“In this world of selfishness, try being unselfish”, this was one of the quotes that I had read in a recent blog and what amazed me was that this guy being a professional blogger talked of unselfishness. And all this while I held the idea that bloggers only write for making money, and if so, then how on earth is this guy talking about unselfishness?
As I began scrolling through I interpreted that he said something very meaningful. The blog mentioned that we must try to move beyond our little circle and strive to explore life. Believe me, I got perplexed when I read this as well, and then he noted that he’d spend every other day with homeless guys, helping them get dressed, preparing food for them and arranging for their accommodation. He even revealed in his blog that a few days back he was cribbing about life, and now he couldn’t help but be thankful for what all he had in life compared to the homeless man, who literally had nothing!
That got me to look at my life too, and think of all the things I am surrounded with, definitely after assessing things I can say that I operate from an area of privilege. Just a fortnight ago I had this opportunity to visit a spiritual retreat organised by one of the prominent religious institutions. It was a wonderful one where everyone was welcome, offered good food and given lectures on spirituality. There were around 8–10 lectures and almost all of them summarised spirituality in one sentence — Unselfishness.
I was completely taken aback, as all this while we’d only be thinking about how shallow our lives are, what all are lacking in us, and dealing with this constant infighting. Yet, there are people in the world that actually operate and that too so well, out of this area of unselfishness. At the retreat, we were also told if we could feel a spirit of oneness with everyone around us. If we are in a better place, could we help them out? Could we say that their problems are as much ours as theirs?
Recently, one of my friends had forwarded this write up on the Buddha, where the writer talked about how unselfish Buddha was. Never in his whole life did he have a thought about his own self, all his thoughts would be for the welfare of others. What profound and noble thinking! Even during his last days of life when he was invited over for lunch, and was fed something that wasn’t fresh, he never fretted knowing fully well that the food would kill him and accepted the food humbly. And, it did. Yet, he whispered that he was thankful to the person that poisoned his food as he did Buddha the greatest favour by relieving himself of his own body!
Can a person be this pious? This divine? This unselfish? History says yes, and so do Lord Buddha’s teachings. Honestly, it doesn’t take a lot to realise this, perhaps we just have to broaden our horizon and understand that there are people out there who could very well use our help, and it wouldn’t kill us if we do tend to them a little. We are fortunate to be born reading about such personalities in front of us. Probably we can never them, maybe a little like them.
After all, what’s the harm in trying and trying to be unselfish?