SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the five habits of the heart? Can you share a personal story of these habits serving you well in your life? What helps you inculcate these habits?
Growing my heart helps me to bring to life these habits. To grow my heart I ask God to join His to mine. I have a sinner's heart which needs to be converted daily to become a more pure, open and more holy heart. I am nothing in and of myself (habit 1). God, Jesus and Holy Spirit model so beautifully communion ... Working together for one common good ... Salvation (habit 2). I do not act out of my own truth ... Because, as I said before, I AM NOTHING outside of God. Nothing. I act out of His truth ... As I know it. Amen (habits 3 and 4). On habit 5, I need the most work! My community is rather small. The needs of aging people around me (not to exclude myself) are consuming me. I need to expand my community big time! I know this to be true. God is prompting me too! It will come as His will continues to be done here on earth. I BELIEVE!
Our society is plagued with divisiveness and polarization, discrimination on the basis of color, race, ethnicity and religion. Almost everyday we hear or see aggressive and hateful behaviors not only in our country but in many other countries. If this goes on or increases, it will be very hard for societies to survive let alone flourish.
We need to form and cultivate "Habits of the heart." The five habits discussed in this article are interlinked. We need to realize that we are all in this together, interconnected, entwined with one another. Let us not confine in the bubble of individualism and independence. As the author says it is an illusion. No man is an island. We all are like the waves of the ocean of humanity. We are interconnected and interdependent.
Unfortunately and sadly, we our mindset and mind habits are shaped by the notion of "us versus them" rather than "us and them". We are each other's brother keepers. Knowing this and practicing this notion expands our consciousness and enriches our relationships.
We need to have our personal voice and express it courageously. We need to cultivate the courage to be ourselves and maintain our integrity. At the same time, we need to hear the voice of the other respectfully and empathically. Relationship is not a one way street.We need to learn and practice to be open to check and correct our truth against the truth of others. And this is the way we flourish our society.
It takes a village to create a social change. We all know how difficult it is to create a substantial change by oneself. We need to create a community of kindred spirits and join hands together for justice and fairness. Once we know with an awakened mind what is Truth-buddham sharanam gachhami. And then follow that true path passionately and consistently- dhhamam sharnam gacchamt . And invite our fellow brothers and sisters to join us-sangham sharanam gacchami. By inviting and embracing others, we can sustain and flourish the local and global society.
I have been spiritually enriching my life by joining my hands with kindred spirits in my family, in my work place and in my local community. I trust and hope that such actions will contribute to the survival and enrichment of our society.
May we relate to one another in the spirit of togetherness to create transformation in our lives and the lives of others.
Jagdish P Dave
I agree with habit one, our seeing that we are all in this together, which I see as a fact and not an "impossible dream." As for habit two, having an appreciation of the values of otherness, I don't have it. I value uniqueness. Otherness is an illusion. I agree with the author that us and them doesn't equal us versus them, but us and them is a dualistic and separation perspective rather than a unitive and differentiation perspective and it leads to us versus them. Regarding habit three, our living in the midst of a multitude of tensions is our lot in this life and is our ongoing challenge, like it or not. As for habit four, it is the right and privilege and responsibility of each of us to find, trust, and express our truth and voice for our own life and for the life of the community. With regards to habit five, individualness-community is one of those tensions we live in. Individual and community appear separate but are really two sides of one coin. There is no individual without community and no community without individual. These beliefs foster compassion for me. The fact that these beliefs make sense to me and foster compassion helps me inculcate them.[Hide Full Comment]