The Whole World in Your Hands
Treat everything with respect and watch life bloom all around you.
By: Aadil Palkhivala (Fire of Love)
Every atom in the universe plays a role. Shift or change a single one, and that shift impacts something else, much like the proverbial tossed pebble that ripples the surface of the lake. What is often overlooked in this modern world is that everything and everybody has value, that each atom in the universe does indeed have a place. We must treat all with care. Each vibrant human being, each wild jumping salmon, each warm blanket, each ticking clock, each trembling leaf has its purpose in the cosmic scheme. Even the man who has forgotten his smile, the fish that is left to rot, the tattered blanket that offers no warmth, the clock that is spent- all serve a purpose.
The next time you slam a car door or drop your coat on the floor, consider: How would I feel if somebody treated me that way? The practice of respecting others essentially means treating all things as if they were you. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Treat all material objects with utmost respect.
At yoga centers we instruct our students to take off their shoes as they enter, and refrain from talking to each other while the teacher is talking. We ask them to fold their mats and put them away in neat piles, and to put the props away in a carefully organized manner. Though beginning students may wonder why we make all these requests, as they begin to grow on the path of yoga, they realize they are cultivating the ability to respect. Although they may initially think that putting carefully folded blankets in a straight pile is a waste of time, later they realize that when they do this, they are respecting not only the blanket but also the person who will pick up the blanket next.
When we care for the next person, we feel valuable to others and a part of a community. We feel that we have, in a small way, left the world a better place than we found it. Indeed, most of the world's environmental catastrophes would not exist today if people in power would respect the fact that each thing has value and everything has a place.
When we respect something (whether it be a car door or a coat), it will last longer and function better. That is also true for people. When I respect my wife, she is kinder to me. Likewise, with loving care, a tree will bear us sweeter fruit. On the other hand, when we do not respect other people, they will not be willing to help us when we are in need. If we do not respect the planet, it will not remain habitable.
Thus, respect begets a smoother life. Yet, do not respect because you will attain these results, but because you know that being respectful helps you grow as an indvidual. Eventually, we respect for no reason, but just because that is who we are.
"the divinity within me salutes
the divinity within you"