I enjoy listening to podcasts, particularly while on my stationary bike. As a result of Covid-19, I've been listening to more podcasts than usual, although that doesn’t translate into working out more.
One of the podcasts I frequently listen to is "The Tim Ferriss Show." In his podcasts, Tim deconstructs world-class performers, from various fields of discipline, to determine the tactics, tools, and routines that everyone could use. Inevitably, at the end of each interview, he asks his guest, "If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?” It's an intriguing question to ask as we approach Christmas. If we had a time machine and Jesus showed up today, perhaps his message would be similar to what it was over 2,000 years ago - "Peace on earth and goodwill to all."
There is much going on in today's world. In light of the challenges we face in our country and across the planet, Tim's question is an important one for all of us. Spiritually, we know that we are all One. Yet, a lot is going on that reflects more division than unity. This division creates an “Us vs. Them”, and "I'm right” and “They're wrong" way of seeing the world. We might even think, "Those people over there are out of their minds!" When we make others wrong (and you might be saying, "I'm not making them wrong, they ARE wrong!"), what we see on the surface may not be the complete picture. It seldom is.
When I find myself reacting and being judgmental of others, I recall the following tale that reminds me that I may not have the whole story. A school of fish was swimming in the ocean. Everything was going well; all the fish were in perfect formation as they traveled to their destination. Suddenly, one of the fish, whose name is Willie, gets out of position and starts flip-flopping around, out of sync with the rest of the fish. All the other fish are judging Willie and saying, "Look at him. He's a disgrace to the entire fish family!" But, what none of the other fish knew is that Willie had bitten into a hook connected to an invisible fish line.
That story helps me remember that I don't always know what's going on with another person when they do something that seems out of sync. I am only seeing the surface and have no idea what is going on that I cannot see. The fact of the matter is, we all have challenges, struggles, and insecurities that others cannot see. Heck, we're often unconscious of the stuff that causes us to act in ways that don't reflect the highest and best of who we are. With that in mind, an appropriate message to put on the metaphorical billboard for all the world to read is simply this, "Have compassion. Everyone is going through their own journey.”
It is a simple message, but not necessarily an easy one to consistently follow. Yet, it is a message we all can benefit from as we go through the challenges of our day.
What message do you want the world to hear?
Peace and Blessings,