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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

We all Contribute to the Beauty and Prosperity of the World.


The creatures that inhabit this earth--be they human beings or animals--
are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.

~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

James: Being someone who deals with chronic depression and other mental health difficulties from living with schizo-affective disorder, I sometimes wonder what I have to contribute. It is easy to feel isolated in this busy, hectic world and feel small and insignificant. This stems from a deluded society that focuses on the accolades of the individual. Thus since not everyone can be millionaires and Nobel Peace Prize winners, it is easy to feel that we are worthless, bland and unworthy of respect, admiration and value. This is an illusion a very convincing illusion but a false reality none the less. A dangerously deceptive mirage.

If we focus on the bigger picture we can see that just like pixels on a big screen television which on there own seem tiny and insignificant but when seen as a whole create a profound, beautiful and vibrant reality. So too our seemingly small and limited life when seen as apart of a bigger essence is suddenly seen as critical to this grand project we call existence. Nothing and no one is out of place in this intricate tapestry. The circle of life is broken and degrades quickly when just one thing is taken away. This in Indras net that allows for each jewel to add their brightness to the group so that the overall light will shine brighter and stronger.

Try as we might, we can not separate ourselves from the tapestry that we are interwoven through. Each one of us is an important part of a large, complex and important machine. Some of us are small screws or nails and some of us are larger components but can we say that a washing machine is a washing machine without one of its parts whether big or minute? Of course not.

Here's another example, an automobile. Can an automobile work and help make life easier without the tiny spark plug? No. So if even the littlest plant adds beauty and life to the world through turning poisonous carbon dioxide into fresh, life giving and life sustaining oxygen then without a doubt each one of us makes this time and place better, happier and brighter.

We may never know how many lives we touch and have touched. The slightest talk with a total stranger could change their life completely and inspire them to shine brighter than they might not otherwise not be able to accomplish. I think about many people in the history of my life who have done such things for me without asking anything in return and usually not knowing how deeply they impacted me to be a better, happier, kinder, more compassionate and confident person.

When I get depressed I sometimes feel that my life has been a complete waste because I am disabled and have to stay at home because of my condition. I have too many times longed for what could have been, a professorship to teach history. However, that was not meant to be and just because things don't turn out the way we want does not mean that our life is ruined and worthless. Yes I haven't achieved many of my dreams but I have still made a big impact on many lives and society in general. Through this blog I have touched many and helped people feel a greater importance in their lives. Who knows but if this is my true calling and without having this disabling illness I wouldn't have the time necessary to devote myself to this blog and my readers.

I think about the squirrels and birds that I feed at our house and how important I have become to their lives. They rely on the seeds that I leave out for them during the brutally cold winter. Think about your pets if you have any, they rely on you for so many things and they give so much back to you in return. They wouldn't even be alive without you. Do you think that they don't have any value because they do not do any of the things that society deems "important" and "valuable?" Or because they don't talk and make money? Absolutely not. They give us unconditional love in return and that is worth more than gold. They teach us how to be sincere and full of love not only for others but also for ourselves and self love and appreciation is so important to our well being.

In addition I think of my wife who was very timid before meeting me and I helped her gain confidence in herself and now like the lotus, she has broken through the mud of self doubt to bloom into a strong and successful person. And perhaps if she had not met me she wouldn't have achieved all that she has. Just by being born and entering this world my mother has told me that I have changed her life for the better. It is o.k. to be proud of yourself sometimes because it helps you remember your Buddha Nature, your true importance to the big picture.

We just don't know what impact we have on others. So don't give up, you are adding value to this world and many lives whether you realize it or not.

~Peace to all beings~

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9 comments:

Terri said...

Beautiful post. I love the way you compare your wife to the lotus. It is a lovely image, and I hope that someday someone will have that same effect on me.

They call him James Ure said...

Terri:

Thank-you. My wife is indeed a lotus, even though her favorite flower is a Daisy. ;) She inspires me and helps me stay afloat. We are definitely yin and yang. Two different people who blend together well to establish balance and stability in the form of one consciousness.

Randy said...

Your outlook is wonderful, while you have certainly looked at and questioned your signifigance within this physical reality your true self has seen past the illusion that makes you question. You are pure light. Thank you for sharing with everyone your experience.

h. said...

Amen brother.

You know you are loved. Sometimes, that's all one needs.

They call him James Ure said...

Randy:

It helps me remain positive when I can realize this outlook.

Thank-you for your compliments. We are all pure light, one beautiful beam with myriad variations like a rainbow.

You are so very welcome. I like to share my personal experiences in life and how they relate to the Dharma. So if it can help others then I am happy. I know it has helped me just to type it out and re-read it. That is worth typing it out alone for me.

Yet hearing that others are moved by it makes me smile in happiness, happiness that I am having a deep connection with my readers.

H:

Yes I do know I am loved and even better, I feel that love deeply. It is all we need many times as you said. Really knowing that we are loved is one of the main lessons to learn in this time and place which we find ourselves in. At least that's my view. Thanks as always for your support and love.

Right back atchya!!

Anonymous said...

Hi James,

I have been reading your blog for some time. I am going through a difficult time and reading your posts has really helped me to have a better outlook and stay positive.

You may not know, but your blog has touched the hearts of many sentinent beings.
Your generous intention to help other sentinent beings - humans and animals - is very well appreciated.
I look forward to your posts this year.

Best wishes,
Anwesh

Mike said...

Hi James, great post. It is good to be reminded of our intrinsic value that lies beyond society’s narrowly defined sense of worth. I too am dealing with illness, and it is forcing me to soften my expectations, release some goals, and develop new ones. This was a good entry for me to read. Thank you for your uplifting words.

Ginger said...

~*~*~*~ bows ~*~*~*~

i met an old acquaintance from my ex-church on the bus the other day. she remembered my name even though i didn't remember hers. i think it's been about 6 months since i've seen her. i apologized for being terrible with names. she told me that she remembered mine because when we met before i made a very large impact on her. i was thrown by this, thinking how i could make an impact on someone and i got the same reminder you have written about here....good for you for being mindful enough for this realization to come through james.

.....om mani padme hum.....

They call him James Ure said...

Anwesh:

I'm very happy that you found some solace here.

I have gone though a lot of difficulties in dealing with my mental illness and so I totally understand struggling. I also can relate to finding so much peace in the Dharma.

If you ever need someone to talk to in private, feel free to email me.

Jaymur@gmail.com

I am so touched that my blog has touched so many lives and that in turn I have been touched by so many.

I thank-you for your kind compliments about my blog. I wish you all the best in this coming year and hope to hear more from you in the future.

Hey Mike:

Thanks!! I'm glad that this post was helpful for you. :)

You said: it is forcing me to soften my expectations, release some goals, and develop new ones.

Exactly!! Keep on pushing forward brother and I'll do the same. I'm here for you.

Ginger:

Thank-you. I heard once that it is inevitable that we will fall in life but the key is to fall forward. :)

_/I\_

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