“There once was a beggar who sat on a box by the side of the road for many, many years. Day in and day out, swarms of strangers would pass him on their way and the beggar did what all beggars do: ask for money. One day, a traveler was passing through town and the beggar shouted, ‘Please give me some money!’ The traveler said, ‘Sorry, I don’t have any money to spare, but I am curious about your box.’ ‘What about my box?’ the beggar replied. ‘Well, what’s in it?’ The beggar responded, ‘I don’t know, it’s just an old box I found here that I’ve been sitting on for years.’ Persistent in his inquiry, the traveler once again asked what was in the box. Finally, to appease the traveler’s insistence, the beggar split the box open and amazingly, a treasure of gold burst onto the ground. He’d been sitting on it for years and never even knew it.”
I started this blog during an interesting phase of my life. I was approaching the end of my 40’s and searching for … meaning … a purpose … something bigger. I was all Bono-like, not having found what I was looking for.
But funny things happen when you stop trying to force them. You’re better able to actually see what’s around you.
I found the beggar story^^^ in a blog post last week. I read it and had one of those Eureka! moments. Yes! That’s it! I have been seeking contentment and purpose in something else. Something external. It’s what we do, particularly in this day and age of marketing and slick advertising. We are conditioned to think that if we just get item “x”, we will be happy. As soon as our salary is “y”, we will be happy. But it doesn’t work like that. Because another item will come along, or another bill will come along, and we’ll be back at square one. Peace and contentment must come from within.
This became absolutely clear to me yesterday after an encounter on Facebook. I’m not going to hide it here — I am a huge liberal. We are talking GIANT snowflake. YUGE! So, as you might guess, I am not a fan of our current President or of those in his administration. I posted a video on my page that showed this man engaging in some really boorish and embarrassing behavior on the national stage. A guy I went to high school with (but have zero recollection of) commented. He applauded this behavior and said that I was the problem with our country. Not me singularly, but me and others who think like me. My feelings weren’t hurt and I wasn’t bothered by his words, because they certainly weren’t the first directed at me since the election, but it did occur to me at that moment that it has to be terrible to be filled with so much rage, fear, anger, hatred, and fury that you would feel compelled to lash out on a virtual stranger’s page. I can’t imagine expending that much energy on such darkness.
And just like that, Hello Hippie Girl was born. I’d finally found my purpose.
I know I won’t change any lives here. That’s not my intention. And it’s not something I can do. As I mentioned above, it’s only something you can do for yourself. What I will do, however, is post things that have brought light into my life in some way, shape, or form. I will also #resist the negativity being spread by some. If each one of us can come to understand how precious life is, and how fortunate we are to have been granted its gift, maybe — just maybe — that light will spread far and wide, and will eventually eliminate all of the darkness that’s trying like heck to spread like a weed.