By Emil Nazaryan
How to bring the kindness, compassion and goodwill of the holiday season into your everyday life.
The holiday season is upon us again. There is something magical about it. There is a reason why most of us look forward to this time of the year. Why is that? Is it because of the soothing Christmas songs we hear all around? Is it because of the sweet smell of hot chocolate that gives us a sense of joy? Is it because of the anticipation of spending quality time with your most loved ones? Or is it because of heightened expectations of goodness and childish belief in something magical?
For most of us it’s all of the above. And more! What is this “more” part, the part that is above the ordinary? I believe it’s our increased gravitation towards the center of all goodness, the source of all joy and happiness. By the way, have you noticed something peculiar during the holidays? Don’t you notice more kindness around, more compassion and goodwill in others, as well as in yourself?
Now, imagine that you don’t have to wait for the holiday season to feel this way. What if this becomes your way of life? It most surely can and, when it does, it will be life-transforming. Let’s see what can keep this goodness hidden from us throughout the year.
It starts with judgment. We really like to judge people. We do this sometimes with a hidden sense of pleasure. We look for reasons to point out the flaws in others. This search for the flaws automatically blinds us from seeing even the glimpses of human goodness. We are so quick to point out all the things that are wrong with someone else. We evaluate others based on appearances, looks, social status, personal preferences, political views, belonging to certain groups and so many other characteristics. You may say: “Oh no, you may be like that, but I’m above that. I’m not prejudiced at all.” I sincerely hope that’s the case, but I also know that it’s probably not.
Imagine you walk out of your car to get some coffee. A nicely dressed, well groomed, well-mannered lady, smelling of amazing perfume approaches you closely and asks you a question. How do you feel? You probably instantly like this person and happily answer her question. Now imagine that a homeless person approaches you when you leave the car. He has a long, dirty beard, reeks of alcohol, wears dirty clothes, and he’s missing a tooth or two. He comes closer and closer to you. How do you feel now? Don’t you want to take a step back, or even turn around and walk away in another direction as fast as you can? You may drop an abrupt phrase like, “Sorry, can’t help you.” If this is how you feel, then you, like most of us, have prejudices that are perhaps even unconscious.
Here is the catch. On the deepest level possible, past all adjectives, past the lifestyle, the social status and all other descriptions, at the very core all humans are the same. We all come from one whole indivisible source, and that’s why we are bound to be the same underneath all the programming and conditioning. Our egos do a great job of keeping our view of others superficial and not letting us “go down” to another’s level. This separation of “me” from “them” is responsible for all our suffering and misery. Inevitably, when this separation exists, we either feel superior or inferior, both of which can create suffering for ourselves and for others.
Thankfully, there is a better way, a more peaceful, benign, tranquil and rewarding way of life. This door opens by learning to see the beauty of human nature, by recognizing ourselves in others. It can take time and effort to master this skill, but it is so worth the effort.
Let’s be honest. It’s much easier to see ourselves in others when they look either equal or superior to our self-image. It’s much harder though in the opposite scenario. Our ego immediately jumps out to protect itself from being dragged down. This is especially true in tense situations such as arguments and heated conversations, let alone using physical force.
There is a solution. It is as sharp as a razor can get, and it can cut through all the protective layers of the ego and it can directly touch the center of the heart. It’s called humility, which is accepting our own vulnerability. It has so much power behind it that it can stop wars, rivalry and explosive situations. It is the same power that was used by Mahatma Gandhi.
Let’s be realistic. No one expects us to become a Gandhi. But we start with baby steps. If we take enough of those, soon we can be sprinting! So, what are some of these steps we can start taking today?
Practice addressing the inner essence of people. This can be done by complimenting, showing compassion, dropping a kind word, or committing a random act of kindness. Watch the reaction of the receiver. It can’t be faked. It’s so genuine and instant that the ego doesn’t have time to cover it up.
- When you find yourself worked up about something and upset with others then stop. Pause for a second. Take a deep breath. Remember the timeless quote from the Bible: “He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone.” This shift in perspective is sure to give you a better, more constructive solution that stems from compassion and not fury.
- Smile, smile, smile. Watch how your smile affects others and how it also affects yourself. See how contagious it becomes. How do you feel when someone genuinely smiles at you? Doesn’t something inside of you instantly put a smile on your face? That something is your own innermost human essence, your profound human nature.
Now, go and connect your human nature with its counterparts in others! At the end, you will come to a conclusion that there is only one nature and we are all parts of it. We are all rays of sunshine emanating from the same, one and only Sun.
Emil Nazaryan is a motivational writer and a contributor to the monthly Motivational Corner column of HR Realtor Magazine. He has undergone a spiritual transformation which has led the way to sharing the insights he has experienced with the others. He is well acquainted with all major spiritual traditions of the world, but it is the direct experience of the essence of these teachings that is responsible for the altered life outlook and the motivational articles that stem this. In his daily life Emil is a successful REALTOR and he resides in Norfolk, VA, with his wife and two children. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.