Does anyone remember that famous line that Obama got a lot of slack for five or so years back? The “You didn’t build that” quote, taken so far out of context with critics griping that he was dismissing entrepreneurs and hard workers, is something that I’ve always quite admired because I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment.
I’m a hard worker, I’ve acquired higher education degrees, I’ve developed critical life skills, I’ve interviewed and won jobs, etc. But it would be the most false statement in the world to say I alone did all of that, because without the support of my family, teachers, fellow students, & mentors I would have NONE of those things. Sure I worked hard to get good grades in college, but my parents gave me the opportunity to go to college from both a financial and an emotional aspect. The phrase “it takes a village” doesn’t just apply to raising a human being but it applies to everything, this world doesn’t go round without all of us working together. No single person can do it alone.
So when we get to the topic of non stealing, for some reason this Obama sentiment keeps coming to mind. In such a heated political environment I’ve heard a lot of people, especially women who categorize themselves outside of the feminist movement, talk about having worked hard to get where they are and not attributing their rights and success to any of their fore MOTHERS or fathers. The first three quotes sum it up so well, and why is it that we have forgotten this fact? That generations before us created this wonderful world for us, the current residents, and why aren’t we taking it upon ourselves to continue making the world great for those after us, instead of just reaping every last tidbit of positivity that’s been passed on to us as if we inherently owed everything the world has become and can’t give so much as a thank you to those before us.
The second grouping of quotes (4, 5, & 6) have to do with how we can get sidetracked from what’s important in our journeys. When we are too eagerly looking at others and feeling jealous of their accomplishments we are missing out on building the competencies and skills that will ultimately bring us satisfaction and joy in life.
- “My ancestors sacrificed so much for me. They endured hardships beyond my comprehension with only one thought, that of the upcoming generations. They literally gave their lives to create beauty on the earth and better times for the future.”
- “We are not only stealing from the earth, we are stealing from the future and from our children and their children.”
- “We have lost our sense of gratitude. It is as if we had been invited to the most fabulous weekend at a friends home where we enjoyed scrumptious meals and delightful entertainment only to leave without so much as a hint of a thank you”
- “When we don’t know what we want or we don’t have the courage to pursue it, everything that everyone else is doing looks tempting to us. We begin to lust after others’ accomplishments and others’ possessions. We get sidetracked from our own dreams and our own realness.”
- “The Sanskrit word adikara means the right to know or the right to have. This word challenges us to the reality that if we want something, then we better grow the competency required to have it…we can dream and wish all we want, but we only get what we have the competency to have and keep. Anything else is stealing.”
- “…it is not the accumulation of things that ultimately gives us satisfaction, but the accumulation of values and competency. The jewel of non stealing, asks us to build our competency with life itself”.