Quote of the month: “When you celebrate the human spirit, you heal and enrich your own spirit.” – Geela
The other day I purchased a reference book that lists hundreds of calendar of events and special dates such as holidays. To my surprise, I discovered that while there was a special day for practically everything under the sun, there was nothing about celebrating the human spirit, which is supposed to be so central to our existence. I wondered if that was due to a narrow focus on one sliver of our lives and therefore the inability to see the big picture of life itself, or was it symptomatic of something much deeper. For some people, it s too overwhelming to think beyond the “one day at a time” mentality – which reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw which read: “Did you know that one nuclear bomb could ruin your whole day?”
In a time where chaos is the order of the day and insanity is the rule rather than the exception, designating a special National Day of Appreciation For The Human Spirit can actually be highly beneficial and a welcome relief for everyone, and not so much out of a sense of sentimentality, but rather out of necessity. It s a fact that a free and thriving society is dependent on co-existence, cooperation, acceptance of differences and a solid spiritual foundation. Therefore, promoting positive concepts such as social awareness, a culture of peace and harmony, honoring of all living things, integrity and a wholesome values system, should not be viewed as a luxury but rather as a necessity.
In a fast-paced society that s driven by a mentality of “more is better,” extreme stress and lack of fulfillment are inevitable. It s the effect caused by the pursuit of materialism, which is the by-product of the American Dream, which is perpetuated by the media and business advertisers that try to convince us that we must have a certain life style in order to be happy and fulfilled. In the process of pursuing more stuff, we knowingly, or unknowingly, lose that part of our being that is able to experience real joy and fulfillment. Sure, we have more “toys,” but they only produce artificial joy. We ve all heard the expression “you can t take it with you,” so what good does it do when there is less and less free time to do what s really important in life, like connecting with family and friends and making a meaningful difference in people s lives. Sooner or later it becomes evident that no amount of money or trophies can fill the void created by a malnourished spirit.
The real danger becomes even more obvious when extreme (and continual) stress collides with a lack of a solid spiritual foundation. We then experience a sense of loss in practically every facet of our lives; from loss of clarity and productivity to a lack of security and direction. But most importantly, we experience diminished joy of life, sense of fulfillment and family harmony.
There is another good reason for creating a National Day of Appreciation For The Human Spirit. It would help us gain perspective and reflect on what s really important in life and on our true identity, which is beyond all artificial boundaries such as religion, race and color. These things function as divisive, rather then uniting forces that ultimately lead to hostility and wars both on the individual and global scale. Instead, on such a day the focus would become to celebrate the human spirit, and excellence in its truest form which is characterized by kindness, acceptance of differences (by recognizing that peace is not so much unity in similarity but rather unity in diversity), and the honoring of all living things.
On that particular day, everyone s focus would be on accomplishing the most outstanding humanitarian work that could contribute to a positive future for all. Efforts of people with high vision and courage, who can offer innovative solutions to the growing problems of our society, would be supported by influential people and the media, who would be providing them with the proper platform to share their ideas in order to accelerate the process by which change can be affected. For one day even the media would exhibit altruistic actions by doing what s best for the community and ignore their ratings, with TV shows and programming that celebrate human excellence while promoting positive concepts that contribute to a positive future. The result would be to restore balance, a sense of well-being, a sense of community and a real sense of security. Now that s real “fair and balanced news.”
Imagine coming together just for one day to recognize and celebrate both the human spirit and human excellence, with a sense of genuine acceptance for our differences. Suddenly we would discover and appreciate the simple pleasures of life, such as making new friendships. But the benefits wouldn t end there since it s a fact that true prosperity (from health to wealth) is a by-product of living in harmony with universal laws. Perhaps then we could also see less senseless violence in our schools and on our streets. Perhaps then our kids would once again gain a sense of direction and hope in an increasingly violent and the competitive world. Perhaps then we d see leaders in government and business who exhibit the power of love (rather than the love of power), doing what s in the best interest of the community rather then what s politically correct.
Celebrating a National Day of Appreciation For The Human Spirit would also help restore balance in our hectic lives by simplifying things and reexamining our obsession with “more is better.” It would also inspire us to reconnect with our spiritual roots and nurture our malnourished spirits by recognizing that as spiritual beings experiencing the human experience (and not the other way around), we can t really experience a life of meaning with purpose and real joy and fulfillment without the element of giving (making a meaningful difference in people s lives). Perhaps having such a day would stimulate a shift in the American culture from “He with the most toys lives” to “He with the most joy lives” making it possible for everyone to achieve the American Dream, in its truest form, which is based on perspiration, innovation, risk and reward – where the focus would be on a wholesome values system, strong work ethic, integrity and community.
However, for a goal to be achieved it has to be tangible and real enough, otherwise it functions like a picture on the wall (it s nice but not attainable). Car dealers, for instance, encourage potential customers to take a test drive for that very reason, because it works. Likewise, for positive concepts to stimulate transformation, it must first feel “real” and be experienced at least on some level, particularly for many who have never experienced those concepts and falsely believe that they are unattainable. That s why celebrating a National Day of Appreciation For Human Spirit can provide a golden opportunity for the mind to be stretched to a new dimension, and as such the mind can never go back to its original state.
But why wait for some artificial date to motivate you to do the right thing anyway? As long as you let your conscious guide you, you know you can never go wrong. So go ahead and be the change you wish to see in the world today and, who knows, perhaps through inner change we can finally experience an outer change as well. Now that s good news for the heart too.