Mother Teresa remarked: ‘Life is a promise; fulfill it.’

The way a better world emerges is one life at a time. Launch your intents with your own life, and let the goodness and kindness quickly spread outward from you. Imagine how the world would be if everyone became focused on the positive possibilities. By directing your own awareness toward those possibilities, and by acting on them, you make them more vibrant, more visible and more compelling.

Focus your thoughts on what is right with your life. There is so very much that you have to pick from. Make such promises with your own life and fulfill them. When individuals do it, organizations adopt them unfettered by any other need. This intent to make the world a better place to live has to become stronger and better. It can also be called our own Intrinsic Social Responsibility which naturally graduates to becoming a Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a spiritual force that is the aggregate of how strongly every individual within an organization feels for issues that need some sacrifice.

Let me elaborate on this concept. Corporates consist of individuals and if their ISR remains undeveloped or under-developed, will they be able to come together to make CSR a legitimate attempt? A CSR without the force of ISR has all the probability of degenerating into a farce that will never have the bells of immortality tolling for it!

None of us want to go on living in a world that is poised to push the self-destruct button. None of us want to leave a sullied and weakened world for the generations to come. I have heard many people say that they feel helpless and feel they can do nothing in isolation. That is wrong.

Let me share with you a parable that I read a few days back. There was a man who went to the beach and spent his time picking up sea-life and throwing it back in the sea. When someone asked him what he was doing, he said: “The high tide brings with it these life-forms and once the sea recedes they simply lie on the beach and die. I am giving them back their life.” The next question was obvious: “Do you think you alone can make any difference to the thousands of such life-forms that must be washed to the shores every day?” The man simply picked up a starfish there and threw it back into the sea, smiled and replied: “There, I have made a difference.” The questioner too joined him in his task.

What is important to know is that YOU can make a difference. If YOU take a positive step and give life a chance, not only will you have made a REAL difference, but you will also initiate a mass movement that will make life better for all. To know just what has to be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life. This is the spiritual high that we must all aspire for!

Even Epictetus exhorts us to ‘make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.’ Believe me, the results are always great. By taking a heartfelt jump into the pool of social responsibility, you will have by yourself, created enough ripples to mesmerize others to take their plunge into this form of excellence.

You are thus defining yourself as a spiritual leader whose first responsibility is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. Somewhere in the entire process you will realize that every individual has the power to change the world.

[Arvind Passey]
[November 2006]
Published in PrepTalk, November 2006