Motto: The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
John E. Southard
Today is the last day of 2013. Austrians call this day Silvester, which always makes me think of the cat chasing Tweety in a Looney Tunes cartoon, even thou the spelling is different (Sylvester). All in all, it makes me smile and, together with the nice atmosphere which invades Vienna in this period, contributes much to giving me an optimistic disposition before New Year Party.
For celebrating the night between the years, there are some pre-requisites which cannot be cheated: a little trip down the memory lane (what did the ‘old’ year bring, compared to what I wished for last year), a little peek into the future (what would I kindly ask from the ‘new’ year), food and drinks in the stomach and on the table, some money in my pocket, funny outfits (especially on and around the head…), lots of noise and lots of hugging, kissing and hoping.
I spent the morning enjoying a late breakfast in a wonderful place (Beaulieu in Ferstel Passage), focusing on the memory part. Then I strolled a little through the town, went home for a hot bubble bath (thus coming back to enjoying the present). Then I decided to take a glimpse into the future, before I get out and loose myself into the present again - by eating, drinking and fire-working into the New Year. So I started writing ...
I cannot say I have completely stopped making wish lists and plans for the next year. I have however learned that lists are mostly useful for putting things into perspective when you look back on them … and smile while remembering the ‘old you’ who created that content... Time has a way of sorting through what is important and lasting versus short day-dreaming, and revealing what is good for one versus what is just meant to become lesson-learning...
Those being said, I should focus now on the message I wish to share with you today...
While sitting and enjoying my hot chocolate cup this morning, I looked around at the crowd which was strolling up and down the Ferstel passage. Some people were working this morning, such as the waiters and the singers. There was a small piano and a violin exquisitely playing music of various backgrounds – from classical to Elvis ballads. Those people were giving us food, drinks and music, in exchange for a few euro and applause. We were giving them our money and admiration in exchange for nurturing and beautiful future memories. Everyone was giving and taking, in a nice set-up and with a smile on his or her face.
Why is this so important? … Quite simple answer … It is one of the easiest ways out from the contemporary self-induced and self-perceived ‘Crisis Ages’. As pointed out in a previous posting (Ways 6 – The Teacher), our future has the face of our children. If we raise takers, we shall provide tyrants and feed abuse, intolerance and inequity in our world. If we raise givers, we shall provide martyrs and feed more abuse, intolerance and inequity… If we raise give-and-takers, we shall provide leaders and people striving on generosity and freedom of choice, thus feeding love, tolerance and prosperity in our world.
For all religions, races and cultural backgrounds, the past has proven over and over again that the only way out of any crisis created by inequity was for people to come together when they have hit the bottom of despair and start to give to and take from each other in an equitable manner. I am not referring here only to tangible goods, but also to housing and hospitality, moral support, love and trust and the list can go on.
Life is a multioption, multichoice and multipeople game, which should find its own balance once people learn to accept that happiness comes from within. The give-and-take mood has more to do with feeling, perception and expectation than with any material thing one may see around. Material things could be used to achieve internal aspirations but not the other way around. Material things could be used to achieve higher spirituality but not the other way around. People should regard taking as a way to improve their giving capacity but not the other way around. By taking love, trust or knowledge from others, you will enrich yourself; by further sharing this love and trust and knowledge, you will enrich the world around you.
I will share with you now my short list of wishes for 2014. May this Year bring health, wealth, respect and happiness to all the genuine give-and-takers of the world! And may this Year bring health, wealth, respect and happiness also for all the others, so that they may learn to accept and value what they are offered, so that they may start giving things that matter in exchange. And ... may 'wealth' go way behind the material component of its meaning!