Could you be the one?
Many years ago (or so the story goes), in a time of great war and consternation, there was a monastery which had fallen upon hard times. There were few monks left and they tended to squabble amongst themselves. Everyone was convinced their path was the right path and the peaceful ways of the past seemed little more than a dream.
In a last-ditch attempt to save the monastery, the abbot went to seek the wisdom of an old rabbi who was reputed to have great wisdom and insight into the ways of men.
When the abbot told the rabbi of the situation, the rabbi shook his head with great concern. ‘It is imperative that you find a way to resolve this situation before it is too late,’ said the rabbi. ‘For what you do not realize is that among you is the One who will deliver us all from fear into love.’
The abbot asked who among them was the One, but the rabbi would tell him no more. On the way back to the monastery, he wondered who the One could be. ‘I bet it’s Brother Arthur,’ he thought to himself. ‘He is kind and good. Or perhaps it is Brother Thomas – he is young but already shows great wisdom. Or could it be … no … I mustn’t even consider that it might be me!’
On his return, the abbot shared the news with the monks. While they were startled, there was the ring of truth to what the abbot had said. The One was amongst them!
As they contemplated which of them it might be, the monks began to treat one another with a very special reverence and respect. After all, someone among them might really be the One. And, on the off-chance that each monk himself might be the One, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect and reverence as well.
As time went by, the monks developed a gentle, loving quality about them which was hard to quantify but easy to notice. They lived respectfully, in harmony with themselves and nature. An aura of respect and reverence seemed to radiate out from them and permeate the atmosphere. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling about it.
Before long, people were coming from far and wide to be nourished by the life of the monks, and young men were asking to become a part of their community. Within a few short years, the monastery had once again become home to a thriving order – a vibrant centre of light and spirituality in the world.
If you knew that you really mattered – that your life was essential to the well-being of the planet – what would you do to cultivate your own happiness and well-being? What would you stop doing? What would you do more of? What would you do less of?
If you knew that each person you met today might be the One, how would you treat them?
Be aware that anyone and anything you treat with reverence becomes sacred – and that includes both you and your life.
I began this book with a quote from the playwright and social activist George Bernard Shaw. Here it is in its totality:
This is the true joy in life – to be used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I can live it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.
Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Extracted from Michael Neill, Feel Happy Now!