Today I was thinking:
I wonder how many people are living a life that is so painful that the idea of taking responsibility for it feels like the thing that will put them over the edge.
I wonder how many people live each day wondering if they can endure any more disappointment or hardship.
I wonder how many people feel like they might give up if one more thing goes wrong.
I wonder how many people know that dwelling on misfortune only brings more misfortune and truly want to think better thoughts, but struggle because the reality of life is constantly intruding on their efforts to think positively.
I wonder how many people feel worthless and isolated because they are unable to meet society’s expectations, not of success, but of minimum standards.
I wonder how many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders and simultaneously marvel at how homeless people keep going and yet envy them for having only to concern themselves with their own physical survival.
I wonder how many people feel like the world would be better off without them, but know that would only add another burden on the people they love.
I wonder how many people there are who think they must be cursed or so fatally flawed that they will die alone and destitute.
I wonder how many people feel like nobody has ever loved them and nobody ever will and that somehow they deserve that.
I wonder how many people look around them and see people caring about their own material success, not their fellow humans, until a disaster happens and it is suddenly cool and trendy to appear to care for the briefest of moments before returning to pursuit of material things.
I wonder how many people wake up exhausted at the idea of another day in this world.
To these people I wish to say:
Hang on. Don’t give up. You are not alone. We are all in this together and we only need to find one other person who understands and cares. It might not be the people you think it will be because sometimes at our darkest moments, everyone we thought would care disappears. It’s okay. Keep looking. Because as bad as life sometimes feels, YOU may be the light that gives someone else the strength to get through another day. And it may be as simple as an understanding and heartfelt smile.
Today you might smile and open a door for a person who is at the end of their rope and in so doing, open the door to hope and the will to survive.
Let us be gentle with one another. This is a tough planet to live on sometimes. We all need all the love and compassion we can find.
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.