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…Is paved for each of us by the designs and urging of our own egos.  The soul blesses. The ego condemns.  The soul lifts up.  The ego tears down.  The soul sees the beauty contained within each moment and within every circumstance.  The ego derides the ugliness of this world and makes no attempt to heal it.

The battle of good versus evil is waged not out there in some indefinable cosmos, but within each of us at every moment, with every compassionate thought or thoughtless remark.  By the time we take up arms against each other and face our brothers and sisters across a battlefield, our weapons drawn, the war is already lost.  Evil has won.  Every step we take towards conflict lessens the fragile thread of peace we are each entrusted with.  It is not the nameless they that lead us down the road to conflict and a world filled with darkness and despair, but the screeching, demanding voice of the ego within each of us telling us we deserve more than they, we are right, they are wrong.  When we surrender to its incessant demands we have failed not only ourselves, but the world around us and everyone and every living creature in it.

So today, let us find that fragile thread of peace and light within each of us and vow to nourish it.  When our ego insists we are right, let us at least consider the possibility we might be the one who is in error.  If we still believe we are right, let us then consider whether or not winning a particular battle at the loss of the war is worth the pain accompanying it.   When our ego seeks to condemn, let us put ourselves in our brother’s shoes.  When we are surrounded by negativity, anger, panic, criticism, let us strive to be a voice for gentle reason, rather than escalate the chaos around us and thereby pulling all of us into a place of deepening darkness.

We are all called to light the way for each other, to be a voice of tender compassion in a world of seemingly endless callousness and indifference.  Let us not surrender to our own disregard for the beauty of the life we’ve been given, but instead let us first strive to heal the shadows within and then extend the new light we create within us to heal the world around us.