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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

The Life Test — (August 2000) What if Life is nothing more than a test?

Think about it. From the moment you're born, to the moment you die, you are constantly bombarded with stimuli. How you react to that stimuli (experiences) is what makes you the person you've become. As more and more experiences are put in front of you, the development of you grows and changes (hopefully).

Obviously, as you can tell, I've spent a lot of time thinking about Life, The Universe, and Everything. Some Universal Thoughts are so basic that it's quite baffling that we don't have more enlightened souls around. And even if you can't figure out all the Universal Thoughts, there is always the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You.

Do you realize that if we were to follow this one, simple, basic, rule of life that we would all be living in almost complete contentment? Think about it! If you're kind to someone because you want others to be kind to you, hatred and acts of violence would no longer exist!

What about all those ridiculous, religious, crimes? How completely un-natural are they? Aren't we all striving for the same thing? Aren't we all attempting to become closer to God? To rejoin him in "Heaven"? What does God say about others? Does He order us to 'go forth and convert or kill all those who don't believe in ME the way you do'? What the hell is up with that?

We are all human beings. We are all spiritual beings. We are all brothers and sisters. We have all come from the same, original, Spirit (or God Head). The way to harmony is to treat everyone that way. One Nationality or Religious movement should not think of a different one as being beneath them or as vile. They should simply be thinking: "We are all the same. Only our forms of Worship is different".

My God is not more powerful than your God, or his God, or her God, or their God! They are all the same God! And I do truly believe that They are asking the same thing of us: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You.

Think of your life.

Maturity is when you realize that everything you do, everything you say, everything you think, affects someone in some way.

Maturity is knowing that you and you alone are responsible for what happens to you in your life mainly because you and you alone control how you act and react to the lessons life throws at you.

Maturity is accepting the things that happen with an understanding that everything happens for a reason. Maturity is knowing that our personal growth depends on US and not on others.

As we live, so are we tested. Every day, every moment. And, every time we react with love and understanding instead of anger and resentment to the obstacles placed in our way, we gain one step closer to God. One step closer to understanding that each and every one of us is akin to a raindrop. Individually, we are things of beauty. Together, we can flood the Universe. So, too, must our love for one another and the world around us, elevate humankind to the next level of evolution and spirituality.

I think of the hardships I've endured, and I see my life the way it is today, and I realize that I needed to live through those hardships in order to be the person I am today. Living through those times has brought me an understanding of what life truly offers and makes me grateful of everything good, honest, and beautiful. I see these things as minor rewards which give me the strength I need to carry on. After all, you just never know what's coming up. The best (and really, the only) thing you can do is not fear the future. Whatever has to happen will happen. You can't control it. You can only control how you react to it. Don't think of anything bad as punishment. Think of it as a test. A test of Faith? A test of Endurance? No. A test of Love.

Trust in the Love that will never give us more than we can handle, or put us through more than we are capable. Trust in the Love that will guide us through eternity and help us stamp out the evil of the world. Trust that Love does go on, just as we do.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The light is Love. And that Love is God. We are all passengers on this train hurtling through a tunnel of unknown. But we do know what lies in the end. Death. And a meeting with our Maker.

When we get there, will we be judged by how often we went to church? By how pious we were? Or will we be judged by how often we truly helped our fellow man? How often we acted out of love and understanding? How often we put ourselves in the shoes of our neighbours and helped carry their load because we realized they honestly needed it?

Love thy neighbour. Honor thy Mother and Father. Do Unto Others. The rules are easy. Just follow them and you'll pass every test with flying colors.

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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