The Power of Inner Attitude

The well-known motivational speaker Harish Kare narrates the following story:

“A little boy got angry with his mother and shouted at her, ‘I hate you, I hate you.’ For fear of being reprimanded, he ran out of the house. He went up to the mountains and shouted, ‘I hate you, I hate you,’ and back came the echo ‘I hate you, I hate you.’ This was the first time that he had heard an echo. He got scared, went to his mother for protection, and said there was a bad boy in the valley who shouted ‘I hate you, I hate you.’ The mother understood the problem and asked her son to go back to the mountain and shout ‘I love you, I love you,’ and back came the echo: ‘I love you, I love you.’ That taught the little boy a lesson that our life is like an echo; we get back what we give.”

This story illustrates in a simple and potent manner the importance of right attitudes. The Goddess of Life responds to us according to our inner attitudes to her. If we approach her with optimism, confidence, cheerfulness, goodwill, faith, hope and trust, then she responds to us with a beneficent smile which leads to happiness, success and fulfillment. But if we approach her with negative attitudes like cynicism, suspicion, ill-will, she responds with a frown and a curse which brings unhappiness, failure and ill-luck.

But to receive the bounties of the Goddess of life, the inner attitudes have to be genuine and sincere and not merely faked in outer speech and behaviour, without a corresponding inner state in mind and heart. The great goddess cannot be deceived. If we approach her with pretensions she will also mock at us, pretending to be beneficent in the beginning but finally leading to pain.

However, the goddess of life is not only a sweet and beneficent Mother but also a firm, tough and quite often a terrible teacher, testing us with difficulties, challenges, obstacles and imposing on us the adverse consequences of our actions when they deviate from her laws. And she likes those of her children who confronts her tests with courage, determination, persistence, tenacity and with a positive outlook as opportunities for progress. These are also part of the right attitude to life.

In all matured spiritual traditions, there is the practice of seeing God in everything. One way of doing it is to see the brighter side of things in all people, events and activities and to see the Divine growing openly in all that is true, good, beautiful, positive, creative and constructive and also hidden behind all that is negative, ugly and dark. From the perspective of knowledge we must learn to view the bright and dark side of life with an impersonal, impartial, non-judgemental and scientific outlook and try to understand the deeper cause of things. However for a positive response from life we should not stress on the negative side of life in its present condition but look into the future with hope, optimism and a confidence in the eventual victory of truth, beauty and goodness over their opposites.

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