Even a casual observer would not have failed to note how varied life of humans on Earth is. There are times, places and individuals for which it is utter misery or even worse while there are other times, places and persons for whom it is filled with peace, happiness and joy.
Mystics and spiritually inclined persons have pondered over the question since the beginning of civilization and arrived at the conclusion that it is our thoughts and choices we make every moment of our lives that determines our life. Those who are doing well in life often assume it is because they are so very smart and talented or hardworking while those who are having a difficult time say it is because of bad luck. Mystics say it is neither but simply a result of ones deeds emerging from one’s thoughts and choices that is showing up. Some say it is fate but then mystics say those are just past actions and the link has been forgotten. Some modern scientific persons say it is also due to random happenings that are at play here too, while the one who understood science most – Einstein says just as the mystics do that God does not play dice i.e. there is an Almighty Power that controls all happenings from the movement of stars to the doings of viruses.
What about the conditions we inherit at birth? There is no doubt this has a major impact on the way our subsequent life turns out. Here again the mystics assert that it is just a result of past actions in a previous life in our near endless journey of many lives through the universe.
Whatever position one takes, none can argue that it is our thoughts and choice that are in our control and they do play a role in the way our life turns out. Most spiritually inclined persons have also come to the conclusion that thoughts and choices that emerge from tendencies of love, truth, simplicity, gratitude and humility lead to peace and happiness while others arising from lust, greed, lies, anger and pride lead us to misery.
Some of the most important choices we have to make in life are the places we live in or the people we live with. There are some who feel they can improve their own lives by changing others or if others would do differently as per their wish. That is not only stupid it is also evil. Each human has the God given freedom to be as they like and face consequences. When even God has granted that freedom, it is evil and utterly stupid to expect that a human should change for your pleasure. Could a human be more stupid than that? It is like Hillary and Bill Clinton in the recent American election – You better fall in line behind us or you shall be toast. They have both landed up in the woods with a burnt bottom instead it seems. Certainly one can suggest or request someone to do differently without repeating that request much so that is not bugging but one must leave the choice to that person if to comply with the request or not unless it is an infant one is dealing with and even in this last case one has to be gentle if one is to be regarded as a human soul in a human body.
All we have a right to is on our own behavior, thoughts and choices. In case we find that a certain human interaction brings misery then it is best to change that or even cut off that relationship if it cannot be toned down. The last post in this blog described the oldest living human on Earth a 117 year old bright and chirpy lady, still fully alert who said her long life is because she decided early in life to end her relationship with a spouse who was not conducive to peace in her life.
But many say, I am what I am, and led to my actions because of my habits. However habits are merely actions repeated several times until they become a part of our personality. One can always change that. Changing oneself seems such a huge task but then if one makes little changes for the better a little at a time, over a period the change would become substantial.
I was reminded of a friend who once said that he has lot of gardening space around his home that has just become dry scrub and was he to change it to a garden it would take far too much effort and time so he just ignores it. What I do is take a small corner or portion of the garden and work on it. Over the years a beautiful garden has come up all around my home. It is so within the home too. There seems so much to do to improve it at any given time. However here too if one makes a little change at a time, just one portion, a single repair or change for better, over time one ends up with a lovely home.
Such were the thoughts that emerged in my mind today as I pushed a few flower pots, an empty paint container filled freshly with a plant, a couple of chairs and a small table to a corner of a porch that had hitherto been unused in my home. The table was moved from the living room but another unused one was found in a guest room to replace that. It has become another nice spot at home to share a glass of sherbet or tea with a visitor who might drop in. A photo of that is shared in this blog on top. The green drink on the table is a herbal sherbet we make often form herbs and flowers from the garden. Recipes for many shall be found in older posts of this blog. For the photo I pulled out a couple of China glasses gifted by my mother, now no more, some twenty years ago.
For a person who wishes to follow a plan to bring about changes in his or her life a little at a time, ending up with great results over time, a great and very simple place to begin is Entropy Yoga described in an earlier post in this blog.