CHICAGO, IL –
The United States Marine Corps has long pitched their recruiting slogan – the few. the proud. the marines.
They are reported to be an elite fighting force. The training marines undergo for their distinction is the stuff of legend.
Building on our conversation regarding giving and taking, I want to further explore the role of giving and living in a spirit of abundance.
This is no doubt a difficult task. The type of task that takes marine-like training – not in any form of external combat, but in the form of combat with the lower self.
Love and hate
There is a ton that can be, and indeed has been, said and written about this internal struggle in literature of all faiths throughout the ages.
I’d simply like to highlight one point that seems to point us in the right direction for how to understand the training true givers, not veiled undertakers, are willing to accept.
That point is that we must learn to love what is good for us and hate what is bad for us.
It is a lot easier to eat right when you love vegetables and hate high fructose corn syrup.
Likewise, it is easier to make the most of Ramadan when you love the discipline and hate to waste time.
Constantly having to avoid what you love because it is bad for you is a sure recipe for failure.
You may succeed here and there, but you’ll always be yoyoing – whether it be your diet or your deen.
Paying the toll
The words are simple, but the training lasts a lifetime.
Only if we are engaging in an active regimen of struggle against our lower selves, the part of us that carries the jealousy, rancor, and general unbecoming attitudes we hide, can we ever expect to taste the sweetness of loving what is good for us.
The initial road blocks that are set up eventually become the wind behind our backs in the sprint of our spiritual lives.
We have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to pay the toll to join the few, the humble, the givers.