First of all, a very Happy World Kindness Day!
Do something special.
Recently, in the ashram, a small group of children gathered to learn life skills and meditation in Children’s self-transformation camp. This event was conducted and led by Ma Shamata, Sadhvi Vrinda, Sushree Nishtha, and Ambika Om. And, they were assisted by Sushree Svadha, Brahmacharis Prabhu and Rishi Om.
Since I also happened to be in the ashram, I met with the children briefly in our library. In my little session with these beautiful angels (particularly, when they are happy, they can be quite angelic), I asked them what according to them was the most important in life. They said different things. Parents, friends and family, values, God, success etc. were their answers. One child even said that to be one with oneself was the most important thing in life. All in all, they had intelligent answers.
What if I asked you: what’s the most important thing in life? What comes to your mind? (Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below).
“The most important thing in life,” I said to them, “is to be happy. If you are happy, days and years pass beautifully and if you are not happy, every moment feels like an eternity locked in a bad spell.”
It is not possible, however, to be happy all the time. Besides, happiness, I shared with them, is an outcome and not always a feeling. More often than not, happiness is the result, reward or consequence of our mental, physical and verbal actions. If I’m content, if I’m leading a life of purpose, I’ll be happy. Otherwise, I’m likely to feel empty. A feeling of emptiness stems directly from a meaningless life. The absence of warm and fulfilling relationships also make our lives meaningless and nag us with a constant sense of emptiness.
Obviously, I didn’t delve into the philosophy with such pithy views while speaking to the kids. Instead, I shared with them two principles of happiness:
Nothing dissolves negativity and loneliness like an investment of our energy in a creative pursuit. As long as some part of our day is used in creating value for ourselves and the world in any which way, we will hit the sack with a sense of fulfillment. For children, I feel, as long as they take up at least one creative activity, they are good. It could be painting, music, dancing, sports, chess, creative writing, anything that helps them express their potential to the world and themselves.
Parents can and should be firm, but I can’t stress enough the importance of being gentle. I also shared with children how getting most things in life boils down to the art of communication. Gentle and clear communication is a form of kindness in the face of conflict. Being kind to yourself means accepting your actions and not letting guilt take over for every mistake you make. Self-kindness also means taking care of yourself and not abusing your body and mind. You can never hurt anyone with your kind (and truthful) words. And, if we don’t hurt others, we have one less thing to worry about, one less burden on our conscience, one happier person in the world.
It’s always a joyous feeling to see kids, the future of our planet, doing beautiful things with their lives. The team shared a few pictures with me. We managed to get a group pic as well.
The most important thing is to be happy. For, ultimately, none of what makes you unhappy will matter. The present moment is your chance.
P.S. Some 30 spots are left in the Bangalore and Delhi astrology camps. Go here for more.
The ashram astrology camp (originally planned for Apr 2020) has been postponed to Nov 2020.