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The Greatest Mentor Is Life Itself

by Tilen Kodrin on 7th February, 2016 at 8:03 PM CEST

When you think about spirituality most people’s first thought is god, for some maybe holy spirits, or for others even ghosts. I am not Christian, not Muslim, Jewish, Hinduist or Buddhist, nor a member of any other smaller religion. So how can I even talk about spirituality then? And consequentially how can a man without religion have a spiritual mentor? It is not that complicated if we think about spirituality as something beyond walls of religion set by our ancestors. For me spirituality is some leading point, far before us, leading us through life, teaching us how to live.  

     Probably because of this kind of thinking my most important mentor is a bit uncommon. I am, in my opinion, very fortunate to have a family where my parents never chose for me in what I should believe, but they let me make my own decision - a free will to choose in what I believe, by myself. The result of this kind of thinking is a person with own will to make decisions, not restricted with boundaries, made by others, and with his own self-consciousness. I am a person who learns how to live, not from the book written 2000 years ago, in a whole different world, but from the experience and lessons gained through life, given to every person, uniquely, to educate you, and make you a better human being with every coming day. So to me, the greatest spiritual mentor is Life itself!

     Unfortunately Life is a very tough teacher, and I fully agree with the saying that life is unfair, it really is, but think for a moment about what can you actually do about it? Life is a force far stronger than all of us and that’s why the answer is - not very much. But if you give up on your deeds and consequentially your dreams, there is a very, very small chance, for things to become any better. So in my opinion what life is trying to teach us, is the power of will to never surrender and stay loyal to your own beliefs.

     In our lives we have to deal with many good, but also many bad tests and trials. Everybody likes the good ones, but who needs the car crash part of partying and then drinking and driving back to home? Who needs all the sorrow after a girlfriend left you when you cheated on her? Who needs the cancer for smoking cigarettes? I think bad consequences exist to show us what we are not supposed to do, but a lot of people don’t care about them, or just don’t learn from mistakes made by others.  If you look objectively you find out there can be something new learned from any situation you are involved in. When you see a homeless guy on the street, thin as a straw, without shoes in the middle of the cold winter, and smelling like cheese forgotten on the street since World War I, think about who needs those two dollars more? You for another juicy burger, filled with calories and trash, or he for his breakfast that might be the only meal he will have that day. And even if he will spend the money on getting drunk, to drown the sadness of his situation, one day he will still realize that is not doing him any good, and he will learn something from this very hard experience. But unfortunately only few can manage to defeat the difficulty of situations like this, and those are the strongest and the greatest people of our kind.

     Why do you think there are so many famous people, like for example Eminem whose struggle to success we can see in the movie “8 mile” Or Oprah Winfrey who was born to a very poor single mother, being forced to live her childhood in dangerous neighborhoods and was even sexually molested due to lack of her mother’s supervision, but with hard work she became one of the most powerful and influential people on Earth. There are many more, like the writer of Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling, or founder of H&M - Erling Perssons, and so on. They all started on the bottom in, to most of us, unimaginable conditions, but they fought and became our role models and idols. Life taught them how to fight to survive, how to fight to improve their standards of living, and they knew the struggle of working just to feed the hungry family at home, which gave them the power to accomplish achievements most “common people” just dream about.

     It is really ironic how those who have the least are those who give the most to people in need of help, because it seems like they are the only ones to whom human malice doesn’t veil their reason. For example not long ago I saw a video of a social experiment in which an actor drove his car to a parking lot in front of a homeless men, ran out of the car to the closest building and didn’t pay the parking ticket. First the homeless men tried to stop him to tell him, he forgot to pay, but the actor ran as fast as possible, he acted like he is in a rush, to avoid any contact. Then something really shocking happened. The homeless men took money out of his plastic cup, and paid the parking ticket for that guy. After an hour passed, he went back to the parking machine and put in some more coins to extend the parking ticket. After this the actor came from behind the corner, all in tears, where he was watching the homeless guy for around two hours. Like me as well, he couldn’t believe someone living on the street would do such a good deed for a guy with a nice car, job and probably many other things homeless guy can only dream about. End what links this example with what I am trying to say is that when the actor asked the homeless guy: “what made you do this, for a stranger who lives much better than you?” The homeless men replied: “If you would gone through things I went through, in my life, you would’ve done exactly the same as I did.”

     Life will not tell you, you will live in well-deserved eternal happiness after you die, if you stick to its rules, but if you listen to what it is telling you, and try to get the clues and turn them into actions, you just might die, knowing you did everything you could, and your name might live eternal in the history of humanity. That, in my opinion, is what the purpose of our short existence really is all about.

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