It’s already 2018 and we are full of great hopes and expectations. What lies ahead and what is in store – none of us know but this we know – God holds our future and he leads. He has the first and the last word!

If you and I were to look deep inside, what yearnings do we find in our soul? What longings and desires are buried in our hearts? What cravings and thirsts do we contain within? Perhaps they are for love, peace, harmony, reconciliation, compassion, understanding, brotherhood, sisterhood, unity and divinity. Will these be found? Certainly yes provided we make constant efforts and conscious choices - choices between good and evil, life and death, blessing and curse, vice and virtue. No doubt, it’s an inner battle, battle between two conflicting forces.

One evening an old man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Yes, dear friends, the wolf that we feed wins and which wolf do we feed often? We are torn apart between culture of life and culture of death. When the culture of life upholds the life of every human person - rich or poor – for the fact that every human being is created by God, the culture of death on the contrary denies peace, solidarity, and fraternity to the human society. When the positive force enhances life, the negative force annihilates beauty. It is in this context that our institutions and our classrooms have a mandate to promote life amidst chaos and confusion, fear and terror, violence and vehemence, hatred and animosity, life and death. We have a responsibility to transform our campus into a hub of peace and harmony, a harbour of reconciliation and unity. What would be our share in this regard?  

There is a Jataka tale (Stories of Buddha’s previous lives) when Buddha was born as a little bird that lived in a forest in India. One day a huge fire started burning in the forest and all animals were desperately trying to get out from its path. However fire was burning so fast that many animals which were too slow were getting perished. Fearing for his life, the little bird flew up into the sky to escape. Up in the air, he could see the fire burning down the entire forest and all the animals in the forest getting burned to death. Overwhelmed by great compassion, the little bird generated bodhicitta and made an aspiration to save all animals. He flew to a nearby lake and quickly dipped his wings into the lake to gather water. He then returned back to the forest and flapped his wings furiously over the fire. It is said that those few drops of water extinguished forest fire.  

Shall we pledge to be like the little bird to put off the firy flames and become ambassadors of PEACE in the year 2018?

Sr Mariette BS
BES, Mangalore

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