Every day is a blessing. Every day is unpredictable. Every day is complicated. Disheartening events in our own lives and other’s lives are part of the every day. It’s hard not to find ourselves somber at times. The world will continue to revolve–for it to continue on with love rather than hatred is up to us. We are part of something bigger than ourselves, we can inspire love, compassion, laughter, and light in each day and in each other. The way we live our lives, treat others, and handle situations has boundless significance.
When I lived in Charlottesville, I became one of those runners beaming with a sense of community. Around every corner, we waved and at the top of each endless hill, we murmured good morning. The Yoga Sutras discuss the yama, ahimsa, meaning non-violence–physical violence and the violence of our words and thoughts. Each morning smile at a passerby, I was practicing ahmisa; running was my vehicle for instilling loving kindness.
The other day, a woman smiled at me as I walked through my neighborhood in DC after work. A genuine smile. One with sincerity and kindness. And I realized the stern, distant expression plastered on my face and on almost every other pedestrian. Living in the city, I hustle from gym to restaurant to metro with a hardened facade, never looking away from my phone or really meeting another’s gaze for too long. So concerned with our own matters and our own faced paced lives, we forget that the world is bigger than ourselves. I’d forgotten to smile. I’d forgotten my practice of ahimsa. I’d forgotten how powerful the compassion of a stranger’s smile can be.
Go out on Valentine’s Day, this day of love and every other day, and have a clear intention to act. To act with clarity and love and positivity. And remember Plato’s words, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Happy Valentine’s Day