But many of them are unfurnished and unlit. Those rooms are the possibilities afforded by our personalities and abilities. Gradually, if misfortune strikes, we will turn off the lights of one room after another, till the warm and blazing mansion of personality is now some brooding unlite and dilapidated shelter on the hill. Many of us have compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves but the numbers of the unfortunate in this world runs into many millions. The more fortunate will gradually furnish more and more of their alloted space till those who pass them by look in wonder at the plenty which surrounds them. With all of us some rooms remain unlit, and possibly even undiscovered by their owners. These are the dormant talents and possibilities we all have within us.
We ask how a beggar can live on the streets. Because they shut down and become anesthetized to the connective emotions of everyday life.Most can offer them little more than a nod and the attention span afforded us by others ,as we start to discuss our problems, unless they are very specific, is limited. You cannot empty a pond with a teaspoon: it takes too long, and you soon grow bored and detached. That is one of the reasons why we , in the west, live in a world of professional compassion, where coaches, therapists carers and other are paid to listen to the problems our friends and relatives are too busy to hear about, or we are too proud to reveal.
In a sense we are all like magazines. We release snippets of our lives but most of it is considered not worthy of, or too embarrassing for publication. There are millimetres of difference between the millionaire and the beggar he passes. Both know that, but one of the secrets that keeps society operating, and vanity well polished on the dresser ,is that we praise one and write off the other. This is not true of everyone but it has a truth.
I grew up in a largely loveless childhood were my mother, robbed of her husband at an early age, retreated to her room and a world of contemplation, leaving her young children to wander round and fend for themselves as best they could . The memory has never left me. It taught me that the only safe place to be was in hiding. It is not a lesson which has served me well in adult life and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Despite this I have had periods of success and fulfillment during which I have managed to launch my girls upon the world, hopefully without too much of the damage that some parents inflict upon their young. Trusting others has been a major challenge. My partner has her own ghosts and anxieties and they control much of her life, but in her I have found someone with whom I can be more open and I thank her for it every day. She has given me a glimpse of safety and security which has allowed me to examine my past with less fear.
As I get older I feel freer to explore more of the rooms in my house. This story is not a unique one. We never know were the nourishment or support may come from which enables us to re-examine ourselves in a more positive light. When it does, the discovery is beautiful to behold. So many of us share a similar history although the events may be different for each of us.
More than anything my life has taught me the value of compassion. That forgiveness is the better part of understanding. It informs many of my actions and to each of you in your lives, and in my own, I pray that you experience the hand of friendship and understanding. My we all find the peace and security we crave.