Mindfulness, it is a quality that is hardly seen in people today.
We are all consumed by instant gratification, the so-called freedom as we are liberated to chase whatever our short attention spans dictate. We are influenced by the idea of “personal brands”; we are dominated by a desire to foster a certain type of “public image”. We become more concerned about what others think of us instead of just being who we are. We lost that ability to be happy for ourselves and to bring happiness to others.
Mindfulness runs against all of that. It is a compassionate and empathetic act that comes through self-less giving. When we are mindful, we are not taking from others. We are making the world around us the subject matter. It is when we are able to see the world from another person’s eyes. It is when we try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We too often judge others quickly without truly understanding who they are and where they come from. We forget that everyone has a story. It would be too much for anyone to try to know that whole story and that is not what being mindful is about. Being mindful is about acknowledging that existence.
I have worked with orphans and done community service with children from disadvantaged families. A lot of times, we see the ugly side of humanity in children, yet it is often in children that we see the innocence and the beauty of humanity. They are the ones most willing to help animals. They are the ones trusting enough to help a stranger in need. They are the ones who empathize with others the easiest. Do we forget that as children, we often lend a helping hand to those in need? Do we forget that as children we play together and band together with no intentions other than just to be with another human being?
I think it is because as children, we do not have these social shackles of “image”. We are not concerned so much about our own selves, but rather others in our bid to play. I remember the strongest desire I had as a child was the need to be with other children, to play with them and to share in silly little adventures.
Being mindful is about putting yourself away. As children, we are quick to do so because we do not have egos. We love easy, we hate easy but the most important thing for us was others – to be able to be with and share with others. You don’t see that until you go to an orphanage. To the children, we are all part of a big story that we weave together.
As an adult, it is much harder to be mindful. The source of mindfulness is actually different. To be able to love someone else, to put yourself in someone else’s position requires you to be sure of who you are. It requires you to be confident in who you are. Once we are able to love and to be ourselves, our love can then overflow to others. We become mindful through our own positive energies – energies that overcome the baggage that we all carry but should let go of.
Let’s all be a little more mindful this year. Let’s all find a little bit more of our true selves this year. Let’s all listen to the soul of others, just a little bit more.
Though the world face overwhelming odds (climate change, political polarization, terrorism, poverty, etc.), I believe in hope and the innocence that remain in each of our hearts. I believe in the power of love, which in turn births and gives power to mindfulness.