“A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.” Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
I have a friend who enjoys the company of younger, attractive women – he’s in his 40’s and they have to be in their 20’s… I can’t fathom the thought, and again, I spend much of my time alone – even at home. My partner is often busy with her business.
I have social activities that I engage in, but – I’ve grown more distant, more withdrawn. Sadly, to admit, I’ve grown distrusting of people’s motives… Inauthenticity propels me to stay away.
About a year ago, my friend invited me out to meet this one particular girl he had made a connection with. They’d been seeing each other over the course of a few months and he wanted her to meet me.
I didn’t think it was a good idea – but she was, like so many others have been, ‘The One.’
I think he wanted both of us to approve of the other…
She sat meekly and timidly in the corner, hiding her self – I was a stranger, and she wasn’t comfortable.
Being that I am, I confronted her and told her not to ‘Hide.’ She couldn’t hide at the table, she said she was okay.
We talked a bit, but my friend commands the attention no matter the room he’s in – so, it ended up the two of us listening while he talked…
I’ve always had this knack for reading people – some more easily than others. Naturally, the truth prevails.
The other day, I’m sitting on the subway and the woman sitting across from me was scratching a Lottery Ticket – it was a bummer, and when she ‘leaked’ her disappointment, I smiled. I recognized her emotion and the woman sitting next to her looked at my sudden reaction – A mid thirty’s man, long dark hair, Jesus Beard and headphones, and suddenly, a Cheshire smile.
What was he up to?
Sensing the emotions of the people around me can be a burden, other times, entertaining…
But I continue to confound people.
Just when I’m about to meet the real person, they fade from my life – as did my friend’s girlfriend. The ‘One,’ became the next one, and the next one, and the next one…
I’m often sceptical of ‘Joyful’ people – it is easy to be filled with joy when your lives are free from struggles – when there are no hardships… They travel, wear the best clothing, drive the best cars, they never have to worry about money because they have secured jobs or successful businesses… Some things are difficult to maintain or achieve – being successful doesn’t come easily to too many – unless the work was done for them…
There is a difference to be content with the challenges life affords to us – but when all challenges are removed, and we are blatant in flaunting our success, I see Self-Importance through indulgence.
Life should be filled with challenges and obstacles – this is how we learn.
My Teacher, a blessed Yogi Saint in India is constantly harassed by lawsuits from various deterrents. He has been accused of fraud, of property theft, he has had gunmen come to his Ashram and held his students hostage… He has Political enemies and allies… They are all a part of the dynamic of his work.
He smiles and greets every challenge with impeccability.
He finds the friends he needs to help him overcome and grow.
There is no indulgence in his Self-Deception.
He lives for one purpose, and that is to teach the joy of Oneness with God.
I have met genuinely happy people – people who are blissful with their lot in life – they meet every obstacle with embracing joy.
And I’ve met disingenuous people who labor intensely to project the air of Success and Happiness… You can see the darkness in their eyes that reveals their true nature.
Just because I can read people, does that grant me licence to do so?
Just because I can awaken them to their self-deception, do I have that right? Do they need to be awakened?
If God intended them to live veiled in their ignorance, is it my place to jostle them – which is an act of violence, because I recognize in them their state of ignorance? And what of my own pride? How do I know myself to be truly ‘Awake?’
What motivates me to be who I am, when what I fear most is inauthenticity?
I wanted her to know that she was sitting with peers who respected her – she could trust the company she was in. She didn’t need to conceal herself or retreat to some dark recess of her mind, to endure the evening while she sized me up – because ‘that’s just what we do in our world.’
I’m not someone who can be sized up or measured – There are no easy and direct answers with me. I have lived far too many lives to see the world in so simplistic of terms.
But, because I am not that person anymore, because I am not those people anymore, and I have taken lifetimes to grow and mature and overcome – should I use the benefit of that wisdom to yank others past lifetimes of their own lessons and experiences so that they can arrive at some point of Knowledge?
Is that really my role?