Human life reflects the Newtonian principle that every action results in an equal and opposite reaction. When you give, you will receive. Every person, in every age, who has applied this has found it to be true. Perhaps not of the same commodity as that which was given, perhaps not from the same people who benefited from the gift, but the universe will reward the giver. The one who parted with money may, at a later time of crisis, be provided with wisdom and guidance and moral support – all of these as important as any hundred dollar bill – from an unexpected source. The one who spent time teaching a group of street children will, out of the blue, be presented with unexpected new business contacts and income earning opportunities. These are all manifestations of the axiom that giving will be rewarded.
The converse also applies. We have dealt briefly with the unity of mankind, the fact that we are souls of one body, drops that together make up an ocean. The candle you light adds to the cosmic brightness but so, too, every candle you snuff out adds to the darkness. Our actions can, if we so choose, cause hate and pain but it then becomes part of us. If we contribute to the bitterness of the world, we are in turn embittered. Evil feeds on itself, even as good as nourished by charitable deeds. The majority of us will never understand the mind of an Adolph Hitler, but we know this – the rape of Czechoslovakia made it easier to create the camps of Belsen, Treblinka, Auschwitz. While you are not Hitler, Stalin, Pol-Pot, you are subject to the same principle – every deed of hurt, or cruelty, plants a seed. And here is the important thing – hurt can be caused, and cruelty perpetuated, by omissions as much as by commissions. That which we neglect suffers as much as that which we actively destroy. Consider the often quoted example of a highly skilled physician driving home and passing the scene of a horrific accident which has just happened. Victims with broken bones and blood-gushing wounds are dying on the sidewalk. That medical man may stop, administer emergency treatment, phone ambulances on his mobile, or he may drive on by. If he chooses the latter, he shares in the responsibility for the death and suffering which follows.
Mankind collectively is, because of its inaction, responsible for Cambodia, the Darfur, Somalia, Serbia.
We thus all contribute to the whole. By actions and enlightened deeds, by neglect, by pretending that problems don’t exist. By burying our heads in the sand, we ensure our own blindness. Especially when we have the means to help and fail to do so. The application of these things we’re discussing to daily life leads, inevitably, to our viewing things from a much wider angle. It is no longer the narrow corridor of me and you, sitting in a little corner, and of them – the state, the politicians, the media, the conglomerates – controlling us, and the world. We see, now, that we’re all part of this body, all able to contribute. Everything assumes a different perspective, changing from “look what they’ve done”, to “what can we do about it”. We begin to understand things differently.
Herein lies great power, great freedom. Herein lies a path which leads to acceptance, understanding, balance.