Those of you who know me well know how much I value simplicity. Today, I’m going to relate my penchant for simplicity to beliefs.
I was listening to a program providing additional information on COVID-19. During the program a religious leader was asked how people could keep their faith strong during these trying times. His response was “Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself.”
To me, two of these are byproducts of the third.
When you love your neighbor, the other two automatically occur. You demonstrate your love for God (Universe) by enriching the lives of others. You also feel good about yourself which means you love yourself more as a result of having helped another. So you see, the simple answer is love your neighbor.
When you experience doubt, anxiety, fear or frustration, turn your attention to helping others. You’ll quickly discover that:
- Your concerns disappear as if they evaporated into thin air.
- You have a sense of purpose and value that excite and energize you.
- You remind yourself of just how capable you are…which makes your previous concerns seem ridiculous.
- You enrich the lives of others.
- You heart fills with boundless love…which extends to God and yourself.
The challenges you thought you faced are now opportunities to learn and grow into a brighter, more exciting future. All because you loved your neighbor.
For our kids
If you’re a religious person and want to help your kids strengthen their beliefs, teach them to convert your and their beliefs into action by helping others. The joy they experience from these actions will encourage them to help others more frequently thereby reinforcing the connection between helping others and loving themselves and their God.
If, like me, you’re more spiritual than religious, helping others produces the same result. You’ll enjoy the same experiences outlined above. They are not dependent upon any particular belief system, they are universal by virtue of our humanity.
These experiences are part and parcel of what it means to be human. It’s the better part of our humanity…the part that brings joy, excitement, and a sense of purpose to our lives.
We simplify converting beliefs into action by focusing on just one action…helping others. When we do this we naturally demonstrate love for the higher power (whatever name we give it) and for ourselves. As Emerson said we cannot strive to help another without helping ourselves.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, share your wisdom in a comment below.
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