Some believe that the days when people helped each other and spread love in their communities — when instead of thinking “me,” they would think “we” — are long gone. I like to think that is not the case.
After the devastating Tsunami in Japan many lives were changed forever. The amount of pain and loss cannot be described in words. Yet, millions of people wanted to help those in need. Japan set a perfect example of “community.” Rather than stocking up in supplies and water, they bought what they needed for a few days to make sure there were enough supplies available for everyone. There were no riots or looting. The Japanese sense of community has been cultivated for centuries and runs deep in their culture.
Now more than ever we need to spread love and help each other in our communities and abroad. We are strong as individuals, but we are even stronger when we unite and come together. Personally, I believe that we never know when we can make a difference in someone’s life. A simple smile or thank you, a comment or gesture can mean the world to someone without you ever knowing of the effects. I have been very blessed as both receiver and giver of this kind of love.
I was reading a book the other day and one of the stories caught my attention. It told of a woman making a travel reservation. When the process took much longer than expected, instead of getting frustrated with the agent, the lady in the story thought and wrote the word “Shanti,” which means “Peace” in Sanskrit. Finally the agent came back to tell her the process was finished and thanked her for being so patient and polite. That agent proceeded to explain that she was about to quit her job; she had a bad day and was treated terribly by customers. She was about to write a resignation letter right before answering this lady’s phone call. After having such a positive interaction with this customer, the agent decided to stay and give her job a second chance.
Did that agent feel the positive energy in the word Peace? Could the customer’s peaceful thought have transferred to the agent? Could the lady have felt the agent’s agitated state? All just coincidence? I don’t think so.
Yoga and other spiritual practices teach us that we are all connected and that the energy we put out is received by others and sent back to us. This exchange of energy is what makes the world go around. Exchange of money, exchange of services, exchange of words are all energetic vehicles that affect our interactions with one another.
I personally notice how my own energy changes when positive, loving and caring people surround me. I cannot help but to feel the same. That exchange of positive energy becomes stronger and magnifies and multiplies. I notice how a simple complement or act of kindness on my part makes a difference in someone’s life and hopefully they will do the same for others. When we feel connected to others we begin to build our community and support system.
We know that when we are in love, we radiate happiness, we look different, we smile and others can feel that positive energy. In turn, they feel good and happy and share that with others. It is a cycle. A positive cycle! The world will be a different place if we share love, compassion and kindness not just with our loved ones but with all those around us.
One great way to start spreading love and making a difference is by allowing yourself to see through your heart. Look around you and without judgment observe your surroundings. What do you see? What type of emotions you see in people? Maybe when someone crosses your path, mentally give a blessing, wish them well. You can also mentally thank them for the opportunity they are giving to you to practice love and kindness. I am not saying to go to a subway station in the middle of rush hour or to a mall on a busy day and bless every single person you see, but instead choose few people throughout the day to send them positive energy anywhere you go.
I truly believe that when we love, support and help others grow we grow as well. When we give love we receive love, when we smile others smile, when others succeed we are successful too. There is nothing stronger than the power of love and that is how we can make a difference in our lives and the communities around us.
Today, make an effort to reach out, help, give a smile, offer a thank you, serve as a mentor, and spread the feelings of love and union. You never know when you can make a difference in someone’s life, or better yet when someone can make a difference in yours.