stop comparing Gods and stand on one solid faith. Let’s stop trying to tear each other down but instead work to build each other up—build not destroy. Let’s stop heaping all kinds of abuse on our families and everyone else we love so dearly. Let’s extend our helping hands to the needy without any thought of reward, honor, or recognition. Let’s learn to admit our mistakes and ask pardon for it as quickly as we pardon those who have hurt us. Let’s say no to graft and corruption. And there’s many more.
Tall order? – Maybe. But we’re cleaning up our act, aren’t we? We are emptying our trash bin-- throwing out our internal garbage. And we’ll be doing that everyday without letup because some of that ugly stuff has entrenched itself into our comfort zones. It may take some time, often slow, as the universal principle that everything goes through time applies here, but we will get there. This journey is itself our reward because bit by bit each day as we travel on we are getting our true selves back—our innate goodness which is our birth right restored. 12-16-05
posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 8:55 AM