Rooms 247-252: Find Your Job In The Universe
Tilt A Few Windmills
Nearly 1 in 2 American adults lives with at least one chronic illness.
1,207,146 people will die of cancer this year.
There are 903,424,160 undernourished people in the world.
792,557,216 people have no safe drinking water.
Out of the 2.2 billion children in the world, 1 billion live in poverty.
And 1 billion also happens to be the number of people who can’t read a book or sign their name.
Any way you add it up, the numbers aren’t pretty.
The pain and suffering in this world is real. And in spite of all our noble efforts, it will never go away. Nobody wants to hear that, but it’s true. Suffering merely evolves and changes. Polio becomes AIDS, which turns into Alzheimer’s; religious persecution transforms into slavery, which becomes intolerance to gays.
The fact is, pain and suffering is ingrained in our historical DNA. It’s part of the universe we live in.
Two million years of human existence has not changed the fact that we will abuse the planet, watch our parents get old, and see the world divide itself with hatred and prejudice. Babies will die hungry, disasters will strike and, at one time or another, our bodies will fail.
And this isn’t meant to depress anyone. We should still go out for ice cream tonight. In fact, I am as optimistic as I’ve ever been. It’s still a beautiful world.
And I know what you’re thinking. How can we be happy when there is so much suffering in the world? How can we seek joy when so many around us are miserable?
I believe we have no choice. It’s the only solution.
To suffer because others are suffering is martyrdom. It’s wasted effort. It doesn’t help. Staying in bed with the sheets covered over our head does nothing to uplift another human being. It just keeps our own world dark.
And our job is not to greet darkness with more darkness, but to find the pin of light within that darkness, or better yet, to become the light that illuminates the dark.
If we choose, suffering can become a compass which allows us to look inward, and step into a room far more profound than the one we’re living in.
It’s not an easy path, but the rewards are great. As Khalil Gibran said, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
If we choose, we can transform our pain into awareness. We can use it to search for deeper meaning. Pain can lead to compassion, kindness, gratitude, and even humor, joy and love.
Our suffering could be exactly what we need to make a shift to higher states of awareness. It is a shift in perspective that has the potential to transform our lives.
However, just because we’re making peace with suffering, doesn’t mean we have to roll over and take it all like a punching bag. We don’t have to sit on the sidelines and do nothing. This is not a surrender. It is an acceptance of the nature of the world we live in.
It’s also a call to action.
We can still work to make the world a better place. We can still rise to the challenge and become like Don Quixote, a man unafraid to tilt at windmills.
Rooms 247-252: Find Your Job In The Universe
Tilt A Few Windmills
Yes, I believe we all have a job in the universe. And it’s not just to make a living or raise a family, but to do something that serves the planet.
To give back. Say thank you. Pay it forward.
Our room for this week is to find that job, then stand up and claim it. This is our week to search for our own unique way to help the universe.
We can begin by looking around and seeing where we can be of service. But, before you choose, remember, the more personal we make our job, the more meaning and impact it will have.
The key is to follow your heart and go where you’re needed.
And believe me, once you start looking, the universe will meet you half way. We just need to look. Do that and you’re halfway into a new room.
And don’t worry if you can’t get started. There’s plenty of inspiration to draw from. In fact, as you start looking around, you’ll suddenly be surrounded by individuals, who, like a drop of water in the ocean, are unafraid to jump in and make their own splash in the world.
People like Allison Winn, who gives dogs to kids with cancer; Erin Hurley who rehabilitates retired horses; Richard Kutmba who rescues orphans from the war torn Republic of Congo; 17-year-old Caitlin Crommet who who founded Dream Catchers to grant wishes to terminally ill patients; 16-year-old Jacob Rak-Kinonen who has collected 7,000 pairs of jeans for homeless youth.
And that’s not counting all the people who stockpile canned goods for hurricane victims, run 5K’s for Alzheimer’s research, collect pennies for the Red Cross. Or every kid who ever started a lemonade stand for a favorite cause. Silent auctions. Car washes. Bake sales. Everywhere you look, people are helping the planet.
I don’t know about you, but just knowing they’re out there makes me feel better.
So, look around. Find your inspiration. Then jump in when you’re ready.
And, don’t wait for Nobel Peace Prize kind of jobs either. Not everybody is meant to take up the Tibetan fight against China. Or to fight gendercide in India. Or to ban the trade of ivory in Africa.
Of course, you could do those things. The world definitely needs it. But, don’t worry if that’s not your thing.
Your job could be anything that makes the world a better place. It could be to smile at strangers, help the elderly cross the street, or bring food to a shut-in. Maybe you’ll be the one who always let’s people cut in line at the market, or the one who picks up litter in the park, or passes out dollars to the homeless guy by the side of the freeway.
Become a big brother. Adopt a grandparent. Save the bees. Pass out cookies on street corners. Give away hugs. There are millions of jobs for the taking. And not all of them are going to put you on the cover of Time Magazine.
But, they can all be that tiny “spark” that lights up whatever corner of darkness you live in. As Mother Teresa once said, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
By doing our job with great love, we not only become a solution to a problem, but a part of a movement to heal the planet.
There are so many jobs out there for us. And the universe is taking applications. No unemployment here. No downsizing. Just opportunity.
And unlimited growth potential.
Yes, the statistics paint a gloomy forecast for our earth. But it doesn’t matter. There is only one number that counts.
Each one of us, quietly doing our bit to spread light and truth into the darkness.
Find your job in the universe and you’ll open the door to a better world…and a better you.
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