I am because we are – Ubunthu philosophy
Life is no brief candle for me: it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want it to burn as brightly as possible before handing it to the future generations -George Bernard Shaw
What we do for ourselves dies with us! But what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal – the great M. luminary Albert Pike
Reading the above quotes in one way or another tells you about life as a collective force: collective because it is better lived and enjoyed if shared with others and a force because the beauty and power of it lies in what you do together with others. In other words, your life is our own but there isn’t much you can do or enjoy if you keep it to yourself.
Robin Sharma’s book, ‘the monk who sold his Ferrari’ qouted a story of a boy whose father sat down reading the paper relaxing after a long day at the office. The boy kept pestering the father to play with him and after a while the father simply tore out a picture of the globe that was in the newspaper and tore it into a hundred pieces. He gave the boy the pieces and told him to first put together the pieces before they could play. The father was hoping this would keep the boy busy for a little longer giving him time to finish reading the paper but the boy came back a minute later with the picture figured out. When the father asked in amazement, the boy said “on the other side of the picture of the globe was a picture of a person and all he had to do was to put together that person and the globe on the other side fell into place”.
This shows that sometimes, before we go out blaming the people we let into our lives for making us miserable or blaming the globe (the world) for being so harsh and sophisticated or before we start pointing fingers at all the ungrateful people in our lives; some times it really is just better to first look at the human in us, the person on your side of the human equation. There may be one or two internal things that stop you from appreciating the beauty of a life lived for others and the strength of being in a group. Sometimes all it takes is a re-examination of yourself and getting together you life’s pieces for you to see the joy that comes by helping bring joy to others.
Of course the story also has a literal lesson of how fast time flies (So be active now or life may pass you by while you waste time procrastinating).
All being said, one person can really change the world maybe, but there is really no way of doing that without first changing yourself.
Before you decide and point out what is wrong or right in the world, decide and point out what is wrong and right with you and how you play a part in what is wrong or right with the globe.
Some food for thought : How much is your torch burning and how much will it have shined by the time you pass it on to the next generation? What will people miss about you when you pass on?