Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 15 – Nurture Your Inner Light

Inner-Light

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you’re lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life.”
Carrie-Anne Moss

The fate of an entire planet (and that of The Rebellion) depends on him. His job is to successfully hit the giant nuclear reactor, which lies at the heart of the Death Star. He must do this by flying into a narrow trench at the centre of the structure and firing torpedoes in through the small exhaust openings. A squadron of TIE fighters led by Darth Vader is on his tail and he has mere seconds in which to act. What does young Luke Skywalker do? He switches off the targeting computer. Of course.

Nine out of ten people would conclude that the boy is a muppet. Obi Wan Kenobi is dead. Everyone knows that right? The only thing more disturbing than hearing voices in your head is when you actually start to listen to them (and turn off your targeting computer). Right? But guess what? Luke’s crazy actions save the day. He scores a direct hit on the reactor and the Death Star is destroyed. Partying on an intergalactic level ensues.

Have you ever wondered what separates Luke Skywalker from say, the humble storm trooper? What is the secret ingredient that sets him apart and makes him so special? What is that rare quality which all of our heroes seem to possess?  Well I have. And I think I have found my answer – It is what I call the “Inner Light”. It’s there in all of us; making us all potential heroes in the ‘movies’ that we call our lives. But it is up to us to choose which role we want to play. Do we want to play the role of the storm trooper and be just one amongst the many thousands of those who all look and act the same? Or do we choose to stand out in our uniqueness and shine so brightly that entire galaxies come to feel the effects of our presence?

“So what is this Inner light?” you ask. That’s a tough one, but I’ll give it a shot. For starters, I believe it is everything that the ego mind is not. It is everything about us besides the part that is preoccupied with mere survival. It is the part of us that wants to have fun and live freely. It is our true spirit and expresses itself  through our feelings and in the form of things like courage, vulnerability, passion, creativity, inspiration, playfulness, generosity, forbearance, intuition, emotion, unity-consciousness and compassion. Above all of this, it is love – love for oneself, love for others, a love of life and love for this beautiful world of ours. Our Inner Light is our Divine Nature – it is the spark of the Divine that resides within each of us.

“And what does this Inner Light have to do with happiness?” you ask. And I say “Everything!”. The way I have come to see it, our Inner Light is actually happiness itself!! Let me explain – when looking back at my life, I find that I can break it up into three different stages:

The first was my early childhood – the period prior to the influence of things like school, religion and mass media. This was a time of freedom and happiness. I had everything I needed – although I owned virtually nothing; and I was ‘enough’ – for myself and for those around me; though I couldn’t even read or write. I didn’t know much or understand anything, but I believed that life was good and that anything was possible. My inner Light was shining forth brightly and life was lived from this place of strong connection to it.

Then came the period spanning my schooling years to most of my adult life (up to just a few years before now). This period was not without its happiness and highs. But still, it is one marked by feelings of angst and inadequacy at not being ‘enough’ – because I could never seem to measure up to the ideals that others and I held up for myself; and feelings of not having ‘enough’ – despite owning a home and all the stuff that was in it (pretty ironic when you think about it). I had come to believe in scarcity and limitation and my ego had all but snuffed out my Inner Light.

I was not living freely or giving expression to my true spirit. I was simply operating within the narrow confines of a framework that had been dictated by others. I was acting out what I had been conditioned to accept and conform to and calling that ‘my life’. That was not really a ‘life’ and it certainly was not MY life.

Then came this period of ‘awakening’ and self-discovery. ‘Awakening to what?” you may ask. Awakening to the lies that I had chosen to believe about myself and about life. Awakening to the fact that I am not my conditioned and easily manipulated ego, but something far greater and more magnificent than I might fully come to realise in this lifetime. Now that I am able to see my ego for what it is, I am slowly awakening to the things it once obscured – truths that are both liberating and life-giving.

