It is midday and I look out across a beautiful carribean beach ….
One of the best parts of our holidays is getting to know and enjoy the company of the staff … there are always those who instinctively engage with the guests and respond to our efforts with the local language. The reality is that both sides get something out of the interaction, we both get to laugh to smile, to feel value in the company of another human being.
As I said at the start of “Musing from a Dominican beach No. 1” I have recently started to read the book titled ‘Joy’ by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. … and no this is not a religious post! I am to religious.
I have not got far through the book yet but in the very early pages the topic of the ‘Meaning of Life’ is touched upon. Whilst there is clearly much more to the discussion one of the central themes is that our purpose is to seek happiness. Individually it is difficult to argue against this point. On our own we do not have the power to shape the course of nature, of the planet and beyond …. we can only impact our immediate surroundings and the people we ‘touch’ as we pass through life; the people who look after us at our resort for example or simply the person you hold the lift for at the airport or the other motorist who just cut you up at the junction.
In any of those interactions we have a choice. How do we react?
Put yourself in the other persons shoes. How would you then want us to react? It is a simple thought …. we simply need to treat those people as we would like to be treated. With courtesy, with a smile, with interest … it does not cost much at all bar a little bit of thought and effort on our part. On an individual level it also makes very little difference to the world either …. we are one of 7 billion people …. but think of how much impact it has if we all did it. If we all made the effort to be nice, to smile, to hold the door open. Extend the idea and now act with the same generosity of spirit towards our planet, towards nature, to our use of resources and towards the equality of nations.
Now do you see the power?
The Dalai Lama is a clever man …. at first it all seemed rather idealistic and pointless as his view of individual action and enlightenment was so limited by each individuals sphere of impact. However, he was thinking on a population scale and not as a single human. That scale is where the impact comes from. I had not really thought about that before. The impact of scale.
If we all engage and seek happiness, are simply nice to one another, treat the environment with respect we can make a difference on a global scale …. but only if we all do it. Is that religion …. I don’t know but it seems to make sense if we want to pass on a world worth having to our grandchildren.
What is perhaps more important is that we can all make a personal decision to do it. We don’t need to win an election. We can simply make the choice to behave differently towards our fellow man, to nature and our world.
Individually possible? …. without doubt. What could stop you choosing to be nice to people you meet or to think about the consequences of your choices and actions.
It is your choice to make.
Seek happiness. One moment, one interaction, one choice at a time.
The world will be just that little bit better each time you do.