A newborn child has no dreams, no hopes, no failures, no past experiences in particular that stand in the way of simply being himself in the moment. His desire to achieve has not yet come to focus and he knows nothing other than being who he is, where he is and how he is. He begins to interact with his world, albeit in a limited way.
Despite the fact that babies can do next to nothing but the most basic functions common to any living organism, they possess a remarkable ability to radiantly influence the world around them. They inspire intelligent and articulate adults to make silly faces and baby-like sounds. Their presence alone can cast a spell that grabs the attention and softens the gaze of even the most busy and emotionally hardened men and women.
Why is that?
For starters, babies have not yet been forced to make decisions that mute the expression of their natural radiance. Neither have they formed desires, beliefs and goals that change their basic approach to living from a radiant posture to a fundamentally absorptive one. Make no mistake: unbridled, unmitigated radiance intensifies all that it touches. It draws a line in the sand that says “I have not lost hope or my will to live, are you with me?” It reaches through the muck of your consciousness and says “I’m okay, you’re okay, you can trust in the power of life.” All that from a baby…seriously!
Contrary to popular opinion, fulfillment comes not from getting more, but from giving more. Children are typically trained by well-intentioned adults who are not clear on this point. They may profess the value and importance of charity, of sharing and of doing good to others, but look more closely at their motivations and daily decisions and you see that most people shift from being more concerned about giving to being primarily centered in getting as they age.
This is not a function of the aging process, rather, it comes as a side-effect of the reaction to the recognition of one’s mortality. When you start to recognize that you only have so long to do what you are going to do on earth, you begin to ask yourself “am I taking steps to fulfill my purpose?” Most, when confronted with this question, decide to form goals, to set a vision for what they feel their life should accomplish and then set about manipulating the world around them to accomplish they goals they’ve set for themselves. They decide, in a nutshell, that their fulfillment is dependent upon their ability to distill it from the world around them.
Despite the fact that billions have tried this approach to no avail, the new generations come and try to apply themselves even more assiduously, only to fail even more gloriously. But does trying harder to prove a flawed premise make the approach more valuable or the effort more noble? I think not.
So what then?
I am increasingly of the opinion that the basic shift from “how can I give” to “how can I get” influences the life of an individual more than any other factor. When you approach your world from the inside-out, where the radiant expression of the qualities of life that come to focus in you from moment to moment are given voice, you stop excusing yourself from giving the very best that you can give. You stop accusing others around you of standing in the way of your greatness. You no longer blame your circumstances for your failures or shortcomings. You, in short, allow the radiant influence in you to move from the inside-out, regardless of how the world is configured around you.
If, on the other hand, you choose as most do at some point in their life, to live in reaction to the world around you rather than radiantly in relation to the world around you, you make an initially conscious and and eventually unconscious resolution to give a fraction rather than the fulness of yourself. You begin to measure your radiance, giving only to those people and circumstances you have judged to be worthy of your giving, likely in exchange for some perceived benefit. You stop being who you are and start to become who you think you should be, that is, you begin to live from the outside-in, based in large measure on your reaction to the world around you.
You alone can choose which course you shall follow. Make no mistake: dreams and goals are not distractions from your true purpose unless you let them pull you around by the nose. You can have dominion over the world you center without being domineering; you can be who you are without apology, without excuse and without exception as soon as you are willing to drop all other pretense.
So let it be!