During this holiday season, my thoughts turn to a different way to approach “giving”. Traditionally I share in charitable activities such as adopting a family to give presents to and contributing to the Toys for Tots drive.
This year my finances necessitated a different approach. I have been meditating on the following quote from my spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy. It starts by envisioning a world in some future yet to be realized date in which divinity is more established on Earth. Giving to others is a big part of the picture painted of a more beautiful world.
In answer to the question, “What will it be like when divinity is more manifested?” Sri Chinmoy states:
Treachery will go away, first of all.
Then, people will think more of one another and less of themselves, as a spiritual Master does. I can meditate all the time for myself, but I don’t do that. Instead, I concentrate on my disciples; I help them and others who want and need my light. In this way I serve them, and I get joy. As long as I am of service, I am fulfilling my role on earth.
But right now, It is not like that with everybody. When divinity is more manifested, people will offer themselves more for the cause of others than for themselves.
Now you will say, “If one is not realised, how can he help others?” But you can help, according to your own achievement. Always we have to be of service to those who need us.
When divinity is more manifested, each one will offer himself to the service of mankind and each one will have something to receive which he has not yet manifested.
Sri Chinmoy, Oneness-Reality And Perfection-Divinity, Agni Press, 1983.
Because I do not have the resources to give material gifts this Christmas, I am contemplating the idea of being of service to others and thinking more of others and less of myself as this year’s way to share in the “Season of Giving”.
Joel Osteen, in his new book Every Day a Friday devotes an entire chapter to these concepts, using the terms “be a dream releaser” and a “people builder”. He writes,
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Think about the people God has placed in your life. They’re not there by accident. God brings people to you for a purpose. We should live with this awareness that, “I am here to add value to people. I am here to help them succeed.” Don’t go around always thinking, “I wonder what that person can do for me. I wonder what they have to offer.” No, we should have the attitude, “What can I do for them? How can I help them come up higher? Can I teach them something I know? Can I connect them with someone who can help them?” Don’t make the mistake of going through life ingrown. Instead, be a dream releaser. Use your talent, your influence and your experience, not just to accomplish your goals, but to help release a dream in someone else.
Remember, there is nothing more rewarding than to lay down at night knowing that you helped someone else become better. You not only fulfilled your purpose for that day, you did your best. It may have just been a two-minute phone call where you encouraged someone; but when you live as a dream releaser, you’ll see your own dreams come alive as well.
“Be devoted to one another in love…”
(Romans 12:10, NIV)
I find it inspiring that this spiritual truth transcends different religions and perspectives. Whether I am trying to help someone on my job who approaches the desk with a question, or I am trying to be a patient teacher in computer classes or I am trying to share Sri Chinmoy’s meditative wisdom with seekers; it all comes back to Sri Chinmoy’s words from above,
“As long as I am of service, I am fulfilling my role on earth.”
This Christmas, that is my prayer and wish as I travel, a girl on a road.