S is for Simplicity. We often complicate very simple matters and manage to confuse ourselves and others. Wise ones work towards simplifying life. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” A genius is not one who complicates things; a genius is one who simplifies everything.
When faced with a seemingly unsurmountable task, break it down into sections. Make the task less daunting by simplifying it. You will see a clearer picture emerging. Rather than trying to accomplish a difficult mission quickly, work on it every day for a week and get it done. Simple!
Many people today are embracing minimalism. Not finding fulfillment living in a big home filled with things, they yearn for a simple life in a tiny home with bare essentials.
Simplicity is the ornament of an individual. Being part and parcel of God who is infinitely simple we have a natural attraction for simplicity.
T is for Tolerance. Tolerance is the mark of a confident and mature person. Such a person does not take insults personally, for he knows who he is. Taking criticism in stride he does not fall to pieces when insulted or misunderstood. He knows that others’ opinions of him do not shape him.
To become more tolerant, you must not only be confident in yourself, but also give others benefit of the doubt. Respect others and think good of them. Instead of losing your temper, try to find out where the other person is coming from. Empathize with others. Take the spotlight away from yourself and shine it on others. Be mindful of the challenges they are facing in life.
Trees teach us tolerance in that they provide sweet fruits to those who pelt stones at them. We should learn also to be tolerant toward others.
U is for Uplifting. Some people lift you up by being encouraging and inspiring. Their words and gestures lift your spirits and make you believe in yourself. You may be feeling gloomy but they will pull you out of the darkness until you can see the light. These people may not be teaching in a school or college, but they are natural teachers. They may not be heading a corporation, but they are natural leaders. There is a very strong possibility that you have been affected by such a person in your life.
The best way to show gratitude to a person who has uplifted you is to uplift others. Instill hope in a grieving heart. Put a smile on the face of someone who has nothing to smile about. There are challenges in life that at times seem unsurmountable. We are living in a self-serving, self-obsessed, rush-rush society where people are trying to tear others down so that they may get ahead. In all this haste, it’s easy for a person to slip and fall. Be the one who steps away from the rat race and lifts the one who has fallen.
V is for Vow. The word almost seems archaic. The concept of ‘taking a vow’ also sounds very old; almost ancient. However, taking a vow to do something is neither archaic, nor ancient. The meaning of the word applies to our daily life, even in the 21st century. You can take a vow even if you are not entering a monastery or getting married.
When you take a vow to accomplish a task, you promise yourself to put all your energy into getting that work done. When you take a vow to change something about yourself, you should apply all your mental power in making that transformation happen. Success in any aspect of life depends on taking a vow and working towards fulfilling it.
W is for Welcoming. Some people have a way of making you feel at ease in their home, their group, and in new surroundings. They look you in the eye and genuinely pay attention to what you are saying. They sit and talk with you when no one is talking to you. Being with them makes you feel valued. It seems that for these people there are no strangers.
The world is a marketplace. We come here for a short time and while here, we meet many people. Let’s not forget that we are children of the same Father. We must try to see God, our Father, within everyone we meet. Decide within your own heart that you will make everyone you meet feel welcome in your presence. Genuinely try to feel the divinity within every person.
Will you feel like an impostor? Yes, but for only a short while. As time passes, you will internally feel the way you are acting externally.
X is for Xenagogue, meaning, a guide. If you wish to live a fruitful life you must allow yourself to be led by a spiritual guide; a Guru, a saint. A scholar once approached a saint and said to him, “I wish to have a spiritual experience.” The saint said, “Go outside and stand there for one hour.” “But it’s raining outside.” “Yes, yes, I know. Go outside and stand in the rain.” Feeling extremely foolish, the scholar did as he was told. He stood in the rain for an hour and then went inside. The Guru smiled and asked, “How do you feel?” The scholar said, “Like a fool.” “Very good, very good,’ said the saint. You have had your very first experience.”
For a guide to give you direction in life, you must first accept your ignorance. Then a divine xenagogue will lead you out of confusion and into the abode of knowledge.
Y is for Youthful. You don’t have to be young or look young to be youthful. If you are receptive to new and fresh ideas; if you are willing to accept that there is more than one way of doing things, and if you are excited about learning even at not-such-a-young age, you are youthful.
With the passing of years, we tend to get settled in our way of thinking. Our opinions become inflexible, and we dare anyone to change us. This is quite unfortunate because then we stop learning and growing. The mind becomes a stagnant pond instead of a flowing river. People seem annoying and we become proper curmudgeons.
Mind you; being youthful requires a good dose of humility. A humble person can accept others’ ideas and appreciate them. People of all ages – children, preteens, teens, adults – have great ideas and these ideas are the best resources we have. Being youthful keeps the mind open and receptive to these ideas.
Z is for Zeal. Don’t be jealous. Be zealous. Being zealous carries a slightly negative connotation in people’s minds, but here it is being used in a very positive and desirable manner. Zeal is passion. To be happy in material as well as spiritual life, you need passion. If you are going to be a hairdresser, put all your passion into working with hair. If you are cooking a meal, become passionate about the food you are preparing. If you are meditating, be an ardent meditator. Meditate with a passion.
When you feel bored and aimless, check your zeal level. It must be low. It is time to reset the mental mode to ENJOY. Enjoy your surroundings. Enjoy your house. Enjoy your backyard and your front yard. If you are lacking zeal, the work you do every day is just a boring chore. Doing that work will give you no joy whatsoever. Life will become dreary. Add a good amount of zeal into that chore, and the same work becomes a pleasure.