Someone who I got to know recently wrote to me about the concept of paying our dues, as a rent, to the Universe – for having been created human and for enjoying the abundance that is available to us. The idea of paying back to the Universe appeals to me greatly.
If we pause to look up from the earning-a-living spree that we all find ourselves caught up in, if we step back and away from being obsessed with the imperfections in our lives and if we stop being attached to material things – we will find that there are many opportunities in everyday living that can help us touch another Life, make a difference and contribute to make this world a better place than it is now!
The way to do this is to transform passion into compassion. We are all passionate. About people, about vocations, about events. Passion is very individual and is directed only at someone or something. It is basically a lot of personal, possessive energy. This sense of possessiveness often makes people want to control, dominate and demand. And so, ever so often, passion becomes a selfish, draining pursuit. On the other hand, compassion is not at all about being possessive about someone or something. It is the same energy as passion is but it is about making that energy in you available to everyone. It is like a rain that showers and drenches whoever and whatever it falls upon. Simply, compassion is expansive – a radiation, a glow, while passion is regressive – controlling and possessing.
When we stop obsessing about what isn’t there in our daily lives and employ ourselves selflessly in whatever small way to make a difference, we can transform our passion into compassion. It’s not difficult. What it requires is an effort. The most inspiring example of this transformation is Mother Teresa, whose birthday it is today! And she taught the simplest way to get started on this transformational journey when she said: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed only one.”
This is a practice my wife and started four years ago and follow till date. We feed one person, randomly – someone who we find on the street – at mealtimes daily. When we do offer the packet of food, we look into the person’s eye and say “Thank You!” Because while the act of service may make us feel warm within, what humbles us and keeps us anchored really is the opportunity to serve. This practice is our own small way of paying our rent to the Universe.
Perhaps you have your own practice too. More power to you if you do. Or if you haven’t started to pay your rent, you may now want to, going forward?