Up until a few days ago I had not heard of Steve Maraboli, but when I found his quote, I decided to do a little research. Mr. Maraboli is a behavioral scientist and best-selling author. He’s also a decorated military veteran and the son of immigrants to the U.S. Steve overcame humble beginnings and a learning disability to become a globally recognized voice in the fields of business and human behavior. And his quote above is an inspiration to the way I would like to live my own life.Then, along comes a crushing punch of reality, like the most recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, that strips the opportunity for loving, learning and dancing away from 17 people in five short minutes. Like a coward, I didn’t want to watch the news stories that reported the massacre. I asked myself what kind of mind directs a body to commit such evil? What is the motivation that drives a human to harm or kill another human in this way? And how does a young man, who is recognizable in his community as volatile and dangerous, walk licentiously into a school without being stopped?
The devastation roils, and finger pointing begins. Someone is to blame; someone besides this one disturbed and evil individual. What about the family he lived with? Surely, they knew what he was planning? What about his neighbors and friends? Didn’t they observe his odd behavior? Didn’t they tell authorities? Then it must be the authorities that are to blame — the local law enforcement or the FBI. How could the school be so lax? Was no one paying attention? Let’s blame the president. He’s narcissistic and has bad hair.
And then there’s the gun debate. I’m not a proponent of guns. I’ve never owned a gun, held one, or felt the need to fire one, but I live in a country that ensures the right to do so. The right to bear arms, yes but not the right to end lives, destroy lives, or even threaten lives with said weaponry. Maybe as we debate the control of guns in America we could spend equal time discussing selfcontrol. We all have minds, but where we allow our mind to lead us is up to us, and no one else. There is certainly an argument for greater attention to mental illness but what if we fail to nurture compassion and selflessness? What if we just never learn to care?
In contrast to Steve Maraboli’s inspiring words I would like to list a few of my own thoughts on the subject of life.
This life is not about selfishness, isolation, ignorance, bragging, bullying, corruption, spite, revenge, envy, greed, gluttony, hurting or killing. Life is about love. What if enough of us decided to live by loving, and learning and laughing and helping and hugging and healing and dancing? What if compassion was epidemic? What if we were all accountable for our own actions? What if more of us woke up in the morning with peace in our hearts, not because everything in life is perfect, but because everything in our life is just what it is, but we invite peace to be a part of it? It’s possible. It’s called self-control and it has far more power to create peace in our world than gun control. And if we can gather support for self-control, and live our lives for loving, evil won’t stand a chance.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.