The Light Is For Everyone
Many of us have heard, some have witnessed, the glory and greatness of the paladins and the magical healing powers of the priests from the Church of the Light. These very same people often preach the Virtues and their devotion through which they gained their inspirational powers. While their prowess in battle or healing is perhaps the most striking example of the power that Light brings, one can only wonder if this is the only message that the Church or the Light brings. Are we all to become priests or paladins if we chose to follow the Light? Are farmers, traders, a woman staying home to raise her child then abandoned by the Light or should we expect that these people abandon their life and chose to dedicate to devotion instead?
Clearly, that can not be the intent nor the message that the Light brings. The Light is not just a power, reserved for a religeous elite. It is a philosophy, lending strength in all aspects of life, be it for a farmer, tradesman or mother raising her child... However this message seems lost or less apparent to many people in the streets. I hope, through this text, to bring focus back to this aspect of the Light.
The Light is, at its foundation, a realisation that we are all connected in life. How could the tradesman earn his meal without customers? How could the farmer live from the harvest of his land if he does not work it? How can the child grow if its mother does not nurture it? This connection can be as simple as the connection between neighbours. They see the same sunsets, sunrise, breath the same air, drink the same water. If their water turns bad, both will feel it. Through our connection, even in our daily lives, we recieve communication and emotions. With these we are capable of affecting ourselves or people around us, even without action. As a very apparent example, two lovers looking eachother in the eyes will feel a strong emotion even if they do no move.
The logical question would then be, can this connection be used for good? How can it be used to strengthen oneself and eachother? The answer is simple: by following the Virtues. The Virtues can be seen as guidelines designed to use this connection to strengthen oneself and anyone connected to us. The Virtues can help us accomplish that, in every aspect of our life.
The Virtue Respect
Respect is the first and most clear Virtue in this. Respect yourself, eachother, the connection itself and indeed all life. Two people not respecting eachother will not be able to benefit from this connection, even though that connection is unavoidable. Respect all forms of life, be it plant or animal, for all life shares this world with you and is either directly or indirectly connected.
A farmer not respecting his land or cattle, will not know how to properly work it. The salesman disrespecting his customers may soon find himself out of customers. The mother not respecting her child, will soon find her child rebellious and stubborn. A farmer respecting his land will see and learn how to till it. The salesman respecting his customers may learn of their needs and see more business opportunities. The mother respecting her child will see it grow and return love.
The most difficult part of this Virtue, is to keep Respect for all living being, even in the face of your enemy. All life is connected, directly or indirectly, and failing to Respect it may thus harm yourself or those around you directly or indirectly. Respecting your enemy may teach you more and may build understanding of his ways. It may reveal a better course of action or even alleviate the enmity.
The Virtue Tenacity
Tenacity is as much a Virtue as it is a guide to the other Virtues. One can not Respect a living being only occasionally. Do not toss away your Respect in anger or doubt. It does not aid a farmer to disrespect his land "just for one year" for it may leave its mark on his crops forever. A child may forever fear the hand of its mother if it hurt him only once.
Keep faith and hold on, even should the benefits of your virtuous actions wait to reveal themselves. A farmer tends his land a whole year before reaping the harvest. A mother nurtures her child for many years before it will feed itself.
Alas, sometimes... the benefits may not even be apparent in one's own lifetime. But take heart to know that all life that you cherished may live on and benefit from your actions. Keep faith and work hard, even should the world darken around you.
The Virtue Compassion
Compassion is a virtue both simple and complex. It is a very powerfull virtue but perhaps also dangerous. Its benefits may seem quite clear, though its downsides may not always be as clear.
The Virtue Compassion tells us to use this connection to all life around us for good. A farmer must nurture his land, tend it and protect it. The mother must feed and aid her child with its first steps. The salesman may find a faithfull customer if he softens his prices. Wise words to a friend in need of them may change his life forever. To give compassion is the most direct application of the Light and perhaps the most clear.
But it should also be handled with caution. Compassion to another life should not stand its way of growth or self respect. A mother must not nurture the child beyond its needs. A salesman can not establish a healthy business relation by dropping his prices beyond reason. A farmer will not till any harvest if he does not make his land grow it for him. A teacher can not teach his students unless he grades them firmly and with respect to the student's performance.
Perhaps a good way to see it, is that Compassion should not be seen as mercy, but the willingness to aid all life grow, even if that would require firm hand instead of a gentle one.
The power of the Light
The Virtues can teach us how to strengthen the bond with another living being. It can aid us to influence life around us positively. The limits of this are defined only by the limits of one's connections to this life and one's strength in the Virtues. Far stronger are ten men united than one man with the power of nine. A holy man healing a wound may prove strong in the Light, but even stronger would be wise words that avoid the wound. No amount of healing will determine if a child will grow strong. No amount of holy protection will grow a rich harvest without the dedication of the farmer. The Virtues are our guides, in all aspects of life, to strength and health for both ourselves and those around us.