Sharing each other’s pain is one of the ways in which we can lessen the burden that a crisis represents. I have seen - and become part of - a growing number of people wanting to do just this by building community, sharing skills, and creating an environment in which we enhance each other’s lives. This can only happen in times of crisis. When we are all fine we don’t think we need anybody, we become complacent and take things for granted. Worse than that, we can become so wrapped up in ourselves that we fail to see and understand the suffering others are undergoing. We may start to feel entitled, when in fact we are not entitled to anything, not really. Why should I feel entitled to health and wealth when so many people in the world have none of that?
Whether in crisis or not, we are constantly asking for something: health, love, peace, material comfort, luxury, a baby, to be better at what we do... There isn´t probably a single human being on the planet who feels totally satisfied with his or her lot. It is in our nature to strive for better and more and to try to develop our potential. This is in fact what drives humanity both in positive and negative ways. The question is, are we prepared to give anything back? Am I just asking to be in health without striving to be healthy in every way I can or preserving the health of the environment I live in? Am I just asking to have love in my life as if by magic or am Ï putting love into the world and increasing the amount of love going around? You should be getting my point by now...
Where I come from, the New Year is thought to represent a renewal and a new beginning. This implies discarding old things that no longer serve a purpose to make room for new ones. It is not about being consumerist or wasteful - although some do take it that way - it´s about asking ourselves what needs to be changed or renewed in our lives according to what the previous year has taught us. Are there any objects, ideas, and even attitudes we no longer need? How different would we like the New Year to be in comparison the one that is ending? As part of this, Colombians tend to spring clean the house before December 31st, and perform a series of often silly and superstitious rituals that nevertheless have the deeper -mostly forgotten- meaning of presenting a symbolic offering as we ask for what we want.
The end of a difficult year is ripe time to think about our gifts, be grateful for them and, before we ask for more, think of what we are able to give back into the world and what we are prepared to let go in order to create room for new things. This is not just symbolic, it is the real thing for there is no receiving without giving. Let us party and celebrate the New Year together in gratitude for each other, for the opportunity to share the moment, and for the challenges and the lessons learnt this year. Let us ask for better and bigger: for a better us, and for a bigger heart. Let us ask ourselves what we need to do to make this world a better place, not just for ourselves but for every single being sharing this planet with us. If 2012 was the year in which the world as we know it was to end, then let us make 2013 the year in which we become the new humanity that cares more for the collective good than the individual one. This is not utopic at all, you will not have to look around for long before you find a group of individuals already making this come true. In this new environment of awareness of each other and mutual respect and love there is scope for all of us to be truly happy and truly prosperous.
|Each part of something reflects the whole, and vice versa|
A very peaceful, loving, healthy, and joyful New Year to each of you and to every being on earth!!
With much love and hope, Sandra