Now I consciously choose to nurture my Inner Light and once again, live life from a place of connection and alignment to that greater and richer part of me. The result of this is that I am a happier person now. I am once more finding that I AM enough and that I do HAVE enough. What could be more conducive to feelings of inner peace and happiness than realisations such as these!?

I think I succeeded in capturing a sense of this in a little poem I published on this blog about a year ago. It goes a little something like this:

When I was young the world was a magical place
I could roam the garden by myself for hours and find excitement at every turn;
A cat here, an orchid there and sometimes a tasty treat in the form of a fruit from a low-hanging branch;
Time would fly by and I would remain blissfully unaware, alone and engrossed in my little world.

Then I grew up.

The world had lost its magic now
Simple things like a cat or a pretty flower could no longer delight me;
Being by myself had lost it’s charm – now I needed to be around others and I needed their approval too;
I had an image that I felt heavily invested in and it drove my life: what I thought, how I felt, and what I did;
In growing up I had lost ‘me’.

Then I grew older.

I started to care less about grown-up things
I became a husband and a father and learned to love staying home;
I returned to the garden and began to see again the beauty of the flowers, the birds, the clouds and the sunset.

Amidst all the complexities and responsibilities of life in the grown-up world, I had found ‘me’ again.

The ‘me’ that I refer to there is my Inner Light. It is who I really am.

Our Inner Light can be clouded out when we take on the ways and the knowledge of the world. When we choose to follow the rules and do as we ‘should’ in order to fit in and survive, while ignoring our true feelings, we diminish our Inner Light and our connection to our Divinity. The way we feel about something or someone is our inner guidance. It is the very key to our happiness and we ignore it at our peril. So it has come to be, that for many of us, we need to learn to nurture this part of us and return it to its rightful place – where it guides the direction of our lives and helps us make our most important decisions.

Now, I can’t think of anything better that I can do, as a Happiness Addict, than to nurture this part of me. Experience has shown me that the more I do this, the happier I feel as a person.

This brings us to the final question: “How do you nurture your Inner Light?”. Since we are all different and unique, this will vary from person to person. I can only suggest a general rule of thumb and that is to learn how to calm down your mental chatter so that you can understand how you really feel about something and then to act from that place of clarity – instead of cruising through life on ‘auto-pilot’ as in following the norm or letting ‘should monster’ make your decisions for you.

Being in tune with our feelings and listening to our inner guidance is the key.

There is one more other thing that I would like to pass on and that is: take the time to think about and to do things that are not ‘survival’ oriented. This is because, as discussed above, those parts of us that are not survival oriented and our Inner Light are one and the same. So when we nurture our playfulness or creativity, we in fact nurture our Inner Light.

In terms of the specific things that I do to nurture my Inner Light, it’s usually things that I consider ‘fun’ – like spending time with friends and loved ones, exploring our beautiful world, taking long walks and spending time in nature, writing (if only for myself), taking photographs and reading or listening to the ideas of others that I feel I can learn from. All of these things have helped me find my way back to the ‘real’ me. But the one thing that really stands out in terms of helping me make sense of everything and find my own way in life is to simply ‘be’ – to give myself the time and the mental space to think, imagine and reflect. It is at these times that I tend to have my little ‘eureka’ moments about life and about how I would like to live it.

So… to all you Luke Skywalkers out there: remember that the ‘Force’ is strong within each and every one of you. Go forth now and embrace your Inner Light and may it guide you to the thrilling and exhilarating epic block-buster that is your life!

Related Posts:

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – How I Learned to Be Happier, More of the Time

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Defining Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 1 – Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness

 Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 2 – Staying Committed to Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 3 – Thinking Positive and a Tale of 2 Frogs

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 4 – Stop Complaining!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 5 – Practising Gratitude and Appreciation Daily

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 6 – Being Selective about What We Give Our Attention to

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 7 – Spend Time Around Happy People

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 8 – Love Yourself!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 9 – Have Fun!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 10 – Believe in Your Dreams and Believe in Yourself

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 11 – Trust and Let Go

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 12 – Live Your Truth

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 13 – Stop Resisting What Is

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 14 – Tame That Ego!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 14 – Tame That Ego!

