This teaching builds on one of the earlier teachings of this project, Song 7, which was all about viewing human nature as inherently compassionate. In that post, I mentioned how the news annoys me, because it paints such a negative picture of humanity in focusing on the worst things that humans are capable of.
Once we take that first step of seeing humans as naturally compassionate, then it’s much easier to make the further step of realising how amazing humans truly are. Because the most incredible, world-changing feats of humanity are often those born out of compassion.
So if we can appreciate the compassionate nature of people, we can see this potential for helping people and changing people’s lives in everyone, because everyone has this capacity to be loving, kind, and compassionate.
“Muhammad, Mahatma, and Nelson
Not scared to be strong”
For today’s song I’ve chosen Coldplay’s ‘Someone Special’, which features Big Sean in an unlikely collaboration. Although, having said that, they’re both artists who talk a lot about the need to focus on our mental health, especially recently in Big Sean’s case, so perhaps it’s not as out-of-the-blue as it seems.
Chris Martin takes us through various examples of historic figures who have had a huge impact on the world, such as Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
“My father said never give up son
Just look what Amelia and Joan done
Or Rosa, Teresa their war won”
He goes on here to mention Amela Earheart, Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa, and I think what’s great about the people Martin chooses is the eclectic variety of their accomplishments. Some achieved greatness by changing the way a nation thinks by fighting for rights, some achieved it by rising to the very top of their field, whether it was boxing or flying.
But there’s no comparing them, because they’re all amazing people in their own right, and for me this emphasises how people can be special in different ways. We don’t have to all grow up to change the world, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not special.
“Yeah you could be someone special
You've got bright in your brains and lightning in your veins
You'll go higher than they've ever gone”
I think it’s more a case of looking at all these incredible human accomplishments, and not seeing that as daunting or comparing other people’s achievements to your own, but instead seeing them as examples of the potential that’s in all of us.
“In you I see someone special
You've got fire in your eyes and when you realise you'll go further than we've ever gone
Just turn it on”
And like I said, we can all be special in our own ways. It might not win a medal or a Nobel Prize, but simply being a loving partner, son, daughter, father, mother, or friend is surely one of the most special achievements we can fulfil in life.
“Prove it to them or you prove it to yourself,
But honestly it's better if you do it for yourself”
Big Sean delivers a typically galvanising verse, and perfectly underlines the teaching we covered in yesterday’s post, which focussed on forgetting about other people’s standards and expectations.
“One life don't waste it, feel my heart racing, success I taste it, ah,
We on the verge, of getting every single thing that we deserve”
If you follow your own dreams and aspirations, then not only do you take a lot of external pressure off yourself, but you also give due attention to your own happiness. This takes us right back to the start of the project, where the Dalai Lama said that we all have a right to happiness.
And that’s what this is all about - fulfilling our right to happiness...!