Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gift of Life

Gift of Life
The phrase “Life is precious” is commonly heard.  Unfortunately few people know the true meaning of the phrase.  The assumption is that it means that we must be careful with our lives and the lives of others because they can be so easily snuffed out.  Another interpretation is that each person is unique and therefore we must be careful to not harm any life.

The above are both true but there is also another meaning to the phrase “life is precious’.  The focus is on the meaning of “life” not “precious”.  Life is more than the energy running through the body without which we would be dead.  “Life” is how we interact with the world.  It is how we see ourselves as an integral part (or not) of the world and all of humanity.   Life is the membrane that exists between our living selves and our “other” living selves.  “Life” is the karma that keeps us rooted in our rebirth.

It is not fragile as glass that will shatter with the thrust of a knife.  In fact, it can only be ended through extreme deliberate action on the part of the “life” itself – upon which it becomes even more “precious” because it finally exhibits natural perfection.

What are we really saying here?  “Life” is the energy that we put forth on a second-to-second basis that is either contributing or not, to the level of compassion and acceptance in the world.  Each breath, each and every person on the planet takes either moves the whole of humanity forward on the compassion/acceptance scale, backwards, or holds it in its current place.

It is only through acts of kindness done for NO reason without the expectation of reward or gratitude that the spiritual psyche of the world heals.

Deliberate acts of kindness are typically done with the expectation of gaining some recognition or quid pro quo.  Example: a wealthy individual or corporation donates large sums of money to build a community ball field or convention center.  In exchange, their name is plastered on the marquee so everyone knows how “generous” they are.  This is NOT generosity; it is marketing that is visible for all to see that is designed to improve their business.  If the corporation was truly generous, the donation would be anonymous AND they would not use it as a tax write off.

The “gift of life” is truly rare and precious precisely because the human species rarely does anything without an agenda.  Dogs on the other hand are actually much better at this than humans.  They have no agenda when they wag their tail in happiness to greet their friend and provider.  It is with pure natural joy that the tail wags and they pant in happiness.
We need to take cues from our loving pets.  Be a source of unqualified happiness in the world.  Develop an automatic smile that is triggered upon seeing another person.  You need not speak in words, speak in smiles.

If someone needs assistance or someone to just listen to them without judgment, be there for them with no agenda, just an open ear and heart.  Do not attempt to influence them, just provide a mirror so they see and have a sounding board to they hear themselves.  No one can “fix” the suffering of another, we can only reflect back to another what is being projected into the space around them.  Allow that space to be pure and untainted with your own prejudices.  Provide the soft warmth of compassionate safety to just “be” who they are with all their failings, flaws, successes and insights.  Offer a safe zone, with no expectations of any payback or required gratitude.

Life is about being a flexible blade of grass that moves in response to external forces, to allow them to pass but stays firmly rooted in who they are a simple force of nature, supportive of all it comes in contact with and is ever growing and changing.
So yes “life is precious” but not because it can be so easily snuffed out, but because it cannot be killed.  It can only be transformed into a slightly different material version of itself.  Because we live in a material world, we tend to place more value on material things for their physical “value” when in fact that entirely misses the point of what the essential essence of “life” is really all about.

Don’t give in order to receive, give to give, because it is the natural thing to do.  Begin your “precious life” this moment.


  1. All the option is really good, I think the gift card is the best option, because Gift cards eliminate the need of worries on thinking whether the receivers would like the gift or not.
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  2. Really enjoyed this, Jane, especially your advice to just compassionately "be" with another. It is something I am working on.