Ego-and-Authentic-Self

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately… you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you.”
Eckhart Tolle

All my life, I was taught that the human mind and its thinking abilities were what made our species great. I was told that this was what made it possible for us to become the dominant species on this planet. This sort of made sense at the time and so I went along with it. Still, in early adulthood, I couldn’t help noticing that for all our thinking abilities and in spite of all our cleverness, the world was in an unhappy state – myself included. Sure, it wasn’t all bad and even I had lots of ‘sunny days’. But it was pretty clear that all our thinking and cleverness was not necessarily making the world a happier place.

The norm seemed to be: unhappiness with the occasional bout of happiness thrown in here and there.

Then, when I started down the path of self-discovery, I was exposed to some new ideas that turned everything upside down for me. I was told that happiness was my normal state of being. Huh? This was news to me!
And that in order to be happy, all I ever needed to do was to stop doing the things I did that made me feel unhappy. Double ‘Huh?’.
AND that the only thing that was responsible for all the fear, anger, jealousy, depression and misery was right there inside of me… a part of my own mental make up. HUH!?

It turned out that the culprit was the rational thinking part of my mind – the part that some refer to as the ‘ego’ (Note: a meaning slightly different to the one given to this term by psychologists).

Although it is demonised at times, it could be argued that the ego is not something that is inherently bad. On the contrary, it is a valuable tool that we have access to in this lifetime. It is what helps us learn, remember and protect ourselves and is therefore essential for living an independent and fulfilling life.

The real problem with the ego seems to be that most people – myself included – don’t know enough about it or how to use it.

  • As with any tool, it is only as good as the skill and the knowledge of the person using it.
  • While it is well suited to some tasks, it is poorly suited to others (we have other faculties such as imagination, feelings and intuition that might be better suited to some tasks).
  • And, as with ALL tools, it needs to be ‘laid down’ from time to time to give it and the user a respite.

When seen in this light, it becomes clear where so many of us go wrong so easily. Because we tend to rely on it so much from such an early age, most of us end up thinking that we ARE our ego minds (this is why it has also come to be known as the ‘false self’). So how would we ever use it as it is meant to be used – when we think that we are IT!?

The truth of the matter is that we are NOT our egos. We are a higher consciousness – what some would call ‘the authentic self’ (or spirit or soul). The easiest way to test out this idea is to sit quietly and direct your awareness inwards to what is going on within you. You will soon realise that there is a stream of thought that is going on inside… that is the ego mind hard at work. You might then wonder “If I am not these thoughts, who am I?” and the answer is that you are the consciousness that is observing these thoughts.

Welcome to the real you!

Understanding this distinction was a real light bulb moment for me. For near enough 40 years of my life, I went around thinking that I was this ego based personality – the product of my past, my conditioning, my beliefs, my attitudes and how I felt I needed to be.

I began to realise that I had been investing the majority of my time and energy in trying to appease this part of me. All the while, I had been neglecting my true and authentic self! Heck, I didn’t even know it existed, let alone realise that it was the ‘real’ me!!!

Equally startling was the realisation that so many of my life’s major decisions had been made based on what the ego wanted for me as opposed to what my authentic self wanted. Considering that the ego’s wants are often coloured by drama, painful memories, fears, prejudices and limiting beliefs, it is little wonder then that happiness and contentment felt so out of my reach at times.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which the ego works and why it can sometimes cause problems:

The ego is meant to help us remember helpful information, like how things work… like say maybe how doors and door knobs work (so we don’t have to keep re-learning how to use a door every time we need to open or close one). But instead of merely remembering these things, the ego will also bring up events from the past – things that we would ideally want to learn and move on from. Ego will say things like “So and so did this to you…” and “You messed up the last time you tried to do this…” and so on. You can appreciate that while it is helpful to remember certain types of information, re-living painful memories will often get in the way of our happiness in the present moment.

