Thought for the Day

Tuesday 18 January

There is no greater trouble for thee than thine own self, for when thou art occupied with thyself, thou remainest away from God.

— Abu Sa‘id

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

Do you want to be free? Most of us are held hostage in life by our likes and dislikes. We are bound by countless little preferences in food, clothing, decor, entertainment – the list goes on and on.

The person with rigid tastes in one area, for example in food, is likely to have rigid tastes elsewhere as well. He will probably enjoy only one kind of music, she will appreciate only one style of art, and when it comes to people, he has very definite allergies. In any case, a rigid person is conditioned to be happy only so long as he gets everything the way he likes it. Otherwise – which may be most of the time – he is unhappy over something.

The way we respond to small matters reflects the way we will respond to the larger matters of life. If we can begin to release ourselves from our little likes and dislikes, we will find that we are gaining the capacity to weather emotional storms. Then we can begin to face whatever comes calmly and courageously.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.