The world famous Helen Keller once said: ”Life is an exciting business and most exciting when lived for others”. Living for others is the best form of loving others. Life without altruism is worthless. Life is interconnectedness. Life is relationship. Lower forms of life are automatically determined in that they have no choice other than to follow their own instinctual imprints. It is only humans that can think, make choices, and come up with free decisions. They can also reflect, evaluate, and even change their decisions if need be. Rational thinking is not linear as intervening emotions play a major part on decisions. Emotions are the motors that drive the decisions into practical living. Thoughts give directions to the decisions. It is not enough that we understand others. Mutual understanding happens only when others understand that we understand them. The surest way to change the world is to change ourselves. That is the only thing within our control. The best way to change others is to be a model for change or being the change we want as Gandhi said. When people do not change, they state in effect that they are satisfied or helpless with their situation. People who meddle in others’ business do not have enough things to keep themselves busy. They think they know what others need to do while they do not have a clue to their own behaviour and sense of direction.
We are social beings. We are naturally ordained to other humans. The nucleus of a family is composed of a man and a woman who in reciprocal surrendering to each other become a father and mother, and who as co-creators bring forth into this world other human beings who are trained and modelled at various stages of growth and development by teachers and spiritual guides besides parents. Loving, respecting, and accepting others are essential for loving others. We have to accept them for who they are and not as we would like them to be. When we accept persons to be the way we like them to be, we desire them to be our own extensions, we want them to be like ourselves. Relationships are rooted in truth, trust, and justice that are bonded in love nourishing the human society. Trying to please and placate persons at the expense of truth eventually backfires. Truth is God, the only source of real energy, and at any time truth is diminished the divine element - the part of God - within us is diminished. And the quality of relationship suffers. One diminished truth or distortion of truth, seemingly harmless on the surface, leads to another, and before we realise, we all end up liars. So, extreme vigilance is needed in our conscious living lest we are swallowed up by the culture of lies, distortions, and exaggerations so prevalent everywhere. Hollywood and Bollywood with their insatiable fans, who do not have a life of their own, are modelling and marketing products so phony that even the most discerning among us fail to distinguish the phony from the genuine, and fantasy from reality. There is nothing in this world more worthwhile and purposeful than loving others and living for others, which is in reality loving ourselves and loving God.