From Our Best

the Basica

  While human beings may be limited in the kinds and degrees of power we possess, we are filled with great potential in all directions of intent and effect. Out of all the possibilities, what will we actually do?

  What many strive for is to simply do the best they can at any particular moment, given their knowledge, feelings, and circumstances at that time. This is far better than lack of concern, intentional selfishness, or enjoyment of the suffering of others. But what might help us to take yet another step? This is where one's entire view of life and spirit makes the difference.

  Suppose we offered more than just to do our best in the moment. Imagine if our general approach in life were to strive to give appropriately from the best of who we are and what we have. This would open up a whole new world from within us, allowing us so much more to bring to bear in doing our best.

  Certain things can only be accomplished with joy, in a spirit of friendship and an atmosphere of respect. When help or generosity is delivered in this way, it can be received with dignity as well as gratitude. Helping and giving as grudging labor or martyrdom or to create leverage or debt will destroy this, as will pity or condescension. When aid and sharing are offered with both sound reason and open heartedness, we leap from simple striving into the realm of a grand dance in which we all celebrate. We come to know there is a great deal more to draw on than just ourselves, from stores that never run dry even when we, as ordinary people, come to our own personal limits. It must be lived to be known, and, especially for those new to the experience, to risk it is a leap of faith.

  Sound reason and open heartedness - why sound reason? Not for self-preservation alone, though that does sturdy the ability to continue contributing. But if you crawl to me in the desert, desperately thirsty, and I give you a glass of the best wine money can buy, I might find this quite joyous... but I could be killing you. Why open heartedness? How different it is to not simply hand you a cup of clean water but also gladly offer you shade, express concern for your well-being, and take the time to make conversation while you drink. You lose nothing in this exchange and can depart without debt, perhaps all the more desiring yourself of the opportunity to treat someone else in kind. And so the steps of the dance go 'round.

  Day by day, let us not just recommit ourselves to following good principles and behaving well. Let us resolve to reestablish and maintain an attitude that throws open the gates of opportunity and the stores of plenty for all.

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