Lesson 99: Assume your place

Published 4:18 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Throughout this book, weve talked about your place within the world. Weve talked about the fact that you have the awesome power to shape your own destiny. Weve said that success and happiness lie not in looking inward, but in focusing outside of yourself. Weve established the certainty that its a wonderful life. You also know that youll encounter serious problems, heartaches, and probably even tragedy, and that you have the ability to handle it all.

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In short, this is a huge world, loaded with joy and troubles. And you have the power to establish your own special place within it. In this incredible, infinite universe, you fit just perfectly.

They say no man is an island. Thats true, you know. You are an ever-changing, ever-growing piece an intricate puzzle, and your individual identity is created not in isolation but as part of the whole. Each living being combines with other living beings, so that the great wide world is in itself a massive living thing, which in turn is just a small part of the great universe beyond. And you are a very important part of it all.

If all this is true, then its no stretch to say that there is a spiritual connection among all things. The fact that you occupy that unique place makes you a spiritual being, whether you realize it or not.

There are many religions in the world, each of which was founded as a way to understand that spiritual connection. In this context, religion is not just a way of explaining our differences, but of explaining what binds us together.

Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany says, Religionsare a way to find God, a way to have positive values, to prove oneself as a good human being. You feel God in your heart, you feel God when you love others. And, it can be added, you feel God when you make your place in the world, and make the world a better place for your having been here.

Go forth. Make your way. Know that life is good. And know that, whatever comes your way, you have your own special place in this wonderful, wonderful world.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.