We spent the weekend in Paris. People sleeping on the sidewalk in the rain. Children begging around the car. Slightly older children dealing drugs in the metro station. We eat in nice restaurants and sleep in a fancy hotel. While thousands and thousands are making their way out of war to Europe. It is all happening at the same time. Reality seems to be bigger and stronger than we are.
I often wonder how selfish it is to put my own development before anything else. I know other people think it is selfish. How I’ve neglected friends and family, missed all of their birthdays and graduations, messed up my marriage, because I was traveling, writing, meditating. We think we have to be nice and social to add to the collective. But what will the homeless guy and the fugitive child gain from me attending birthdays and being nice? We believe we can only change the world by acting outside of ourselves. By giving food to those who need it. If we believe in change at all. Most people want things to stay the same, and they will work hard to keep everything in its place. I have always felt change is good, change is necessary, change is evolution. But change can only come from the inside. That’s why it is crucial to put introspection and self development before anything else. Because if we can accomplish just a little more light, a little more wisdom and a little more love in our selves, everybody around us will benefit from that. The more you respond to life that way, the more you have a source to respond with, the more enrichment you pass around you.
Every time we come to terms with the fear, hostility, anger in ourselves we create the possibility of someday not having a war, not rejecting families who are looking for safety, not having this homeless man sleeping in front of your door.
So I do this today: I open a bottle of champagne and celebrate my life. Because it is the best I have to offer to the world. Please join me!