Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is Wicked?

My husband and I just saw "Wicked" in Minneapolis. The show affirmed for me that we feeble humans can never judge what is truly good and what is truly wicked. We have to examine the intent of every individual and the context of the situation. But we must also realize that good and evil lie within each of us and we must consciously choose the right path in every moment. When I mean right path, I mean a path that does not result in harm to us or to anyone else.

Sometimes it might seem that the right path is to be selfish, to take care of our own needs before others. Put your own air mask on and then you can help someone else, right? The problem is that we often take this idea too far. We put on our own air mask and then we suck up all the air. We take and take and take. Or someone hurts us and we think it's our right to be selfish and take what we rightly deserve.

Okay. I'm sure many of you are saying, "Wait just a minute. I give and give and give. When IS it my turn to take?"

Well, there is a difference between giving and a feeling that we are "sacrificing" for others. If we are afraid that we will never get anything back for what we give, that is a position of sacrifice. Sacrifice feels yucky and draining. It leads to resentment and more taking. But giving is a joyful position because our hearts are open. We don't need to get anything back. We are receiving joy from the giving.

How do we get to joyful giving? We must practice believing that we live in an abundant world and that everyone we meet is a member of our family. No matter their attitude or how they choose to act, we can show up with a sense of peace, gratitude and service.

Someone who appears wicked may in fact be doing good. Someone who appears good may in fact be acting wickedly. We know this. We also are not the ones to judge. We can only practice good judgment with regard to our own lives in every moment. Don't get drawn into wicked attitudes and deeds. Be fearless. Be your own person. Give with joy.