Monday, March 3, 2014

Conscious Reflection

Today is Monday, March 3, 2014.

Be a reflection of what you'd like to see in others.  If you want love, give love.  If you want honesty, give honesty.  If you want respect, give respect.  You get in return what you give.

A reflection is a great visual image for what we know of as the Golden Rule.  The problem with this image, is that when we think of things that reflect – water or glass – they are passive reflectors.  The water and the glass cannot choose what to reflect.  They simply reflect what is there.

Human beings who are not yet "awake," spiritually, are also passive reflectors.  They naturally reflect the behavior and attitudes of the people around them, and in turn, the people who surround them are reflections of their own attitudes and behavior.  Because they are not yet awake, they have no idea that this is going on.  It's all unconscious behavior.  People will complain that others around them are not to be trusted, or that they are unkind, careless, or thoughtless.  The vast majority have no idea that they are guilty of the same behavior.

Once you start waking up, you begin to see how others reflect your own behaviors and attitudes.  It takes a little more awareness to see how you function as a reflection of others. 

Unlike water and glass, human beings don't have to be unconscious reflectors.  We have the power to make changes.  We can consciously and proactively choose what behaviors and attitudes to reflect.  We can choose not to reflect certain negative behaviors and attitudes.  

Gandhi is often quoted as saying, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  Unfortunately he did not say it this way. This is what I would call a "sound-bite translation" of what he did say, which is this: 

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

This is what today's quote spells out.  We must change first.  The world around us will change when we do.  

Start by thinking of one quality you think is really necessary in this world, something you wish were more prevalent in the world.  Now, how can you reflect this quality?  How can you model this quality to others?  Write down this quality and set it up as an "event" on your smart phone.  Set it up as a daily event that starts before you normally wake up or at a time just before you normally check your messages each morning. 

Set up another event three months from now to review. Let's say you chose "joy" as the quality.  For the daily event, you can type in "Reflect joy today."   For the review event, ask a question: Is there more joy in my life?   Try this with as many positive qualities as you like.  Pretty soon you'll get the hang of it without the smart phone reminders.  :-)

No comments: