Gratitude

I’ve been thinking recently about something the Buddha said:

“Neither fire or wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.”

We build statues and memorials to our heroes and heroic events, and yet all of them will someday turn to dust. Great monuments like The Acropolis or The Parthenon even the pyramids of Egypt, stand as stark reminders of societies whose monuments have long outlived them.

But what endures? What passes to us intact from the past? Their ideas and their stories for sure, but most of all will be their deeds. Their courage in the face of overwhelming odds and insurmountable obstacles. As long as we tell their stories, read their poems or sing their songs, the likes of Gandhi, Lincoln, Ovid, MLK Jr., T.S. Eliot, John Lennon, Wm. Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Homer, Lau Tsu and the Buddha will never fade from our consciousness.

Reaching over the centuries, the stories of Gilgamesh, the Illiad, The Oddesy, The Golden Fleece, The Bhagavad Gita, The code of Hammurabi and fairy tales and legends survive to tell us of their larger than life struggles. They carry the accumulated knowledge and experiences of our predecessors about life and the values those people felt important enough to fight for.

And God forbid that we should get so busy with our iPhones, iPods, coaching practices and 7 Ways of Successful Managers, that we forget to look back and remember and be grateful for, the ones whose shoulders we stand upon. This is one of my favorite Rumi poems:

 

TRUTH

The Prophet Muhammad said that Truth has declared:

“I am not hidden in what is high or low

Nor in the earth nor skies nor throne.

This is certainty, O Beloved:

I am hidden in the hearts of the faithful.

If you seek me, seek me in these hearts.”

 

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