I’d like to talk about the gift of this life you have as a human being. What is a human being? What makes us so different? On one level, there isn’t a lot of difference between us and other animals. Maybe the difference is no greater than the difference between a cat and a dog, but we are different.
What is that difference? There are animals out there that can outrun us, so it’s not running. And there are animals out there that can out-jump us, so it’s not jumping. It’s not the smile, because monkeys smile quite frequently to show their teeth and let everybody else know they’re the boss. So it’s not smiling.
What is it? This is not based on science, but my inclination is that it is our power to appreciate, to enjoy, that makes us who we are. Dogs enjoy what they enjoy. There’s no question about it. They wag their tail, and their eyes light up. They even get a smile. They enjoy what they enjoy. Cats are the same way. They enjoy what they enjoy. And birds enjoy what they enjoy.
But there is something we can enjoy because of who we are. And that, in my opinion, is what makes us a little bit different.
Now look for a moment at plants. I was driving along one day, and I noticed that even though the ground was undulating, the trees were growing straight up, not perpendicular to the ground. Why? Because their roots are on this earth, but their relationship is with something that’s in the sky. They need to expose leaves to the sun, and the more the better. That’s their relationship.
A tree takes many things into account—storms, wind, and that relationship it has with the sun. There are plants in Antarctica that grow very close to the surface because they know about wind. They know that if they try to pop out, they’ll be gone, so they grow very, very close to the surface, but their relationship with the sun is still constant.
You see a myriad of designs—intricate leafs, branches, root systems, bark. And the tree has a relationship with something that is so far away from it. The tree doesn’t know how far the sun is. But everything in its design, in its existence—as we call it—is in balance. If that balance is compromised, it cannot exist.
If we were to take a look at our own existence, how balanced is it? Most of us think, “I’ve got to survive in this world, and whatever it takes to survive is all I need. Period. That’s it.”
But who do we have that ultimate relationship with? What is the single source of inspiration in our life every day? For me, it can’t be a hero. It can’t be something you learned. It can’t be an ideology or a great poet or artist or philosopher. It is something that resides in the heart.
The fact is that power is within everyone—period. But the only question is whether we recognize it, whether it manifests. And that is what I am here to talk about.
I’m not here to fix your problems. What I want you to realize is that there is something real inside of you that is greater than the sum of all your goods and bads, regardless of how you see yourself. Whatever you have read or whatever you think, there is something that resides inside of you. And that is what can be the single point of inspiration in your life.
I hope you will discover and pay attention to that thing that is within you and that you will forge a relationship with it. For then you will not just survive, you will thrive.