There is a story about a man who had a son-in-law, an incredible scholar of spirituality whom people revered as a high soul and a righteous human being.
One weekend, this scholar was staying at his father-in-law’s house with his wife and little baby boy. In the middle of the night, the baby began to cry at the top of his lungs and the father-in-law rushed downstairs to be with the child. As the older man walked to the baby’s room, he passed his son-in-law who seemed completely oblivious to the infant’s wails.
“Why didn’t you go and attend to the baby?” asked the father-in- law.
“Well,” said the young man, “I am studying now and I’m in the middle of an important connection. I will go in a few minutes.”
His father-in-law paused a moment. Then calmly and decisively, he said, “If your study consumes you so much that you cannot hear a baby crying then it is not worth anything.”
What’s the point of this story? Well, oftentimes we find ourselves in a place where we make excuses for our actions. We’re too busy. We’re too involved with our own work, our own interests, our own problems. But the truth is that if what we are doing in terms of our study, in terms of our personalities, in terms of the minor details of our life, is keeping us from being present with others, then we need to check ourselves and examine our priorities. Many times, we fill ourselves with our ego and our position in life rather than with Light and energy. We all have ego—as a matter of fact, if we didn’t have ego, we wouldn’t be alive—but it is this type of ego in particular that is the difference between filling ourselves with positive energy, which is Light, and filling ourselves with ourselves.
What we can learn from the story of the young scholar and his father-in-law is this: Yes, it is true, we do have things we need to do. We are all busy with our own lives. We are busy with our businesses, our own places. We have obligations and responsibilities that are important. Don’t get me wrong. Study and learning is crucial to our spiritual growth, and each one of us certainly has a job to do in this world. However, if we get so busy that we block out the things and the people around us that we can help, that we can do something for, then perhaps we need to re-evaluate what we are doing and put it into perspective.
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