The ego is meant to keep us relatively safe and so will warn us of danger and do its best to keep us alive. Often though, the ego will learn to see everything and everyone as some sort of threat. It will often keep us in fear in order to ‘save’ us! Arguing, trying to control other people and always needing to be right are examples of some of the other ways in which the ego expresses this form of protectiveness.

The ego loves control and hates to give it up. It therefore does not like the unknown and sees it as a risk. So it will often freak out when we try to do something new. People say that ‘magic begins at the end of your comfort zone’ and that ‘magic is what is on the other side of fear’. Yet the magic begins not at the end of your comfort zone, but at the end of EGO’s comfort zone! And the fear too is felt by the ego.

The ego knows that we humans are social creatures and it wants for us to be liked and accepted… but then it tries so hard to make us ‘fit in’ and be liked, that we soon begin to lose our identity and our individuality – the very thing we are meant to express and contribute to the world. If we end up listening to the ego, we will not only lose our individuality, but more importantly, we lose our sovereignty and become slaves to the will of others.

The ego wants to learn as much as it can so that it can serve us better… but then it goes over the top and tries to rationalise, analyse and categorise everything and everyone!!! Incidentally, this is where false assumptions and stereotypes come from. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it will dismiss, deny and ridicule anything that it cannot understand.

But that’s not all. For most of us, our egos will often engage in complaining, judging, blaming, criticising and playing mind-games. It is the ego that subscribes to social pecking orders and plays the whole ‘I am better than you’ game. These unhelpful traits are not only directed at others – often, the ego will also direct this venom back at us in the form of feelings of unworthiness and inferiority.

Humanity was not meant to live and operate from the lower perspective of the ego. Yet, looking at my own life and the world around me, this seems to be very much what has been going on. It’s like we have been culturally programmed to operate at this lower level of consciousness.

When living life from the ego’s level of consciousness, our day to day lives will be dominated by thoughts of fear, anxiety, jealousy, competition, anger, feelings of dissatisfaction, feelings of superiority and inferiority, and ceaseless mental chatter.

This way of living is guaranteed to deny us the happiness we seek.

I won’t claim to have fully conquered my ego. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a result, I won’t say that I have all the answers. But I CAN tell you that adopting this new perspective has helped me become a happier and more peaceful person.

In terms of actual steps taken towards taming the ego, I can say that the following have helped me – whenever I applied them consistently:

1. Practising awareness – I do my best to remind myself that I am not my mind or its thoughts and to keep track of what the mind is saying and doing;
2. Training the ego – I do my best to stop myself when I realise that I am judging, blaming, criticising, being fearful etc. and guide my thoughts in a more loving, peaceful and optimistic direction;
3. Nurturing my connection to my authentic self – I do my best to stay calm and in a peaceful and loving state so I can project this out into the world and have it reflected back at me. I also do my best to pay more heed to what my feelings and intuition tell me and no longer make decisions based solely on logic. Last, but not least, I also do my best to use my imagination creatively in order to help me discover new possibilities and opportunities.

You will have noted that all of the above explanations start with the words “I do my best to.” I use these words to drive home the point that this is all that any of us can do.

Some days I seem to be better at it than on others, but I can honestly see a gradual improvement in my overall state of happiness as a result. And that is all the proof and incentive I need to keep going.

