Ushering a New Season of Gratitude, Faith And Compassion

It’s the seasonal festival of spring and a time when Mother Nature herself seems to have a spring in her feet! Summer, autumn and winter also have their charm, but spring is perhaps the most charming season among them all. Temperatures are moderate, the days get longer and nights turn shorter… migrating birds return to roost and most birds and animals start to increase their flock.

Rejoice Though All Seasons: Many believe that spring is also a great mood enhancer, what with the sun shining brighter and trees blooming with new leaves and flowers. In a subtle way, Nature teaches us that after every cold, dark and gloomy winter, there is warmth, sunlight and good cheer to follow. Indeed, as the saying goes, “No winter lasts forever, every spring is sure to follow!”

Khalil Gibran puts it even more beautifully, “when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart – Your seeds shall live in my body and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart and your fragrance shall be my breath together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

Season Of Gratitude: On comparing seasons with life, one realizes that both – happiness and sadness – live their respective cycles. If there is happiness, sadness would eventually follow. And conversely, when there is sadness, there is always hope for happiness to follow, and it does. Nothing lasts forever. One must accept and try to savour every season – be it that bestowed upon us by Nature or by life itself. Always keep in mind the two universal truths – every cloud has a silver lining; and there is light at the end of every tunnel.

Gratitude should be expressed for every season of Nature and of life. It’s the hot blazing summer that ushers the monsoons, which cleanse, cool and rejuvenate all that is left arid. Be grateful when the summer is harsh for it is needed to draw in the South-West monsoon winds from the sea. In like manner, when life gets harsh, we should express gratitude, for it is needed to make us humble, yet strong.

Gratitude in good times reinforces our own sense of fortune. However, the understanding and appreciation for misfortune teaches us humility.

Understanding The Seasons Of Life: The harsh season of life shows us what we lack, it shows us what we can hope for and where we need to change. Pain often becomes an instrument of change. It all depends on how we perceive pain and how we manage it. Through pain and misery, one could manifest either positive or negative change. Experiencing pain can evoke empathy for the pain of others and manifest into compassion.

As per Dr. Robert Emmons, the authour of ‘The Little Book of Gratitude’, “It’s easy to feel grateful when life is good. But when disaster strikes, gratitude is worth the effort.” Dr. Emmons believes that having a grateful attitude at all times, not only helps ease the crisis, but it is also essential.

Season Of Crises: It is precisely under conditions of crises that we have the most to gain when we are nurture a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of despondency, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us ease and cope with hard times.

When we do go through hardships, whether they are financial troubles, painful relationships, damaged health or questioning our self-worth, it may be difficult for us to realize or accept that the forces of Divinity continue to work with us. But as Khalil Gibran says, “He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy“. Indeed, without darkness, how would we know or appreciate light; and without sorrow, how would we know or appreciate joy!

Season Of Compassion: It has long been acknowledged that acts of generosity raise levels of happiness and emotional well-being, giving charitable people a pleasant feeling, known in behavioral economics, as a ‘warm glow’.

Scientific research appears to have found a link between happiness and the performance of selfless acts of giving. There is growing scientific evidence that ‘giving’ to others activates an area of the brain linked with contentment and happiness.

However, ‘giving’ needs to be taken to the next and higher level of ‘compassion’. Donating to a charity is about ‘giving’. However, volunteering to work with the sick or elderly is about compassion. Compassion is about putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and genuinely feeling for them and alleviate their suffering.

While concluding, Christina Rossetti verse comes to mind:

There is no time like spring,

When life’s alive in everything

Before new nestlings sing

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back

Along the trackless track

God guides their wing

He spreads their table that they nothing lack

Before the daisy grows a common flower

Before the sun has power

To scorch the world up in his noontide hour!

Indeed, May Ahura Mazda, guide the wings of our community!

May Ahura Mazda spread our Navroze table such that we lack nothing!

Jamshedi Navroz Mubarak!

Noshir H. Dadrawala
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