No matter how bad things are, we still hope and pray that the New Year will bring us better times and increased blessings. But as we all most certainly wish for things to change for the better, few people gain the deep spiritual insight that real change can only come from people themselves changing for the better. And I don’t mean making superficial New Year’s resolutions like going on a diet.
We all seek to enhance our lives. Therefore we are always focused on improving our personal situation. We call this human nature. Some maintain that you cannot change human nature. But I believe human nature can change when people get a glimpse of the big picture. The big picture is that everything is interconnected.
We all benefit from the good deeds of others but we all suffer from the bad deeds as well. The current global economic crisis is a powerful example of what happens when clever people try to succeed as though success can be abstracted from making the world better for everybody else. In fact, success often requires embracing the idea that we live in a dog eat dog world.
The world of business, which rewards those who can give us instant monetary success, and punishes those who cannot produce quarterly gains, is a formula for disaster. Furthermore, to spend money that we don’t have (via credit) offers us an illusion of wealth, success and happiness.
The world of human nature promotes personal attainment. People want to stand out. But we have lost the wisdom that allows us stand out in a positive way. God actually wants us to stand out! Isn’t an “outstanding” individual one who has dedicated his or her life for the benefit of the community?
This is God’s true design for us. We can see this divine “economic” principle in the internal organs of the human body. Each of our vital organs stands out by its value to the rest of the system. Think about that. In fact, each cell in the human body labors for the sake of the entire organism, and the entire organism labors for the sake of every cell. Such a wise organization, based on cooperation, is a physical analog of spiritual LOVE.
When cell tissue works for its own benefit and self-promotion, the result is cancer. The acquisition of wealth and happiness in modern society is based on a business plan that praises the attributes of cancer—ostentatious quick growth without regard for the health and well-being of the whole system. There is no other reason for why the global economy is acting like a dying person.
We each have to change how we do things. And this can only come about by adopting new values in life.
The challenge is to go against the stream. When you are just a single cell in the larger body of humanity and are watching another group of cells succeeding and growing much faster than you, it is hard not to want to join the metastasis.
All human systems and institutions break down when LOVE breaks down.
I cannot think of a better New Year’s resolution than to become an agent of love.