Of a flower the gardener might say it is the fulfillment of his toil. The religious, “It is an offering for God.” And the spiritual, “It is God.” The artist says, “It is something of beauty.” And the philosopher adds, “… that grows out of dirt and dung.” The romantic says, “It is an expression of love.” The cynical, “It is a trigger for allergies.” And the bee, “It is a source for nourishment.” All these things were said of the flower, but in actual fact each spoke not of it but of his attitude, of his conditioning and his history. Such is always the case.

In the same way our life experience depends not so much on what life brings us as on how we approach life. You needn’t change the world. You need only to change yourself. You look at life through a prism of hate or resentment or despair or envy or suspicion or competition. Then everybody and everything around you appears threatening; then you live in an ugly world and in constant anxiety. Replace these with compassion and forgiveness and hope and trust and friendship; and life is beautiful. In reality you are all these already. There is no need for replacing. You are love. You need only to remove the obstruction that you’ve put up to it.

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