Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Honoring the Light Within Our Neighbor

Tracy Hoover writes for Points of Light:

Perhaps peace on Earth feels too removed from the terror and vitriol that fills the news, and the suffering we see in the faces of too many of our neighbors – whether in Baltimore or Chicago or Paris or the Syrian refugee camps. 

Yet a simple greeting from a Hindu friend gave me fresh perspective and made the traditions of this season come alive for me in new ways.

“Namaste,” she said. With hundreds of yoga classes under my belt, it’s a familiar refrain, and one I’ve said many times. But thankfully, this week my friend reminded me of its profound meaning – “the light in me recognizes the light in you.” 

Those words and their promise have clung to my consciousness...

... And as I’ve thought about our changemaking – and how we go about this work of helping each other and building a better world – I’m again reminded that our best work, our highest purpose and our most lasting change don’t come from ferreting out and fixing what is wrong with each other. 

Rather, it comes from seeking out, lifting up and calling on what is good in each other, in our world. It comes from recognizing the light in one another. 

The invitation to call out and connect to the good that lives in every one of us is powerful and perspective changing. It’s a habit-forming practice that gives us an extra measure of patience for a harried coworker or holiday shopper, extra grace for a demanding child, brusque spouse or that braggadocious relative you see once a year. 

It calls on our better nature. It calls us to value and be in community with people we could otherwise dismiss or demonize. And especially this year, I believe, it can be a light of hope – desperately needed hope – for our world. 

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