“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” ~ Erin Majors …
Society tends to circulate the bogus idea that when we do things for others, or give things away, we somehow diminish ourselves in the process, but nothing could be further from the truth. We are flames ourselves–lights in the darkness; and whenever we share our flame with another human being, just as a candle lighting another candle, our flame never diminishes, not for one second… not one bit.
It is true, of course, that when we give to others, we do have less of some things. A teacher teaching a child gives of his or her time and energy; and when I give away money or possessions to help others, the amount of physical stuff I have becomes less. But my spirit grows–my happiness, my knowledge, my relationships, my love, and so much more, all become larger. Our souls grow richer as we spread light into the hearts of those around us. Much more importantly, I have found that only when I am willing to give of myself and my things without conditions attached, am I able to attract more of the same things back. That is because we cannot receive until we are able to give, for the door of giving and receiving is the same door, and we have to unlock and open it from the inside.
Lighting someone else’s candle with our own flame is something that this world desperately needs… and something that we need too. Offer kind words, compassion, and love to those who are depressed, lonely, sad, or ignored. Give through encouragement and compliments, or through teaching or offering assistance; any way in which you can be there for others. Not only do we lose nothing by lighting another candle, but our flame can grow more steady and more bright as we reach out and touch the lives of others. For our souls, just as two flames touching, burn brighter when they unite. And the aggregate light of the world will grow with every new candle that is lit, bringing more and more light to the darker places in this world we share.
Share your time, talent, or abilities with another.
Questions to consider:
Have you “lit another candle” recently? In what ways? How did it feel? How did the other person feel?
Why might many individuals hesitate–or even avoid–giving to another person, even through something as simlpe as encouragement, compliments, or kind words?
How can we go about increasing the amount of light in the world?
For further thought:
“Simply give others a bit of yourself: a thoughtful act, a helpful idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense of understanding, a timely suggestion. By so doing, you take something out of your mind, garnished in the kindness out of your heart, putting it into the other fellow’s mind and heart.” ~ Charles H. Burr