There is a wonderful, old story about Alexander the Great that always helps to remind me of what is important in this life. Alexander after having conquered most of the known world and having reached the peaks of his power, fame, influence, and wealth was still left with a great feeling of emptiness inside of himself. Hoping to find some peace he decided to seek out a wise, old philosopher and ask his help. Alexander found the old man sunning himself on a hillside outside the city and approached him. Standing over the old man Alexander announced who he was. He then promised the old philosopher anything he desired in the entire world for his help. The wise, old man looked up at Alexander and smiling gently said: “only stand out of my light.”
Perhaps all of us in this life who want peace, love, happiness, and joy should take a step back and stop standing in our own light. It is not, after all, what we have or what we achieve that brings us these things. It is rather who we are that brings them into our hearts, souls, and lives. If we want peace then we have to become peaceful. If we want love then we have to choose to be loving. If we want happiness and joy then we have to share our happiness and spread our joy.
All too often we seek to become like Alexander the Great and conquer the world outside of us. We seek fame, fortune, power, and prestige, yet even when we obtain them we find ourselves empty. God, however, doesn’t want us to conquer the world outside of us. God wants us to enlighten the world inside of us. God wants us to fill ourselves with His love, joy, peace, and happiness. God wants us to be full of His light and then give it to the world through our laughter, our smiles, our words, our deeds, and our lives. May we all then make Heaven smile by praying, loving, and living so that noone not even ourselves can ever stand in the way of our light.
Joseph J. Mazzella [email protected]