“We only have what we give.”
– Isabel Allende (Chilean writer and novelist)
Once I wrote on a board: 5 X 7= 35; 6X8=48; 4X2=9; 3X9=27.
No sooner had I written the third calculation, the audience loudly declared, “Sir, that’s wrong, it should be eight.”
I completed the fourth multiplication, then smiled at the class and asked them, “Did you notice the other three are correct?”
“Yes” volunteered one student, “But that’s the one that needs to be fixed; it’s eight not nine.”
I asked, “How many of you spontaneously noticed this ‘wrong’ multiplication?” and almost everyone raised their hands.
I then shared how the ‘right’ things don’t attract our attention as much as the ‘wrong’. We are deeply trained to catch ‘wrong’ behaviour and ‘incorrect’ situations because of survival and defensive instinct is stronger.
Let us now make a change; let’s learn to let go our fighting spirit- let go and live free! We need to broaden our minds, expand our heart, and cultivate a goodness mentality- there’s enough good in this world that needs to be recognized and celebrated!
Generally we catch the wrong almost at the speed of light, whereas the good eludes our vision unless some external force reveals it to us. Often in an appreciation meeting where friends point out the good in someone else, I realize, ‘Yes, I never saw that, he’s an amazing person.’ Yet I could know I am advancing spiritually if I catch the right on my own without others reminding me.
If you can’t see the good in others, it’s better to be friends with those who are expert at it. Not only would you feel a sense of worth (because they would see your nice qualities) you could also then abundantly give love to others.
Let us now make the transition from a scarcity and badness mind set, to abundance and goodness thinking. And the first step is our friends- the right association.
It’s only when we do something for others that we feel fulfilled; let’s give, even if it’s nothing more than appreciation. American educational reformer Horace Mann’s words remind us of this sacred principle: ‘Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.’