Related Posts:

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – How I Learned to Be Happier, More of the Time

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Defining Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 1 – Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness

 Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 2 – Staying Committed to Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 3 – Thinking Positive and a Tale of 2 Frogs

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 4 – Stop Complaining!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 5 – Practising Gratitude and Appreciation Daily

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 6 – Being Selective about What We Give Our Attention to

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 7 – Spend Time Around Happy People

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 8 – Love Yourself!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 9 – Have Fun!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 10 – Believe in Your Dreams and Believe in Yourself

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 11 – Trust and Let Go

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 12 – Live Your Truth

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 13 – Stop Resisting What Is

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

A MUST watch for all you fellow ‘happiness addicts’ – this guy is as clued up as he is fun and entertaining. Sheer genius!!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 13 – Stop Resisting What Is

Awaken

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
-Eckhart Tolle

“What we resist, persists.”
-Carl Gustav Jung

Have you ever seen a fly at the window? The fly wants to escape; to get out. It can see what is on the other side of the glass. It wants to experience what is on the other side of the glass. Yet, the glass keeps it apart from what it wants to experience. The fly takes action. The fly works hard. The fly works non-stop. Yet, the fly remains trapped. The harder it works, the more desperate it becomes. The more desperate it becomes, the harder it works… all the while growing weaker. Some die at the window. They die of exhaustion. They die from trying. Ironically, they die from persevering.

Some flies are lucky. They escape. They try something new… they try flying to a new place and looking for a way out and then another and another, until at last, they are free!

Observing these flies often makes me think about how we as people sometimes go about our lives. We might sometimes find ourselves in difficult situations… times when we feel pain or discomfort. We are used to giving all of our energy to fighting against it. Like the fly at the window we struggle and fight and are left feeling exhausted – often without making any real progress. We are lucky. The price we pay is exhaustion (but if we keep this up, it can lead to stress and ultimately to ‘dis-ease’). Yet we still pay a price: our present moment is robbed of happiness and it its place we have stress, struggle, and fear.

We want change. That is a good thing. But there are some things we might do well to remember if we are to fare better than the fly at the window:

  • Sometimes, change may not happen overnight and we need to learn to be ok with that. It serves us to honour the process rather than try to force results.
  • Sometimes, things will sort themselves out on their own and we just need to get out of the way (I see this happen with parenting and relationships a lot).
  • We value perseverance, yet sometimes we need to pause and take time out to find clarity (I once read that perseverance can get you killed – if you keep persevering even when the path you are on leads you to the edge of a cliff). Perseverance only serves us when it is applied from a place of clarity. Taking time out to find that clarity is not only an act of self-love, but it also makes us more effective as problem-solvers!
  • Above all else, we need to stop seeing these things as ‘problems’ and reacting to them in that way. This is the true lesson we can take from the fly at the window. We can’t afford to fall into a repetitive pattern of stimulus and response. As Einstein said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” It doesn’t mean we give up wanting a change for the better. It means we stop giving all our energy and attention to judging and condemning the ‘problem’ and struggling against it. Instead we can choose to stay calm and create the mental atmosphere that allows the solution to emerge. When we move out of the ‘problem mindset’ and from seeing things as they are, we allow ourselves to enter the ‘solution mindset’ and seeing things as they could be. But this requires that we change our focus and often, we need to let go for this to happen.
  • Last, but not least, we can change our orientation altogether and see the ‘problem’ in a new light – as something that is not a problem. Let me explain: I sometimes used to wake up around 3 a.m for no apparent reason. It used to bug me and I would try very hard to get back to sleep. Most of the time, all the trying in the world didn’t make it happen and a good 3 or so hours after, I would start my day feeling tired (more from the struggle than a lack of sleep) and irritated. What a way to start the day!? Then, (fortunately) I heard a talk by Dr. Wayne Dyer where he said how he would find himself waking up around 3 a.m. some mornings and how he felt that it was a cue from God / Source for him to write. He went on to say that this was a time of day where he felt very connected to God / Source, which made it easier for him to write well. So here was a man in his 70’s who, when he found himself waking up at an un-Godly hour, chose instead to say that it was God waking him up so he could write! Talk about re-framing a situation! So when I started viewing my early morning starts in this way, it made me feel a whole lot better. At best, I would get lots of quiet ‘me’ time to write and enjoy. At worst, I would be a bit groggy for part of the day… but it sure beat feeling irritated and miserable throughout the day. It hardly ever happens now, but when it does, it works in my favour! Incidentally, it is Dr. Dyer who famously said: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change” and this is a great example of how he applies this idea in his day to day life.

