People gain awareness of this in various ways. Some gain it through religion, others through science and some gain it through everyday experience. Many would probably say they gained it through a combination of all the above. But regardless of how it happens, the awareness is of peace and happiness increasing as we improve the quality of our relationships.
Most human spiritual and social development is the result of reflecting on the consequences of what we say and do; what others say and do; what happens in our environment; and on cosmic events. However, the direction our development takes depends on what we centre on as we reflect on these things. Choosing what to centre on is crucial to the quality of our relationships and is a decision that needs to be made many times each day, for as long as we live.
Each decision comes at the junction of two possible paths. One path leads to the enduring peace and happiness that continues even though there may be trouble and strife. The other path leads to instant pleasure and temporary relief from life’s problems. Everyone comes to these junctions and must face the same decision many times every day throughout life.
The choice is to centre on our own needs, or to centre on the needs of the relationship. Regardless of whether the ‘other’ is a person, the environment or the cosmos, centring only on our own needs is at the expense of the other and damages the quality of the relationship. The consequence of that damage may not be immediately apparent, but it does exist. The next junction reached may be only seconds away, where we again have to decide between increasing the damage done at the previous junction or take the other path.
Nature and the cosmos are very forgiving and will allow us to simply start again at each junction throughout life. However, other people at each junction have a choice. They may allow us to simply start again; they may impose some condition before resuming the relationship; or they may terminate the relationship. The quality of our relationships, and therefore our happiness, really is our choice.
Photo: North Island New Zealand.