You’ve no doubt heard the famous maxim “Think Globally, Act Locally.” I couldn’t agree with this statement more. After all, every effort to change the world begins on our own street and neighborhood. In fact, it’s only when lots of people change their localities together that the big picture finally begins to improve. Rarely, if ever, has one person changed the world.
But what if we really went local?
More local than your town.
More local than your neighborhood.
More local than your street.
More local than your house or family even.
What if we began to make seismic changes within ourselves, first? When we’re motivated by the desire to change the world and make life better for others, we often neglect ourselves. Many believe that to give attention to yourself in the face of the needs of others constitutes selfishness but perhaps that’s not the case.
To understand this, we must embrace the inherent commonality of all things, specifically of all people. This is the idea that, despite our superficial differences, we are all basically the same. Biologically, we have specific unavoidable needs. Spiritually, we do as well. We want love, recognition, happiness, contentment. These are not selfish things at all, so striving to create this for others is even more meaningful and profound when we realize that we are just as in need.
Employing empathy assists with understanding how important it is to extend compassion to others. I say empathy because it’s through being empathetic that we clearly see how important it is to love all people. How? Because we want love ourselves. We desire mercy and compassion in our own lives. Maybe we don’t realize it but it’s true and unavoidable.
Sometimes, we engage ourselves in compassionate causes and efforts because feel inadequate. We feel inherently guilty or responsible (even indirectly) for whatever ills face the world. We attempt to right things by extending compassion to others my compensating for our own sense of incompletion.
Don’t forget: YOU need YOUR compassion and love just as much!
All love begins within if it is to be pure and unadulterated. We see the need and awaken to our desire and acknowledge that others feel the same. And by serving our own needs, we are so much more capable of responding to the needs of others.
So…love yourself. Then radiate that love outward, sending it forth into all the world.