When I lecture, one of the questions that I like to present to the audience is: When did you last help someone? And that’s helping someone away from the office with no expectation of anything in return. For too many people, the answer is something that you really do not want to hear. Why? Because, for too many people, it has been a long time since they went out of their way to help someone, especially a stranger. Why do I ask? Because I think that connecting with God starts with connecting with others.
I have always respected Wayne Dyer’s belief that you enter the world with nothing; you leave the world with nothing; so life has to be about giving, not getting. So, if you want to feel closer to God, then I suggest you develop the daily habit of giving. It does not have to be financial. It does not have to be anything material. It can be a compliment, a smile, or even just a helping hand. Anything to let the other person know that you acknowledge them, that you care about them, and that you want to make their life better, not worse.
They have done studies on species. How much is one member of a species willing to die for the other? It is directly related to how many genes they share. Ants are the best example. Genetically, there are close to duplicates. So, they give their life to help the colony in a second. What about humans? Well, we do not realize how close we are related. Walt Whitman once said: “Every atom belonging to you also belongs to me.” Well, Walt Whitman had no concept of his real accuracy. When one person exhales, another inhales. Yes, we recycle those same, shared atoms.
Studies show that when we take in a deep breath, we are inhaling 10 (to the power of 22) atoms. That means that during the course of your life, you will have inhaled atoms that have likely passed through every species on our planet. You will have also inhaled atoms that have passed through your favorite religious prophet. It also means that you have inhaled atoms from historical figures that you despise. You see, we are all connected by atoms – and by genes. In fact, some geneticists will claim that when you pass a stranger on the street, that stranger is likely a cousin 100 times removed.
Some what is my point? You need to start solving the puzzle. You need to start evaluating yourself by who you are, but by what you do for a living. You need to clarify whether you consume or contribute or consume, whether you receive or give. My personal belief? If you start giving on a regular daily basis, you will feel better about yourself, better about your connections to others, and better about your connection to God, regardless of your specific religious beliefs. There is the old saying that it is easier to create a temple in your heart than find your heart in a temple. You need to be giving to others if you want to create that temple within your heart.
When you create that temple within your heart? That is when you begin to feel a greater connection to God. The greater the connection, the greater your sense of peace; and the greater the sense of peace, the greater the kindness to others (and to yourself). Increased spirituality (the connection to God, not the connection to a religion) is what leads to increased giving and increased connecting. Disagree? Think that is the role of your religion? Then why, through the course of history, have religions always been fighting each other? Don’t you think it is time for a change from all of our religious conflicts? Spirituality is inclusive, not exclusive. You just need to give and connect, give and connect … with everyone!