Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, founder of the world-renowned Suzuki School of Music Education, was a humanitarian as well as a pioneer in musical training for children. In his book, Nurtured by Love, Dr. Suzuki shares a story that has relevance for us today.
He, his wife, and their two small children were living in Matsumoto, Japan in the painful, chaotic period following the end of World War II. Dr. Suzuki was a violinist and music teacher, and though Japan was in a state of economic and social upheaval, his family was able to maintain a simple, refined way of life.
Learning that one of his prewar students was now a homeless war orphan, Dr. Suzuki and his wife brought this young boy into their home. After some weeks of trying to work with him, Mrs. Suzuki felt that the situation was hopeless and said to her husband, “I am sorry, but I cannot handle this boy—he has no manners and no sense of obedience. He is disrupting the harmony of our home.”
Dr. Suzuki replied, “You are right. He has lost all discipline and refinement, so we must all be even more disciplined in our behavior.” Eventually, surrounded by love and courtesy, the little orphan assimilated the vibrations of the Suzuki home and became an integral part of the family.
What can we learn from this story? We, too, are living in chaotic times, in which truth, compassion, and selflessness are being superseded by lies, callousness, self-interest, and greed.
Swami Kriyananda once said, “Ananda’s mission is to help equalize the world on the spiritual plane.” This is true not only for Ananda, but for all people who wish to see the spirit of universal love and unity prevail. In order to counter those values we reject, we need to try even harder to express those that we cherish.
Here are some suggestions for balancing the scales of negativity to effect positive changes around us:
Balance Fear with Inner Peace. If you haven’t yet started a daily practice of meditation, begin today. If you are already a regular meditator, challenge yourself each day to continue your practice until you feel God’s unshakable peace within. Then share that peace with others.
Balance Negativity Towards People with Acceptance and Compassion. Watch your inner reactions throughout the day. If you find yourself judging others, or viewing them critically, counter this by consciously expressing kindness in thought and deed. Love is the greatest power in the universe, and in its presence darkness cannot remain.
Balance Selfishness and Greed with a Spirit of Generosity and Service. Look for ways that you can give more of yourself and help those less fortunate. Offer to serve others selflessly without any thought of reward. This will help to balance the vibrations of self-interest that are so prevalent now.
Balance Comes from Living at Your Own Center. Swami Kriyananda wrote: “Live as much as possible at the midpoint between all opposites: That is where the Infinite Spirit dwells. Everything in Creation is dual. Every ‘up’ is canceled by a ‘down’; light is balanced by darkness; pleasure, by pain. Eternal truths lie at the point midway between all opposites. Therefore I say, live more at your center, in the heart.”
Joined with you in the One Self,