Peace and Humanitarian Initiatives

Life Unchanged


Whatever you want in your life, you have to ask for it. If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. You need to be able to say, “This is what I want in my life.”

Happiness. We can assume that we all want happiness. Maybe we don’t. But if we do want happiness, it’s there. If we want sadness, it’s there, too. If we want misery, it’s there. If we want joy, it’s there. You have the choice every single day. And you have to choose, even though some people would rather it be totally automatic.

That happiness is what you want in your life is fundamentally a choice that has to be made every day, every moment. For some, that is exquisitely beautiful: “This is what I’m choosing.” And for some, it’s not. But it cannot be just once: “I’ve smelled a rose once; that is enough.” Every flower has its intricate way of being.

You look at trees. Once upon a time, the great-great granddaddies of the trees you see were all in the ocean. They made a step to come onto land. And when they did, they had problems because they could not continue their species. In water, they could just let off seeds, and the seeds would float along, and everything was great. On land, it didn’t work like that. They had to form partnerships. They had to devise strategies that would work.

Some came up with pollen, a powdery substance similar to what was used in the ocean. Others wanted to be more selective, and they formed a partnership with bees. Others didn’t have access to bees, so they formed a partnership with birds. And not only that, they formed partnerships with particular types of birds. There’s a flower that only works with a hummingbird that has a really long beak that can reach the nectar.

And then there are eucalyptus trees. They devised the strategy of fire: “If we can sustain ourselves in fire, everything else will get burned off, and we’ll survive.” So they developed a bark that is so loose it burns off—like a fire suit. The outcome is other kinds of trees have disappeared, and the eucalyptus has continued. But they have to make a choice all the time.

Every tree, when its seed is planted, is in a state of peril. Will it get the right ingredients or not? And when the time comes, it cannot procrastinate. It cannot have philosophical discussions. If the tree next to it falls, it has to be ready to go. No questions asked. No selfishness involved. No religion involved. It is a basic impulse that has been given, that has been programmed, and it works rather well.

In our lives, we get caught in all the ideas, all the logistics of, “Is this right, is that wrong?” “Give me a proof—give me a rainbow.” We start to give meaning to things that are meaningless. “This is this way. This person looked at me this way. This means this. This means this.”

It can be really simple: ask. No assumptions. No philosophies. If you want help, ask. Ask, and it shall be given. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. But you have to knock. You have to ring the doorbell.

☆ Prem Rawat

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- - The Prem Rawat Foundation
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