Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

July, 2004


They say God does not give you more than you can handle. They also say when God closes a door, God opens a window. Well, I don’t know what God does or doesn’t do. But I do know that life is a little more than that.

I have come to realize that life does not give you what you deserve. Life gives you what you are willing to accept, and not an iota more.

Whether it is in the area of finances that we are lacking, or it is an unfulfilling relationship, or it is a dead-end career that we are submerged in, it is so, because we are willing to accept it.

Life demands bold action and brave defiance. Life challenges us to the limit to see what we are willing to put up with, and hands us exactly that. Life wants us to rise up to our potential and assert ourselves. Life requires us to stand up and say no to what we do not want.

But it is not easy to say no. At some point we settle in life. And we justify it by giving it digestible labels. We consider things to be selfless sacrifice, or call them justifiable compromise. But the truth is every time we do that, we give a little of ourselves up. We kill a tiny bit of our soul. Sometimes we do it because of expedience, other times because we are afraid of the unknown. Or perhaps we are unwilling to take the necessary risks and lose what we already have built in our lives. Or even because we are simply too lazy or apathetic to face up to the challenges of life.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same. We settle for what we do not want, and we become who we are not.

Patience and equanimity are valuable character attributes. But Character and integrity are more valuable than any attributes they may have.

Life gives us what we accept, and if we are not willing to challenge it, it will simply tell us to shut up and put up.

Life tells us to put our energy and actions where our mouth is – or perhaps more accurately where our soul is. Life implies that we should rise up and defy life itself, to recreate ourselves, redefine who we are every day, and risk being alive and perhaps even dying in the process.

Life does not require revolution, yet it demands resolution. Or else, life will give us what we are willing to accept, and never what we deserve.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
July 2004

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