So there you have it… the recipe for a problem-free, stress-free life… in just 2 easy steps: 1) stop labelling things as ‘problems’ and 2) when you are faced with a situation that bugs you, go take a nap or do something fun!

Related Posts:

Stress and Knee-Jerk Reactions – How Can We Make it Better?

Calmness and Clarity: A Case for Taking Time Out

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – How I Learned to Be Happier, More of the Time

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Defining Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 1 – Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness

 Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 2 – Staying Committed to Happiness

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 3 – Thinking Positive and a Tale of 2 Frogs

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 4 – Stop Complaining!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 5 – Practising Gratitude and Appreciation Daily

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 6 – Being Selective about What We Give Our Attention to

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 7 – Spend Time Around Happy People

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 8 – Love Yourself!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 9 – Have Fun!

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 10 – Believe in Your Dreams and Believe in Yourself

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 11 – Trust and Let Go

Confessions of a Happiness Addict – Step 12 – Live Your Truth

 

The Aluthgama Riots – Turning Tragedy into Hope

Be-a-light-unto-the-darkness

“First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me”
Rev. Martin Niemöller

I was much saddened to hear of the events that had taken place in Aluthgama recently.

Just like me, you too might be shocked and wondering how such a thing could have happened – especially after all that Sri Lanka has been through in the last 30 years.

My heart goes out to the people who have been affected by these acts of cruelty and to the families of those who have lost their lives.

Placing myself in the shoes of the Sri Lankans who have recently lost their loved ones, their homes and their property, I can only imagine that they are feeling shocked, saddened and betrayed – betrayed by the people they considered their brethren; betrayed by the institutions that they looked to and trusted to provide them with security and protection. Their sense of trust in their fellow Sri Lankans would be all but evaporated, along with any hopes they may have had of being treated fairly in the land of their birth.

I for one would not blame any one of these Sri Lankans for also feeling anger – intense, searing anger… anger at the loss; and anger at the betrayal. No one wants to feel helpless and no one wants their loved ones to ever come to harm. I dread to think how this anger might come to manifest itself.

Friends, while anger might seem natural and justified, I know from personal experience that it is not helpful. Anger never provides a lasting solution. Anger makes us do things we later regret. Anger makes us all suffer in the end.

Love on the other hand, always provides a lasting solution. Love always brings with it the gift of peace.

I am not asking you to love the people that carried out these cruel acts. I am not asking you to love the people who stood by and let it happen. It would be wonderful if you could feel love and compassion for these people too, but I know I couldn’t – at least not right now. And I can’t ask you to do something that I am not willing to do.

No, I am asking you to love the people who have been at the receiving end of this thuggery. I am asking you to do whatever you can to let these people know that they are loved. They need to understand that not all people want to treat them in this way. They need to understand that their tragedy and their suffering is also felt by their fellow country men. They need to be able to trust their fellow countrymen again.

We cannot wait on the authorities. We cannot wait on foreign governments or NGOs. In the end, as human beings, we are the ones who must assume responsibility for each other (this, incidentally, is also the best way to change the world…) and to do it ourselves.

Please go there in your numbers. Go there in peace. Let them know how you feel. Do what you can to help. Maybe take some things that might come in useful to them – some clothes and some food items. Perhaps you can make a collection from amongst friends and neighbours and hand it to the local mosque officials to be used as they see fit. If you are unable or unwilling to make the journey, then write a letter. Do something. Do anything. These Sri Lankans need to know you care.

There is no doubt that what has happened is a huge tragedy. We can choose to simply mourn this tragedy and leave it at that or, we could use it as an opportunity to re-write history.

It is all in your hands dear friends. You have the opportunity and the power to write history; to do something future generations will thank you for.