I sat with “Trevor” for a few minutes yesterday. He’s a Grade 6 student at South Dorchester School. I looked at him and wondered if he could create something new in the world. Then I asked him. “I have a challenge for you. Think up some way that people could be happier.”
Trevor didn’t look at me like I was crazy. He just looked at me … thoughtfully. Then he said, “I’ll work on it.” And I know he will.
What if each of us considered what we could add to this place, rather than merely wanting all our desires to be met? What if we could focus on the level of consciousness we present to others, rather than just checking off items on our bucket list? What if we committed to living in accord with our highest values? It’s possible.
Long ago, in my travels as an itinerant vision teacher, I came upon a classroom teacher named Patty. Every morning, she’d write a “Thought for the Day” on the board. I liked a lot of them, but then one day …
You were born an original
Don’t die a copy
That one hit me hard and it’s stayed with me over the years. “Original.” Something new on our planet. Yes. I can do that, and so can each of us. I doubt very much if I’ll ever invent something that makes our lives easier, but would I really want to do that anyway? “Easier” is nowhere near the top of the mountain.
Perhaps my uniqueness can revolve around the present moment, and all the ones to follow. Right now, what can I bring to the table? Well, this particular Right Now finds me tapping the keys of my laptop in a Tim Hortons coffee shop. I’m not talking to anyone, other than the fellow I gave my order to. What can advance the world’s happiness as I sit here? Well … I can simply wish people well.
You are loved
May you have peace
May you touch others
May you feel the sorrows of those around you and let your heart quiver in response
As I complete this blog post, and ready myself to leave the restaurant, maybe there’s a kind word that will escape my lips and land in someone’s heart. We’ll see.
Part of my uniqueness shows up in the meditation hall on retreats. After a few days of settling in, I can feel my heart opening, offering love and peace to those nearby. I don’t think I fill the room … but perhaps someday. “Come on, Bruce, other people do this too.” Of course, but it is a gift I’ve been given.
My newness may mostly show up in group meditation but my environment is full of more traditional venues – classrooms, diners, libraries, my home, other people’s homes, on the trail, in the public washroom, sitting on a bench. Folks come by. What can I offer? Quite a bit, I think.
And as for you, Trevor, I welcome your words. See you on Tuesday.