The Cult of the Self

The Cult of the Self

I wrote an article some time ago which included a story about an elephant in a village and some blind men.

All truths are based on our personal encounters and our previous experiences. Experiences form our beliefs. Without putting everyone’s perception, experience, and beliefs altogether, and taking into account everything we don’t know or can’t understand, do any of us really have the truth about anything in its entirety?

There is so much going on in the world yet we all seem to move through our day somewhat oblivious or deliberately blinkered to what is happening in the lives of those around us.

I hope that over time and with every passing 24 hours, more and more people begin to feel so pricked by something they experience that it creates a powerful force that drives them to decide to do something differently. I hope that the scream in their head becomes so loud that all they hear is this cannot wait and they are compelled to act immediately.

How often are leaders chosen based on their competence and qualifications and not on their characteristics and levels of compassion? Yet who do we want to follow the most? Those that inspire, empower and encourage us to shine and provide an opportunity to be our best selves – the difference makers and the people with the most compassion and empathy and not the most degrees.

And despite this, we are not taught how to develop the type of genuine compassion that is inside us all.

It’s easy to look around the world, and only see the multitude of problems, and wonder how we can make a difference in any of them. Perhaps the answer is becoming more aware of what’s occurring in our own backyards and within our own communities and tackling those first. When we become more active on a small scale and work together to be part of the solution, we feel more confident to go out and tackle the bigger problems, and then the bigger ones, facing a wider population.

Ten years ago the charity Precious Wings started providing memory-making opportunities to families facing the devastating loss of a child. It was born out of one woman’s loss of her beautiful boy Toby, and it began with a single hospital in Brisbane.

Today Precious Wings supports 59 hospitals, numerous funeral homes, and hospices, and has supported over 7000 families in Queensland alone. Every week they are contacted by interstate and international health professionals pleading for their resources.

Precious Wings don’t just gift memory boxes and miscarriage bags they provide hope, connection, support, education, and a sense of purpose.

Change starts with us. Each individual person deciding to do something different.

Out of all the crises happening in the world, perhaps the biggest crisis is one of our habits and attitudes and our belief that we can’t change them. There are thousands, probably millions of people out there that want to change, but we aren’t taught how in traditional education. In fact, we are not even taught how to notice our habits, identify them, and explore their effect on us and those around us. And even when we do notice them we often aren’t aware that we have the power to change them.

When we help humans learn how to change, then change is what we see in the world.

Who doesn’t want to see an end to homelessness but how many of us actually know the habits that are needed to create this kind of change and specifically the practical ways to make that happen?

It’s never about forcing, manipulating, or guilting people, but compassionately teaching them to look at their habits, identify them, and help find the spaces in between that they decide to alter.

We live in a world that is dictated by investments and return on investment, WIFM (what’s in it for me), and subsequent results. In reality, living from a place of giving without thinking this is ever going to benefit me is the highest form of living. Life is ultimately about service and giving for the benefit of others.

When we look beyond me and begin asking what really matters, we almost always find it in helping others.

And perhaps put simply it all comes down to three pursuits of life.

Survival. For many this is where they live, day in and day out, struggling to survive and just stay alive – financially, mentally, or emotionally. Those that figure out how to survive, then pursue Success. However, we all know people that are not struggling and appear successful but are not happy. Interestingly, science and research show that those who help others are happier and healthier.

So perhaps the only pursuit worthwhile is beyond those two, and the place that so few people ever get to, the place of Service and Contribution. For every single one of us that have had the privilege of surviving and maybe even experienced some success in our life, we have also gained stability and have the opportunity to serve. If we choose, we can use this opportunity to give back to those people and communities that don’t have this.

We are wired for generosity but we are educated for greed”
– Jay Shetty

If we are honest, we all know within our hearts that we would like to help someone else.

The following is my variation on this original poem.

First, they came for the uneducated and I did not speak out
because I was not uneducated.

Then they came for the blacks, Asians, wogs, and Hispanics, and I did not speak out
because I was not any of these

Then they came for the gays, bi’s, trans, and gender fluid, and I did not speak out
because I was not lgbtiqa+

Then they came for the sick, homeless, addicted, and mentally ill, and I did not speak out
because I was not any of these

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me

In the next week you will find out how you can support someone else, despite perhaps you not being like them, will you act?

Much Love
Dalya xx 💙

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