With every new turn of big figures, whether the death of an influential figure like Chavez from Venezuela, or the election of a Latino cardinal as Pope and religious leader of millions of people throughout the world, somehow people expect things to change, and hopefully for the best. There is the expectation that changes will come from the outside in, nevertheless a short while after one realizes that nothing has really changed.
It is remarkable that individuals that have accomplished outstanding things, usually achieve them in spite of their circumstances and not because their environment was particularly easy or even comfortable.
People like Einstein struggled to enter college and even though he passed the math and science sections of the exam, he failed history, languages and geography, leaving him to try again in order to be admitted. There is no recollection that he complained about being discriminated against or hoped to change the rules to benefit him.
Michelangelo knew that the people who surrounded the Medici’s court did not like him. He never learned how to behave in certain social settings. But he continued to do his art and is remembered for that. He was poor, and many times had to stop his work due to social pressures, but his inner energy always guided his work.
Currently we all feel bombarded by the pressure to ‘be’ in a certain way, study, acquire, and climb the right steps to success. From early on we train children to follow definite paths in order to succeed, and in doing so we many times take away their natural impulse to accomplish what they really want.
We have become accustomed to checking exterior landmarks, sacrificing the inner search and placing all our hopes in what the leaders, teachers, and others can do for us.
Lately I have had the opportunity to watch some older people and some pregnant women or new mothers and I have learned some lessons from them.
Some old people are feeling all the aggravation of their pains, rancor, and hate accumulating, always expecting to be ‘rewarded’ for their good deeds, and feeling that the world has wronged them. Others instead are still volunteering, enjoying and discovering life. Death arrives no matter what, and it may happen at any age, meanwhile, there is pleasure in receiving the treasure of wisdom, good humor and smiles that comes from those who age with grace.
In the case of young new mothers or pregnant women, most of the time there is the expectation, the dreams and hopes for the new baby. They are ready to embrace, protect and give the best of themselves. Some have read tons of books, and have tried to be knowledgeable on the topic. Above all they follow their instinct and love, and that makes everything go right.
There are times in life when knowledge cannot be gotten from the outside. Without the inner component, is a lifeless motion without pleasure. Maybe that is why every time I see that recess and playtime is cut out from school schedules in favor of more academic cramming, I feel that we are robbing children of their chance to learn from the inside.
Competition is a word forged by business. Competition breeds ‘alike’ people; individuals are and should be unique.
Blessed be the mothers who know that their babies are unique! Let us not forget their example and lesson.
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