Thinking of this in the you-niversal sense of the word, i remind myself it is also MMOB. Mind My Own Business. This is very tricky business. As is natural, i look outward and also as is natural, i look outward sometimes from a place of compassion, sometimes from a place of frustration, sometimes from a place of suffering, sometimes from a place of wanting to be liked by others, sometimes from a ...?
Often, this inclination is focussed on right and wrong with the thoughts “i can fix others”, “others need fixing”. And, from experience i know what a fiasco this can be. When i perceive that others need fixing, i am actually viewing them as broken or not whole. How demeaning is that? How do i feel when someone else thinks i need fixing or i am broken?
i am reminded of Byron Katie’s wonderful observation, “I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: Mine, yours and God's. (For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control and everyone else’s control — I call that God’s business.)”
My business is my own, just as your business is your own. I have no business involving myself in your business. This does not mean that i do not respond to injustice or inhumanity or indifference or intolerance. However, it does mean that i have the responsibility to respond from my own true self to injustice with justice, inhumanity with humanity, intolerance with tolerance and so forth. From this place, when action is required it will spontaneously arrive from a place of equanimity and non-judgement, from “authentic me” with no ulterior motive. Perhaps, if it is possible, from an experienced sense of ultimate oneness but with the knowledge that oneness manifests in many different forms which are perceived as separate.
Perhaps it was best put by Mahatma Gandhi and the now slogan like quote. 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.'
There it is. Be it. Embody it. This is my business. To empower, honour, forgive, trust, love (list your own virtues) me is my business. It is both easy and hard. i am learning to “begin within” and then through different eyes, perhaps compassion, love, etc i look without. Not from a perspective of fixing, (no thing truly needs fixing) but from an understanding that each one’s experience of life is both valuable and personal. Why? Because it is so. Byron Katy’s wonderful book, “Loving What Is” says it all, both in the title and in the quote "The only time I suffer is when I argue with what is.”
From a place of inquiry and experience i ask , “Isn’t seeing others “suffer” the ultimate reason i want to help.” Yet sometimes my “help” causes more suffering to myself and the recipient. Certainly, when i take on what i perceive as someone else’s suffering, i do suffer. Yet sometimes, when asked to help it does not add to suffering. That is the difference. I believe that help is only helpful when it is asked for and when it empowers. And, who decides what is empowering or not? The being as an individual.
There are many, many souls who have shared experienced wisdom of “being the change” so here are the lovely words of Saint Francis Of Assisi.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
i will continue to practice tuning me as an instrument. This especially so when i get the inclination to “fix someone for their own good.”
What do you think?