The Future Is In Our Own Hands

By Rudra Shivananda

As I watched the inauguration of President Obama a couple of years ago, it occurred to me how much hope and expectation is being invested onto a single individual. Collectively, the whole nation seemed to be wishing that all our troubles will dissipate with the departure of the outgoing president and that a new age is dawning with the change in leadership.

Of course there are many important decisions that only a president can make and they will affect our lives for years to come. Let us leave him to do his work and pray for the best from our leaders. I’m not advocating that we simply sit back and watch the unfolding drama, thinking that our duty ended with his election. It is time to remember that we are each ultimately responsible, personally and collectively, for what happens in this world and cannot blame nor adulate our political or spiritual leaders beyond a certain point.

father-daughter-beach-sea-38302.jpegWe also have a responsibility for what happens around us. How we help or refuse to aid those in need when confronted with the opportunity. How we discharge our obligations to family, friend, society and the world. We are familiar with our duties to our family and friends, although some have sought to hide from them – for example, fathers who don’t take responsibilities for their children – which create negative ripples that go beyond the current generation.

Our responsibility for society and the world is less clear – it seems so remote and large and we do not seem to have any direct relationship to them. If there is a relationship, it seems to work the other way, changes in society or the world impact us. What can we do that can effect the larger aspect of our existence? In order to understand this, we must first distinguish between that which happens to us and our reaction to that which happens.

We do not have much control on external circumstances but have total control over how we deal with them. When we refuse to accept falsehood and the harming of innocent people, we setup the vibration around us that can help to strengthen the resolve of those who are wavering in their ethical stand and willing to compromise their morality. This is just one example.

Remember that the choices you make now will determine who you will be in the future. You can choose to let life dictate who you are or you can choose to overcome your predispositions. Instead of taking the easy road, take the right path to achieve your goals. Let your leaders know in no uncertain terms what is acceptable and what is not. Be a good example for your family and friends by developing a loving attitude – let go of anger in your reactions. Develop a spiritual practice and burn-up your karma which is limiting you from achieving freedom from your emotional behavior patterns.

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