We And Ours

“There is no inner peace found in taking care of me and mine. It is present in attending to the needs of we and ours.” – John Bruna

On this New Year’s Day, I send all of you my our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude. You are all making the world a better place, one compassionate action at a time. As we all grow and become more skillful in our activities and interactions, we not only improve our own lives, but the lives of our families, friends, communities, and the world at large. Like ripples on a pond, our kindness spreads and flows. Instead of the voices of anger and division that are becoming so loud, we can be a voice of compassion and unity, skillfully recognizing the value of all. We are all helping to improve the world, one kind smile and compassionate activity at a time.

Today’s quote reminds us to recognize our shared humanity and the difficulties that arise when we forget. When we are primarily concerned with only the needs of ourselves and our families, we become in conflict with everyone else. They are either helping us to get what we need, or they are in our way, for example, being stuck in traffic thinking others are “in our way”. This and other forms of being concerned more with me and mine nurtures a constant state of worry and dissatisfaction as we compete with everyone else. However, we can consider we are all dealing with traffic trying to find our way safely to our destinations. When we see ourselves as part of our communities and the world at large, we are able to eliminate the competition and join a supportive team. Across the board, in study after study, it has been found that the more people extend their focus to others, especially seeing themselves connected to a larger support system, the amount of suffering is significantly reduced. When they focus on themselves, the more mental and emotional suffering they have.

Instead of being in competition with others, we can learn to recognize that when others are doing well, our community improves. Likewise, when others in our community are suffering, our community suffers. When we are thinking of others, we are not watering the seeds of our own discontent, we are cultivating connection, inner peace, and resiliency.

During this new year, I invite you to see yourself as part of your community and the world at large. See how your kindness and compassionate activities can improve your interactions and the world – even if only through one person or action at a time. 

With gratitude,
John Bruna

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