The end of a year is always the time for review and introspection. I think most of us do that, and for me it’s a ritual of sorts. My birthday is in March, so added to the year’s end, I have the whole “what have I done with my life?” scenario to put into action. Even though I’m technically an Aries (oh, let’s just utilize this for a bit) I tend to be more of a Pisces. The two fish heading in opposite directions, or passing each other on their way seems more in line with how I handle things, and how I feel so much of the time. I can see myself going in a direction that is contrary to the one I’m actually on. Confusing and discordant come to mind.
Another aspect of ringing in the new year is the obvious hope that we have for better times. Whether that applies to finances or personal issues (sometimes the same thing), we are continually at a crossroads of opportunity. A change in the calendar is the official notification of that opportunity, and serves as a visual reminder that there is room for improvement and the anticipation of success in all endeavors.
There are various methods we can utilize to achieve our goals. Self help books are abundant, and motivational aids can help guide us through to our desired states of bliss. Spiritual leaders will offer their wisdom and insight and politicians will make promises for the good they hope to do, hoping that you will in turn do a good deed for them and keep them in office.
The one thing that we can each do to prosper our own lives is the fulfillment of all mantras, dogmas and philosophical musings: we can choose to walk in love. We can each turn the other cheek when we get slapped down by a superior, and we can offer to give until it hurts when it will help the hurting.
There isn’t a situation I can think of as I write, where walking in love won’t cause us to come out on top. It may not make us any money, and we may not become famous or successful because we choose a better path. What the love walk will do for us is guarantee that we won’t hurt anyone, create victims or hinder another’s progress in this life. We may even help them see hope for their own future, whether it be temporal or eternal. Love is all we need, but it operates on a personal level. It isn’t a global cure. It’s a personal cure for each of us, one at a time. If that can start, then it will have global ramifications.
Love won’t come by way of the White House, or the congress or any other political action. Love is a commitment by individuals to act as though each person matters. It is a selfless thing, so a certain amount of discipline must be engaged before love can flourish. Jesus said to love our neighbors as we love ourselvs. It’s obvious what that means. We take care of ourselves and make sure we have our needs met. It sounds as though we really are our brothers’ keeper. That is walking in love.
This isn’t something you can resolve to do just because the calendar is ready to roll over into a new year. It’s coming from deep inside. To determine to love is a great effort, because it will probably mean a little self-sacrifice. It might hurt a little. It might mean you don’t gossip, or speak in a negative way about someone. You might have to suck up your pride and admit you’re wrong in order to walk in love towards someone who is difficult to love.
This is a bit of sermonizing, I know. I’m preaching to myself, and hoping that it’s not falling on deaf ears…mine or yours. A society that is consumed with itself and the desire to be continually satisfied won’t last. We can’t continue wasting our resources, allowing lives to be disposable and looking the other way when the hurting people linger in their hopelessness and dispair. We have the power to change things…one person at a time.
Maybe we need a little more flower power, only this time with purpose. We could have another summer of love, and it could really be about love.
Just one person. One act of kindness. One gesture of concern. A few steps in the right direction and we’ll soon be walking.
Walk in love, live in peace.