‘Righteous’ has unfortunately been given an unfavourable connotation. But let us consider it in the light it is meant to be – I prefer this definition of dictionary.com which describes it as being “in accordance with virtue or morality”, which is a fair representation of the usage I am aiming for. ‘Righteous’ being to be or to live or to work in accordance with what can be defined as ‘right’ – ‘right’ being further defined as that which does not harm another. Ok. Now that we have set the context of ‘right’ we can move on.
I have devoted my commitment to righteousness for the last 25 years. And the righteousness has ranged from stuffy, self-righteousness to a tolerant and broad definition of what is right. But no matter which type of ‘right’, I have lived on this continuum all my life. The ‘right’ could be the right way, the right thing, a right … a range of ‘rights’. In the last 3 years, I have begun to suspect that being on the ‘side’ of the ‘right’ is somehow not enough. By being on the ‘side of right’ I have found myself separated from the rest of all-that-is, very much in conflict with just about everything in this world… found myself severely limited socially and psychologically as I couldn’t relate with anything beyond my definition of ‘right’. I found myself ‘boxed-in’ and trapped and imprisoned by my understanding of ‘right’. I felt isolated, divided. I couldn’t ‘see’ ‘people’ … I could only see and either befriend or otherwise their ethics, their actions, their beliefs, their ideologies. I had ‘enemies’, and I had ‘battles’ and I had ‘victories’ and ‘losses’. Generally I find I have led a troubled life.
This seed of discontent and deep suspicion somehow jumped outside of me, and forced me to look at it. And that is what I have been doing … looking at it. I have looked at it every which way … and like any good cartoon the seed has remained exactly what it was. It hasn’t germinated into a massive tree, not even a miniscule creeper.
BUT, something else has happened. The empty spaces inside me, left by the jumping out of the seed of suspicion seems to have changed my internal workings. The seed outside of me hasn’t grown. What has grown is the space left inside me. It has grown and grown and grown … and I hadn’t noticed it. I have been too engrossed watching the seed. The space inside has grown so big, it is now able to accommodate all kinds of dualties, triplicities and multiplicities. I find all of them co-habiting inside me and pretty much without stress. I find that the space has invited something of a very different quality… now I am able to ‘see’ ‘people’. I am able to see beyond their beliefs and ideologies to their dreams and stardust in their eyes. I find myself equally able to love people in development, corporates, businesses … I am sure I would be able to love black-marketeers and very soon religious fascists too..!
What I find is that the definition of ‘right’ hasn’t changed. It still is the same. It is still that which is in accordance of the virtue of no harm to another. But what has changed is my ability to ‘wield’ this right… and the ‘way’ I wield this right. It also has changed the ‘enemy’, and nature of the ‘battle’ … It has taken away the focus from people and brought focus to people.
I have been humbled tremendously. And I find I can now be a Warrior with a Heart.