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Drum Major Instinct

--by Martin Luther King Jr. (Dec 19, 2004)


There is deep down within all of us an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct.a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life. [...]

And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major impulse or the drum major instinct.

Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don't believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don't deserve it and even if they don't believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct. [...]

[But Jesus said] something altogether different. He said in substance, "Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you're going to be my disciple, you must be." But he reordered priorities. And he said, "Yes, don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right. It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

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On Jun 12, 2006 Nipun wrote:

Rev. Heng Sure was our guest speaker and while his stories are best experienced in person, below are some of the key points we heard ... Christmas means lots of things to lots of people; to some it's about shopping, to some about consumerism, to some it's about vacation, to some it's about religion. But to us it's about giving. And to have you in our home to share that space of service is a privilege for us. Tonight's guest speaker is Rev. Heng Sure, who needs no introduction. Story about Spiritual Technology (from Rev. Heng Sure's blog) There's the receiver's happiness at getting "gifts". But the giver benefits even more. To be able to give is to practice the art of happiness. Giving is wonderful, getting is wonderful, but what happens after the joy of giving and receiving? Post-gratitude school? Empowering givers? I hope everyone can become post-gratitude graduate. :) Saraswati (any diety) is just as close as your next thought. Nipun's India trip  See full.

Rev. Heng Sure was our guest speaker and while his stories are best experienced in person, below are some of the key points we heard ...

  • Christmas means lots of things to lots of people; to some it's about shopping, to some about consumerism, to some it's about vacation, to some it's about religion. But to us it's about giving. And to have you in our home to share that space of service is a privilege for us. Tonight's guest speaker is Rev. Heng Sure, who needs no introduction.

  • Story about Spiritual Technology (from Rev. Heng Sure's blog)

  • There's the receiver's happiness at getting "gifts". But the giver benefits even more.
  • To be able to give is to practice the art of happiness.
  • Giving is wonderful, getting is wonderful, but what happens after the joy of giving and receiving? Post-gratitude school? Empowering givers? I hope everyone can become post-gratitude graduate. :)
  • Saraswati (any diety) is just as close as your next thought.
  • Nipun's India trip will be empowering the "Dao Jones" ticker tape: one service story after another rolling in front of your eyes.
  • The more your eyes and ears open, the more you see suffering. And after seeing so much false, people long to see something true, to experience first hand.
  • In communication, words are often superflouus; the hearts are talking. And some people just get it.
  • At a wedding, for example, everyone is really happy. But can you hold all that happiness? Some traditions say: if I feel really happy, there's something wrong with me.
  • What we need is spiritual technology to deal with happiness. The answer is that you're on your own.
  • We're not equipped to deal with joy -- we call it overjoyed, something out of the norm.
  • Here's the technology we need: dedicating merit. The idea is that you don't have to hold the happiness. If your self is wanting to keep all that, no way; it's like trying to hold sound. Sounds doesn't stop; neither does happiness.
  • Dedication of merit says: as happy as I am, may all in my situation, may all folks in all other situation, may they also feel this happiness that I'm feeling. Pass it on, with a boost.
  • The more you give, the more you have to give it away. It's not from you, it's through you. you don't have to own it.
  • Confuscius: keep joy anger sorrow and happiness in appropriate measure. Once you learn that, you reciprocate. Then it's in harmony.
  • You can teach man to eat tofu, or so him to plant soy beans (vegetarian version of teaching someone to fish :)).
  • If you can hear it, everything is speaking dharma.
  • acccestoinsight.org
  • Q: How do you find god? Listen to your mind. not only asking inside but truly listening inside.
  • Science and dharma should be one and the same, if it's good sciene and sincere dharma.
  • Dharma is the anchor that aligns all the gears of your human experience.

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