Monday Musings Thirty-one: Lighting A Lamp

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Lighting a Lamp


Well, today is Boxing Day, and Christmas is done for another year. I hope you all had a peaceful day yesterday with not too much drama. If not, then my thoughts and best wishes are with you.

Did you know that in South Africa they call December 26th The Day of Goodwill? I love this name, as it defines the original intention of boxing day, which is to box up all the excess and abundance of the holidays and give it to the poor. For me, what this does is to return the emphasis to attitude and away from possessions.

As I sit here and type today’s Monday Musing, it strikes me how fast the time has passed. All that build up for Christmas, and already it’s been and gone. Soon enough, we’ll be halfway through next year. Events come and go. People come in and out of our lives. It’s so important to ensure that we don’t miss even one opportunity to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us.

I’ve spent enough past Christmases alone that I appreciate deeply the chance to spend this period with friends and loved ones. This time will not come again. It’s not the presents that sat beneath the tree that meant so much to me but the people that sat around it.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

So, this Boxing Day, let’s pack up all those negative habits and complaints and unwrap an attitude of gratitude. Interestingly enough, in Australia, the day after Christmas day is called Procrastination Day. What will today mean for you? Excuses or action? Procrastination or Goodwill?

Before we put away all our Christmas boxes, I’d like to unpack the meaning of Goodwill just a little more.

Goodwill is an abiding attitude of generous thoughts toward others. It evolves to fit ever-changing circumstances and situations. For Goodwill to remain Good, we have to find ways to work with those changing situations without losing the essential definition of Goodwill, which is a friendly, helpful, or cooperative feeling or attitude.

Goodwill is not something that can wait for another time, neither is it ever ‘done’ and finished with, and it never gets used up. In fact, it is the very opposite to the attitude of procrastination and looking out for oneself only. It doesn’t complain but, instead, makes the best of whatever confronts it. And Goodwill never discriminates. It encompasses every living thing, including you.

In the wise words of Zen:

 ‘If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)