Optimism reposted: Rather light a candle than complain about darkness
I love this expression, it has been important to my optimism in life. On a simple level it helped me to stop complaining about problems and instead to do something about it, obvious really?
Well, not quite for me. You see, there has been a few points in my life where I have felt quite depressed with life and the world that we live in. During these times I knew it was really important to take actions against my own stupor. However, I just saw no solution to the problems in my life and my place in the world. After all, lighting a single candle is not going to dispel the darkness. Many people will still be selfish, greedy, unfair and hurtful. Society will still be making demands that I feel are wrong. The rich will still have all the wealth while people die of hunger.
The problem with my thinking was that I was focusing too much on the big problems all on my own; problems that can’t be solved individually or quickly. It took some understanding of non-duality to realise that I won’t resolve any big problem alone. I can light a candle myself and make my world brighter. In doing so I might also brighten those around me. I can make it easier for me to dwell in my environment by making positive changes to my life. Without effort, these changes then cast light for others, and perhaps they too might light a candle.
For example, I don’t eat meat. That’s one candle lit. This does not change the world and nor does it save many animals but it brightens my existence. It also provides some light for others to see and perhaps they too, one day, follow.
So I used to look at the big scale, the macro changes in the world and I would feel down. Now I focus on myself, make myself brighter and better, shine for myself and then sometimes others. If we all lit candles instead of complaining then together all those little lights would be quite bright. After all, tiny rain drops can cause a flood just as tiny snowflakes can cover a landscape.
So please light a candle and be happier
This was first published 9 months ago and has been resurrected to spread further light.
What do you do that spreads light?
Peace and love!