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Every day, we are faced with hundreds of choices about what to do. Choices like:
- What to eat and not eat
- What to give and what to take
- What to say and what to hold back
Most choices we encounter are simple, and we decide without much thought. But there are some that create a dilemma because the stakes are high, the situation is grey and we want to make the right decision.
It could be a conflict situation with a loved one or making a big life-changing decision.
When I would face such choices I would ask myself “What’s the right thing to do?”
My experience has shown that asking this question in difficult situations is not helpful.
For example, if I’m in a conflict with someone that has many grey areas, it’s not useful for me to ask “Am I doing the right thing?” because what is “right” is subjective.
Instead, a more useful question to ask is, “Is my action coming from sincerity?” Another way to frame this question: “Am I acting in integrity with my values?“
This question is useful because it shifts my attention from trying to control something external and brings my awareness to the intention of my action.
If it’s clear to me that my action is coming from integrity then I can worry less about the outcome. I can surrender to what happens. I accept I cannot control the outcome.
I can be happy that I acted from sincerity, and that is the best action.
As a parent, I worry about the amount of exposure available to my children.
In my parent’s generation, it was less.
Me growing up it was more.
My kids growing up, it seems almost unavoidable.
I don’t have answers. I think it’ll depend from place to place, culture to culture, family to family, individual to individual.
However, there’s something about this quote that gives guidance:
The eyes are yearning for beauty, but when the eyes feast, it leads to a hollow feeling. It’s like we were looking for something but in the wrong place.
There lies a beauty beyond the eyes, which is so encompassing. In accessing it, it elevates the soul.
I pray for my children and the coming generation to make the right choices to experience not just beauty, but the source of beauty.
I regret every time I eat until my stomach is full.
It saps my energy.
I can’t think clearly.
The most productive thing to do then is low IQ work or just sleep.
As someone who eats food fast, I realize how I quickly become full without even realizing it.
This is a simple but constant reminder I give myself.
When I eat slowly, and deliberately leave space, I get energy and focus to do meaningful work.
Try it! 🙂
What is humility?
I used to think to be humble you have to put yourself down, privately and publicly. It’s something that you do by sharing your shortcomings in conversations.
However on further reflection, it seems by criticizing yourself you’re trying to show people how “humble” you are.
Is that really humility? It seems like pride disguised as humility.
It reminds of a quote I once read: “Don’t act so humble; you not that great.”
A man who overtly criticizes himself, is secretly praising himself. ~ Imam Ali
So what is humility?
I don’t think we need to “be humble.” Humility is a natural result of recognizing the truth, that God is the originator of all good. We merely reflect God’s attributes.
Humility will naturally arise as a way of life, by bringing this truth in our awareness.
Beyond our differences of nationality, looks, culture & beliefs we are all related to each other at the level of our soul.
And when the purpose & values of two friends are aligned, it’s like they are a single soul operating in two different bodies.
Two friends are a single soul, divided between different bodies. ~ Imam Ali