A girl named M spent all her time on an elephant. M practically lived atop the elephant and went wherever the elephant took her. One day a tiny boy looked at her and asked, “Hey M! Why do you not get off the elephant?”
M looked surprised and asked, “What elephant?”
Most of us would call M delusional. “How can she spend all his time atop an elephant and not know that it even exists?”
These firemen are yogis whether they know it or not. It so happens that no yoga mat is needed to do yoga. Just kindness suffices, and these firemen do it in spades. And they have been at it through multiple generations for 60 years! You have to see it to believe it.
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He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. [He was] very neat in appearance but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.
Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving: “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.
One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher’s mistake. I looked at him and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!”
It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.
I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”
Love is the most difficult thing you will ever do
Yet love is the most effortless thing in this world.
There is no doubt that love is difficult. Just look around and see the heartache all around you. But it is also true that love is effortless. It arises spontaneously without any effort and it fills our lives with magnificence.
So how can we have two contradictory statements existing side by side? How can love be effortless and difficult at the same time?
Love is effortless because love is the language of the soul. It flows effortlessly into our lives if we allow it to do so.
Love is difficult because we have an ego and we dance to its tune. It is no use wishing away the ego. It governs our lives and understanding this simple fact can make a huge difference. Ego is the elephant we are riding. It goes where it wants and leaves a trail of destruction behind it, all we do is “justify” its actions after the fact.
The key to effortless love are the following six points:
In the above video, notice that Robin Williams made Koko smile — something she hadn’t done for over 6 months, ever since her lifelong gorilla companion, Michael, passed away at the age of 27. But not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed — from a high-energy entertainer, into a mellow, sensitive, empathetic guy, who also just happened to be really funny. Robin Williams and Koko bonded that day and Koko never forgot the encounter.
On Monday, Aug. 11 2014, the day news broke of Williams’ passing, Koko overheard conversations about the news. She inquired with Dr. Patterson who explained to her what had happened. Koko became quiet and looked very thoughtful. Eventually as the news sank in Koko signed “CRY”. By the end of the day Koko became somber with her head bowed and her lips quivering.
Koko and Robin William’s friendship shows the magic that happens when we treat animals as our equals and partners, and give them our undivided love and attention.
More details at the: Gorilla Foundation.