As the virus begins to lessen I’m wondering if we have changed in any way. I wonder if we have a deeper appreciation for what is really important in life. There have been so many lives lost, so many families changed, but we have to ask ourselves have we changed at all? Have we perhaps realized that ego and self-centeredness are not the answer to a happy life? I’m not saying the pandemic was created by our behavior but I happen to be a person who believes what we put out into the universe comes back to us. Call it the Principle of Echo, if you will.
I know this is not conventional thinking, but in my 93 years I have experienced this in my own life and seen it in the lives of those close to me.
There is a religious practice in the Christian world of three virtues — namely, faith, hope and charity — and I would like to put out for your consideration three more: gratitude, humility and acceptance. And I’m wondering if we thoroughly practiced even one of these could we bring about change in ourselves. Could we be a forerunner for change in the world, could we create a world of love and harmony rather than one where ego, greed, complaint, self-centeredness and conflict seem to be the condition in much of our society.
We can’t deny there are people out there who are benevolent, self-sacrificing, kind and honest, but since these do not in the main attract world attention, unfortunately, we see the underbelly of humanity.
Gratitude, humility and acceptance are also practices that Jesus advocated. He always expressed his gratitude to God and believed in the virtue of humility. In Luke 14 he says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” There are numerous Bible verses describing the importance of acceptance, for what is and what is not.
If we could awaken each day and say, “How grateful I am, how precious this is.” But I ask myself, could I say this if my situation was difficult or painful? If I were struggling in any way, I’d have to say it would be hard and perhaps there’d be times when all I could say is “I have my life” and how remarkable and precious that is. I have hands and feet and not claws or hooves and am able to have a voice that uses words and not the sound of an animal or a crow. And in this chaotic world I still find there is much to be truly happy about. All we have to do is simply look at the miracle of a flower, a blade of grass, the miracle of new birth, the yearly renewal of spring and realize that in spite of everything there’s so much we have to be grateful for that can give us true joy.
As I write this I know there are critics of the odd thoughts of an aging woman, but I feel if I do express them, perhaps one or two may understand my thinking, that it may give cause for reflection or unadulterated joy, or perhaps you may just conclude, “She’s old, just let her be.”