Haig Point; Daufuskie Island
“Spirituality isn't stingy.” - Anon
“A man needn't be an angel to be a saint.” – Albert Schweitzer
If we are going to grow spiritually, we need to interact with those further along the path than us. But when first meeting someone we cannot always be sure right away whether they are truly working toward their own spiritual self-improvement or not. There are many who hear or read some spiritual things and “set up shop,” trying for one motive or another to convince others that they are “spiritual.” But spirituality isn’t something that is gained by osmosis or by mimicking words that have been heard or read. It takes diligent work, the result of consistent proper action over a considerable period of time. And although we don’t want to put ourselves in the position of judging others, reality is that there is only so much time in life and we need to be able to discern the “genuine article” when we see it. Although there are no sweeping statements that hold true in every case, a number of observations can be made about spiritual people.
First of all, one who is on the spiritual path knows that they must give away to others the things they have learned if they are to continue to grow themselves. This means they are motivated to teach others out of a desire to grow themselves – not as a profit center. Yes, those that are the “genuine article” need to feed, clothe and house themselves, but soliciting funds is far from their first priority. Their first priority is always continuing to grow themselves, which requires being of service to others.
Secondly, spiritual people do not have a certain “look.” In fact, if anything, to the casual observer they look very ordinary. They are not concerned with attracting attention to themselves and are typically slow to assert opinions. If one is trying to project spirituality through dress or attention grabbing behavior it is pretty well guaranteed that they are not what they are projecting. True spirituality is always inclusive and never excludes others based upon any criteria. And it doesn't hide anything – there are no secret handshakes or private clubs involved. Although there are spiritual groups that are centered around certain themes, they never have hidden agendas or try to “hoard” spirituality. They are impeccable when it comes to honesty, and they have an integrity that, although we may not understand or agree with, is always unwavering regardless of the apparent cost of adherence. Truly spiritual people do not “shun” others or hold grudges. And although spiritual people tend to be quite candid when asked a question and we might not understand or agree with their position, they display a deep respect for the human condition and the world we live in. The theme of their actions seems always centered on love and mutual respect – it never delves into accentuating divisions between groups of people or individuals.
The list could continue, but the point is that it shouldn’t take too long observing someone’s actions to determine where they really stand. And this begs the next question – how do our own actions compare to these standards?
Today, may I be discerning.
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Happy Monday !!