Revolution simply means significant change, says Aung San Suu Kyi, the exiled leader in Burma whose voice is being drowned out by poverty, disease and a strangling regime.
This month’s Vogue magazine features a beautiful multiple-page profile of the exiled and recently freed-from-prison leader and the travails of a country most of us never think about, where people are “dying like rats,” a journalist there was quoted as saying.
Aung San’s life has been devoted to service. She grew up believing that for one’s life to be meaningful, one must serve, the article says.
Whom do you serve? Is your focus outward or inward? We live in a society built on selfishness but the core of every being is to give. Think about it. When you find the perfect gift, you can’t wait to give it to that person because you know how happy it’ll make them. Not because you’ll gain their gratitude; because it will brighten the life of another.
I know people on every side of the facade. Some are so riddled with insecurity that they are constantly making decisions that they think will impress others. Then, in the middle of the night, when they are alone with themselves, the loneliness seeps in, like water through a crack in the foundation. One can never escape the discomfort of ignoring the needs of others.
Lately, I’ve given in to long, delicious hugs with my children, and the feeling I get is remarkable. It’s defining, nourishing, the comfort in a hug with complete surrender. Last night, my daughter came up to me from behind and threw her arms around me. I couldn’t help but smile.
We do things in part for ourselves but at best, for others. Even in our work. Sure, I work to earn a living, to support my children, to buy pretty things. But really, what drives me day in and day out, is the idea that I am helping others build their businesses, make their own dreams come true, even if just a little.
So as you walk into this early morning, think about this notion of service. Where is your focus? The sunrise is always more beautiful when I am looking out the window, at the glowing colors of the sky. If I stare into the mirror, the hues are muted and I don’t quite believe the image is real.