It’s Your Choice


Someone told me that they wanted peace so that they could give it to others. But you can’t give your peace to anybody else, just as you can’t give anybody your time. You cannot give a person who is dying even five more minutes.

Peace is very personal. By having peace in your life, you can become a catalyst for others, this is true, but you cannot give them peace. They have to find their own thirst, have their own understanding, and find that peace within.

That possibility is always there in your life. If you have the wisdom, you will take advantage of it. Sometimes people think wisdom is enlightenment. They see an old painting of a saint with a light over their head and think, “Oh, that’s an enlightened person.” But true enlightenment is when you recognize, and wisdom is deciding to choose the joy that is within you. It is not about knowing what’s coming tomorrow. Problems come and go. If you have a problem, one day it will go just like it came. Things will change—you will change—but the passion for joy, for clarity, will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Prem Rawat

My thirst for clarity, for joy, has not changed since I was very little. Everything else has changed—my likes, dislikes, what I eat, what I don’t eat. Everything has changed, but that thirst has not changed.

Choose that in your life. This is a choice that has to be made every day—to enjoy your life. You have to come as a free person, not with baggage, not in fear, because that won’t work. Problems come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes they change their appearance. But what do you want in your life? This is a choice you’re going to have to make.

People have hesitation. I cannot do anything about that because this is you. Personally, for me, hesitation is a waste of time. I can tell you a story about hesitation.

Once there was a man who went to a fair. His teeth were really dirty—almost black. As he was walking along, he came to a display where a doctor was selling medicine for 15 cents. The doctor was showing it to people and offering that if somebody came from the audience with completely black teeth, they could wash their mouth with the medicine, and their teeth would become sparkling clean.


This man wanted the medicine, but he couldn’t decide. Maybe it’s too expensive. Maybe he doesn’t really want it. Maybe he does want it. Does it work? He’s standing there thinking, “Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” He’s got a five-cent coin and a ten-cent coin, and he’s rubbing the two coins together over and over. “Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?”

Finally, all the bottles are gone except for one. So, the man takes his coins, throws them at the doctor and says, “Here, I’ll take it.” The doctor picks up the coins and says, “With what?” The man said, “Well, I just gave you 15 cents.” And the doctor said, “I’ve been watching you going, ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?’ And in this process, you have totally worn down the coins. They are no good now.”

Hesitation is like that. The coins are our time. “Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” If you are ready to make the commitment that joy is what you want in your life, you will be welcome. It’s never too late, but don’t hesitate, because in hesitation, you’re wasting your time.

When this breath comes into you—and it just did—nobody can say, “I have been breathing for 60 years, so it’s okay if I don’t breathe for six hours.” No, it’s not okay. Each breath is needed. Every day joy, peace, needs to be accepted, felt, understood. This is the dance. This is the symphony of life.

— Prem Rawat