To begin, I wish to express a world of gratitude for the six years of service beautifully fulfilled by Ananya Sri Ram Rajan as President of the TOS-USA. Thanks are due not only to Ananya, but to all those who have served within the TOS since its founding by Annie Besant in 1908. The TOS stands on solid ground today because so many workers, known and unknown, kept working, doing whatever they could to ease the suffering they saw. As the TOS emerges from three challenging pandemic years and undergoes its current change in administration, it’s a good time to look within and ask ourselves, “What now?” If we listen closely, we may find inspiration arising from within.
We live in a world of inspiration, visible to us any time we choose to see it. I am often inspired by the beauty of all the goodness in the world, and I recall Marianne Williamson’s words, “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” The freshness and promise of new life each Spring reminds us of Life’s relentless tendency toward goodness, renewal, and evolution. Each spring, trees bud and blossom, and new life is born in the animal kingdom. Listening to the daily news, our attention can easily be distracted from all the wondrous little miracles taking place each day on our planet.
The story goes that when Fred Rogers (of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” fame) was a child, he was distressed by an upsetting news story on television. His mother told him, “Look for the helpers. Whenever anything bad happens, there will always be helpers.” Her wisdom refocused his attention from darkness and chaos back onto the inherent goodness of life.
In our seemingly chaotic world, it’s so easy to overlook the miracles of sight and sensation, the benevolence of human love and kindness, the pleasure of music and the comforting warmth of the sun. And yet these miracles of life on Earth serve as the perfect balm to soothe our daily stresses and challenges. How different our outlook would be if we habitually focused on the inherent goodness in life and began to notice all the things that go well and inspire a sense of well-being.
Though we can’t always fix things that go wrong in the world, we can stay balanced by focusing on things that instill a sense that “all’s right with the world.” When we do that, our balanced energy cannot fail to affect others and help them feel uplifted and more balanced too. This is no small act of service, yet there is so much more we can do.
As we cautiously emerge from a global pandemic, perhaps we can return to thinking about ways in which we can be the helpers that Fred Roger’s mother pointed to. There is no shortage of opportunity. Fears borne of divisiveness and violence are compounded by pandemic-induced fear of in-person contact with our fellow humans. In this environment, everyone can help and comfort, and nearly everyone needs help and comfort. The season is ripe for those who wish to serve.
Where in your world can you comfort, inspire and uplift? What needs can you and your group help to meet? I invite our members and local groups to look at the world with fresh hearts and eyes. Let’s find ways we can uplift others so they can “recognize how good things really are.”