In spiritual terms, it doesn’t matter what we think of ourselves.
That’s true for a couple of reasons. The first is simple and straightforward. God knows what to think of us. As much as we beat up on ourselves for our real and imagined failings, too many of us foolishly presume that the Almighty is going to send us to hell.
Except God doesn’t need to send us to some future hell. We’re already accomplishing that feat. We’re busy ourselves by putting ourselves in the place of the divine. We ignore divinity Itself. Why should God send us to hell later when we create our own hell here and now?
We’re not neutral about our thoughts and behavior. We’re hellishly judgmental about ourselves. Other people, too.
The second thing is that we rarely know which of our contemporaries sees us as a hero. We busily try to muddle through our lives. Are we remembering everything? Are we getting all of today’s tasks done the way we want? What are we forgetting?
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life.
We live in the past and the present while guessing what the future will bring.
True, times change. What we were once taught was good manners may now be outmoded. Things we were trained to think were horrible manners are now perfectly acceptable. It’s fine to send a typed email rather than a handwritten note. We don’t have to feel badly about sending an email that arrives within minutes rather than mail which may take weeks or months to arrive.
It’s a different kind of normal that takes time for adjustment. In the end, people are okay with emails because they still hear from us.
Some social norms have changed. Some have not.
People who I see as heroes because of things they do or how they live their lives think they’re living ordinary lives. In college a group of doctors told me never to try run, jog, walk up steps or do anything else that would make the arthritis in my legs worse. They also told me to expect to have my knees and hips replaced at an early age.
I have always tried to do as those doctors told me. Those men and women were taking care of me when I didn’t know how. It’s not easy to follow their instructions, but it beats the alternative.
My heroes aren’t some rich guys playing professional sports. My heroes are the ordinary people I know who can take stairs without ending up in pain. Men and women who jog, run races, play sports just for the fun of it, grab their kids and pick them up (something else that’s forbidden) all put me in awe.
How incredible you are if you can do any or all of those! If you can do those things, you are a hero to those of us who cannot perform those physical feats.
You can do things we cannot. And maybe, just maybe, when you use that ability well, we are in awe of you for helping others in ways we cannot. You can do things we would love to do. Helping somebody in need with your capabilities is heroic.
Keep it up. What you do without a second thought is not spiritually neutral. Those little kindnesses contribute to making all life better.
You may think that what you can accomplish for yourself and others is not a big deal. You are entirely neutral about it. Even self-effacing. We feel privileged to know somebody so willing to help others.
It is not a neutral thing to me when someone opens a can of food for me. It’s a big deal. When you’re riddled with arthritis, every little bit of help you give another person is a big deal.
You don’t need to see it. It’s not your place. It is the place of the people you help to see. How somebody just whips off a can or jar lid is a matter of wonder.
What you see is spiritually neutral. A person you assist in even the smallest way is aware of the importance of your deeds.
Your smallest actions are part of what is good for people. You are good for humans.
Other peoples’ stories are very much like yours’.
Humans unknowingly commit good.
What a blessing!