Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Google Plus Connect on YouTube

Serving Humanity

August 28, 2013 4 Comments

world hands

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  I have been reflecting on the power of the civil rights movement, and what has been done since to bring “the dream” to fruition.  I spent some time reading speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on this date in 1963, and ran across this line:

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I had tears in my eyes as I read over it a few times.  Initially, I was unsure what was bringing up such deep emotion from me.  I have been keenly aware of my triggers lately, and whenever anything gets an emotional rise out of me I spend some time thinking about the root of those feelings so that I can release them.  It was not what I expected.

My tears had nothing to do with the state of the world today, or how far we still seem to have to go, but rather sprung from my honest reflection on how self-absorbed I was for so long.  I wasn’t judging myself, but was just noticing the pattern throughout much of my life of focusing on my career, my finances, getting ahead, etc.

Even when I began getting serious about living in spiritual alignment, I still initially found myself wrapped up in “my journey” and “my healing” that I was nearly blind to other’s suffering and cries for Love.

So, when I read that quote, the tears reflected the compassion I had for my old self.  That compassion immediately extended to others that I have believed “could” or “should” do more that they are currently doing to be a benefit to humanity.  Who was I to judge another’s action (or lack thereof) when I have done the very same thing in the past?

It is very easy, particularly for a middle-class person in the United States like myself, to become wrapped up in personal challenges that seem “major” or “life-threatening” (bills, mortgage rates rising, etc.).  It is also easy, from this position, to become complacent.  When you have a great paying job, a nice home, a lovely community, a strong network, one can quickly forget what a privilege that is (and how many still don’t have that luxury).

I was discussing this idea of privilege with my husband last night.  We talked about our travels to over 25 countries together, and the disparities we have seen.  Every time we returned from one of our trips, we were reminded of how much we have to be grateful for.  We decided to make this a regular practice with our sons, so every night they tell us what they are grateful for.  At ages two and four, they don’t quite understand the importance of this, but we know we are planting seeds that will bear much fruit in their service to humanity in the future.

From this state of being centered in gratitude, our attention more naturally turns to what we can do for others.  How we can love more freely, extend a helping hand, forgive one another, and more.

“Life’s most persistent question is, what are you doing for others?” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am grateful for this reminder to focus on serving others.  Yes, our consistent daily spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, affirmation, etc.) is key to maintain our inner peace, but that is not the end of the journey.  The extension of our inner peace to the world around us is what makes the Love of God tangible in the world; something that can be felt and experienced right here and now.  We are extensions of the Love and Light of God.  We are not here to keep that Light hidden inside ourselves, or on our meditation cushions, but to allow it to shine brightly to all that surrounds us.  In so doing, the good that will come to us in return is immeasurable.  Keep shining!  Happy 50th!

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16

Have you ever found yourself focusing so intensely on your personal affairs that there was little time left to serve others?  What’s one thing you want to begin doing going forward to continue to serve others?

Kandace Jones
TWITTER: @coachkandace

Filed in: Inner Peace

About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!