Whatever It Takes
Let me begin with a little story: There was a lion who was feeling very good one morning, very happy. He came out of his den, saw a little rabbit, immediately pounced on it, and said, “Who is the king of the jungle? And the rabbit, terribly afraid and shaking, said, “You are.”
This made the lion even more proud. Bouncing along, he found a deer, jumped on it, and said, “Deer, who is the king of the jungle?” And the deer said, shaking, “You are.”
Now the lion was feeling really, really good. He was the king. So he goes along, sees an elephant, jumps on it, and says, “Elephant, who is the king of this jungle?” The elephant spun the lion around his trunk, pounded him on the ground again and again till he was senseless, then let go of him. The lion looked at the elephant and said, “Don’t get upset if you don’t know the answer!”
Sometimes we accept other people’s definitions of things, but forget about one simple thing, and that is you. What I am talking about is not what you can accomplish, not what you can do, not about your hopes, dreams, and ideas—but, you, as a gift that came into this world.
It was no mistake that Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Know who you are. Understand who you are, your nature. Understand that if you do not feel peace, you may not be able to give it to anyone. If you want to quench the thirst of another, the least you need is water. The water of peace flows within you. The serenity of understanding flows through you—your life.
In all that you are trying to understand, add one more—understanding about yourself. In all that you’re trying to complete, complete one more. And besides all those you are trying to help, help one more person—you. You need to feel content regardless of what is going on. You need to feel whole. Yes, you are the building block of your existence. And if that first step is missing, the next and the next and the next will also be missing.
It is not impossible. It is not mysterious. It is not strange. And, indeed, it is not selfish. To unwrap a gift that has been given is not selfish. If I do something at the expense of others, that is selfish. But if I feel an itch and I scratch it, not at the expense of anyone else, it’s not selfish. The gift has been given; the gift is you. Life has been given; it is in progress. Your understanding is there, your thirst is there, and the idea of peace is at hand.
I invite you to take a peek inside to know what this existence is all about. The person who said, “Know thyself,” didn’t make it up to make your life more difficult. But, there was something there, some mystery that could be solved. Humanity will face many, many challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is to find the peace that is within every single being. That has been an incredible challenge. People say, “Peace is not possible.” But the personal peace—the peace that you have inside of you—is very possible and has always been there, and that is why it is said, “Know thyself.”
It begins with the simplest of understandings, to listen to what something simple is saying to you. It’s not about your responsibilities, but about the chance to be fulfilled. The want.
I remind people that what you are looking for is inside of you—not outside. Always has been and always will be. Even if you decide not to discover it, it will always be inside of you. Always. The answers will come from within, not from the outside. The true sense of accomplishment will happen here, not somewhere else. Be who you are.
Be fulfilled every day so you can fulfill others. Be fulfilled every day so you can fulfill the responsibilities that are ahead of you. But it begins with you. What I talk about, you have, whether you decide to pursue it or not. Search if you must. Do whatever it takes to find that self and fulfill that self, so you may serve and serve well. Be fulfilled. Be happy. One lifetime. And only one like you on the face of this earth. You are unique. Shine with that uniqueness.