“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
~The wise words of Mahatma Gandhi
It’s the season of Lent. For those of you who are Catholic or Christian, it’s a time of personal sacrifice. Until Easter, there is to be daily meditation on the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for us when he died on the cross. Every year when Lent comes around, it’s custom to give up something in our lives. My mom gives up all sweets, snacks, and desserts. My dad gives up one meal a day. Over the past couple of years, I’ve given up my potty mouth (yes, laugh) and speeding (feel free to laugh again). I’ve even known others to give up TV during the week or eating out…
So, to be honest, this year was a bit tough for me… I was racking my brain, trying to think of some sort of vice to give up for Lent. I wanted it to be something new that I hadn’t done before, and being a pretty “boring” person (yes, I am a pesky rule-follower, a goody-goody, you might say), I couldn’t come up with something meaningful that would truly be a sacrifice for me in the way others had been. I wanted it to be something that would stick or change me as a person, you know what I mean?
Well, my friend from work, yet another wise woman, said, “Kim, don’t take something away for Lent. Add something.” Wow! That advice lit me up. I got excited about the idea of adding something to my life on a daily basis that would be mindful of God and the season of Lent. So I started to think about the idea of “adding something.”
Then I started to apply it on a larger scale…
Adding something… hmmmm…
The ideas started flowing in my mind. What could I add to my life for Lent? And what if every month after Lent, I continued to add something to my life? What if everyday I added something to improve my treatment of others? What if everyday I added something to make my lesson plans that much better for my students? What if everyday I added something to my marriage by going that extra mile? What if everyday I added something to someone else’s life by giving them a part of mine or something I had that they needed? Even better, what if I shared this awesome idea of “adding something” with my friends? My family? My lovely readers at The Universal Soul? What if we all add something? What if we share this message with others? You know, pay it forward?
So here I am, sharing the idea that was given to me by way of a good friend. In this season of Lent… this season of your life… what will you add? Whether you’re Catholic or Christian or Buddhist or Nondenominational or Muslim, you can surely find something beautiful to add to your life and the life of others. Isn’t that powerful? These little choices we make are infinitely powerful and have a ripple effect we’ll never see or truly understand. By adding something, we make our lives better, we make the lives of our friends and family better, and in that we make the world a better place. I think one of my favorite Chinese proverbs explains it best. It goes like this:
"If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world."
So, I bet you’re still wondering, what did I add, right? Well I added two things in my God-life: nightly devotionals to quiet my mind and a close study of the book of Proverbs (a wisdom-filled book for really anybody). In my daily life, I am going the extra mile for those who deserve it and those who don’t. I am trying to turn the other cheek and keep my head held high at the same time. Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Who knows what I’ll add tomorrow or next week or next month, but it’s exciting to know those choices are to come and will undoubtedly make me a better person. Besides, it’s all about the journey, and isn’t it always?
So, I’m dying to know, what will you “add” to your life and the lives of others? What ideas do you have to share? Any good stories about how adding something made a difference? Please share here or at our Facebook community.
If you have a longer story, feel free to e-mail me at TheUniversalSoul@hotmail.com. I’d love to share it here on the blog, with all the credit to you of course!