The real to-do list
You’ve seen those lists reminding you to sing, hope, laugh, smile to strangers, love — and yes indeed, as a friend on Facebook reminded me, the list should start with love. And yet, how often do we take the time to do the good work? Why, because we seem to convince ourselves somehow that it is big work.
And yet another friend, Tara Ellis, reminded me yesterday:
“Do the great while it is still small.” – Tao Te Ching
And yet another friend, the supreme friend, Abdu’l-Baha, who 100 years ago on this same day arrived in New York, reminds us all:
“If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look?
This is the time for growing; the season for joyous gathering! Take the cup of the Testament in thy hand; leap and dance with ecstasy in the triumphal procession of the Covenant! Lay your confidence in the everlasting bounty, turn to the presence of the generous God; ask assistance from the Kingdom of Abha; seek confirmation from the Supreme World; turn thy vision to the horizon of eternal wealth; and pray for help from the Source of Mercy!”
(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 351)
So, this is what I’ve been practicing today:
- Sing — I am going home now to rehearse piano and sing a song of love;
- Smile at strangers — I was crossing the street today as it started raining; when I saw a tall lovely lady approach the traffic light I offered to her my umbrella as she did not have one — she accepted and while we walked she asked me of my accent, which lead to a conversation about her being an Iranian whose grandmother is a Baha’i;
- Keep learning — I sat this morning at the National Press Club among a group of distinguished practitioners of data governance and learned about best practices on semantic interoperability;
- Notice kindness — Inadvertently I asked for help a colleague who actually worked for a different team; he helped without any comments and I thanked him for the prompt help but later when I discovered that I had not followed protocol I thanked him again and thanked his boss;
- Eat ice cream — This will have to wait until after dinner though I had a yummy snack of blueberries with yogurt which should be close enough;
- Hope — As I am typing this I am reminding myself that where there is love, there is hope, and the love of God is always with me, thus hope is always with me too;
- Count your blessings — As I spoke on the phone to my 8-year old Sofia this morning, I was grateful for her and her sister’s love, health and creativity, and for the humbling gift of parenting;
- Laugh — I had some good laugh when talking with a lovely vendor over cafe machiatto about the importance of living in the present moment, and hope for some more laugh later tonight;
- Love — If that is not the reminder of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to America, I am not sure what is;
- Love some more — I was extra kind today to someone who does not always treat me with kindness, and hope they will realize that the power of love conquers all; but even if they don’t, I know that my girls and our Creator will recognize my humble effort.
“When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed release, for that is the greater prison.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá