Gratitude builds bridges between people, connecting the entire archipelago of minds to each other in a zig-zag network of ideas, dreams and hopes.
I have many values I base my life upon. They work as light houses along the coast guiding me along. I have acquired all of them myself along the way, and I am also the lighthouse keeper making sure they stay aflame. I am not a preacher or a guide of any kind, or a life coach, but I do keep those light houses burning for anyone who wants to take inspiration from them.
I often hear people who have been close to dying speak about a new approach to life, a beautiful inspiration found after being confronted with death. I think about death all the time. That may sound sad, but that is not what I mean. I like to philosophize over what happens when we die. I have come to believe that when we leave this world all our actions, the good and the bad, are shown to us, we get to witness our whole life in retrospect, much like our own coming-of-age movie being played before us if you like. I don’t believe in karma the way it is presented to us today, even though my theory might sound like it. I believe when we are at that stage of transitioning we do no longer see our life through human eyes, we see our life through the eyes of the soul, and even though our bad actions will sadden us, the intention will not be punishment, but forgiveness. A forgiveness born from understanding and love. It is not easy to be human. A human is not pure soul, our hormones, instincts, biological heritage, psychological makeup and temperament all play a part in our behavior.
But what I want to talk about here is not the mistakes we make, but all the love, kindness and inspiration we share. Imagine all the love you have given out flowing back to you, covering you in softness and light. You have touched so many people with your life. Maybe just by saying hi to someone on the bus, or being a substitute parent/big sibling to the neighbor kid who has two working parents, or by giving food to someone on the street, or giving a compliment to a friend. The list goes on and on. Imagine if you didn’t have to wait until your dying day to feel all that love, imagine it being given to you all the time. What wouldn’t that do to your confidence, to your sense of purpose and self-love?
So that is what I do. Whenever someone has touched my life for the better in any tiny way I let them know. And this has led to some incredible experiences. Because I let everyone know. Whether it is a stranger or a family member or a shopkeeper or someone famous. The famous people who have touched my life are mostly authors. And if you think there is really no point in feeding the ego of these already celebrated characters, you are wrong. Perhaps their egos are being stroked all the time, but I am not talking about fan mail, I am talking about letting someone know they have made a difference in your life. I once received a three pages long handwritten letter from a very famous author who poured out her beautiful heart to me in words I will treasure for ever. A Danish poet, who is the one who inspired me to write poetry, sent me her entire collection of books (in the mail to India!) after I wrote her a mail thanking her for being such an inspiration to me. My point is, every single one I have ever thanked for making my life just a little bit better have appreciated it, and all of them have been surprised! Totally unaware of the beauty and value of their work, words and action.
I want to encourage everyone out there to do the same. To tell people, whoever it is, even if it is the super famous director of the film that inspired you to choose your dream career, what an impact they had in your life. Even if you don’t get a reply. A reply is not what you are after. Once you give something, it is out there, your job is done, and what you get in return comes from the light you have lit in this, often seemingly dark, world.
That is why I always say: create a path of light with your life. What you give away is yours forever, what you hold back is lost forever.