Our lives affect others


“The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best of a good man’s life.”
William Wordsworth


Our lives affect others, whether directly, through the environment, or by the force of our example.

For instance, we could say that smoking shows a lack of love. First, our capacity for love is actually caught in the compulsion to smoke. But more than that, the example tells even casual passersby, “Don’t worry about what your doctor says. Don’t worry about the consequences. If it feels good, do it!”

Pele, the Brazilian soccer star, was in a position to command a king’s ransom for endorsing commercial products. He never gave his endorsement to any cigarette, putting the reason in simple words: “I love kids.” That is a perfect choice of words. He does love kids. He knows that in most of the world they will buy anything with his name on it. Therefore, though he came from a poor family, no amount of money can tempt him to do something that will mislead young people or injure their health.

To love is to be responsible like this in everything: the work we do, the things we buy, the food we eat, the people we look up to, the movies we see, the words we use, every choice we make from morning till night. That is the real measure of love; it is a wonderfully demanding responsibility.

~ Eknath Easwaran



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