It was Henry David Thoreau, who said, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour.”
Each is called to be open to that inner silence within. Therein, one’s open to the voice without words; promptings within, which when obeyed could uplift society. It’s privy only for those who yearn to elevate themselves. That voice comes from realms beyond oneself, touching frontiers lost in eternity. Its own desire is to have fellowship with human beings, so that a new creation may immerge.
To elevate one’s life then rest on the premise that man has inherited a fallen nature. For man to know what to elevate in himself, shows he had known perfection earlier. The fallen nature has not spared people from the slums to even the upbeat society. No one is exempt. The environment we live in is a manifestation of our inner nature. What we see is violence, insecurity, sexual promiscuity, disregarding of law and order and insensitivity to the environment we live in.
Now we are called to liberate ourselves from selfishness, though living in the squalor or a pigsty. Some may not even be aware of it. Having taken it for granted as an excepted way of life. Others may be tragic victims of terrible circumstances that have befallen them. Yet all are called to rise above it. We may experience things so repugnant to our sense of decency, even suffering innumerable indignities, torture or anxious moments. People may create an environment we abhor. Yet we need rise above it.
One could visualize speaking to victims of circumstances in a fallen society, giving comfort and relief. One could address one’s own experiences of insecurity and fear; see them as demons for what they are and yet under one’s control to be rebuked. Our small but embryonic freedom has to grow larger and larger, till all that stands in our way gets moved out to experience total freedom.
We too are called, like the great personages of history, who impacted the world. When our own story is written, what would it tell? It starts within family itself. Therein lays the cradle of civilizations, endeavours and successes. It begins from where we realise we had failed. We can only be what we ought to be when we know we had not been what we ought to have been yesterday. We know not what we are called upon to do, but we recognise the inner voice and give our response of approval.