Since that time when (wo)man started to think, philosophers have pondered the meaning of life and waxed long and eloquent about it. But to me, none are as eloquent as the sage spiritual teacher Ram Dass who observed, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher and the author of the 1971 book Be Here Now. Ram Dass was, of course, referring to our spiritual journey, the walk each one of us makes through life that eventually leads us back to our Source.
It’s important to acknowledge that some people believe death means fading into nothingness. Still, most religious traditions do believe in something after this life.
Even if you do not believe in life as a spiritual journey or an afterlife, the concept of walking each other home is important. Ram Dass reminds us that we do not go through life alone.
Whether we’re with family, chosen family or friends, most of us interact with others every day. We keep company, so to speak, and mutual support is what binds us together.
We truly do “get by with a little help from our friends.”
While success is defined individually, the one thing that seems universally true is that making the most of life requires us to be of service to others. Whether it’s a parent raising children, a friend being with another in a time of need or donating to the homeless, life calls upon us to reach out a hand to those who need it.
In that respect, life is both personal development and a spiritual journey.
When I worry that compassion is in short supply, I have only to remember my friends who volunteer at soup kitchens or work with the victims of domestic abuse.
I think of others who, suffering from disease themselves, reach out to help people in the same position. I consider service groups and scouting groups and those who sit with lonely residents in nursing homes.
When I look around, I see so many examples of people I know who really are walking each other home and in the process, growing themselves.
I’m 69. I thought that by now I’d be relaxing in my golden years, after several decades of a business career. But instead, I answered a call to do something different: to support others in their time of need with products and services.
It wasn’t what I expected to be doing at this time of my life. But with more years behind me than ahead, I felt the need to use my talents and skills to help others.
When I look around, I see others in my age group doing the same thing. Perhaps it’s because many of us came of age in the 1960s, when the gentle concepts of peace, love and brotherhood were in the air – I don’t know.
These are challenging times all over the world; sad and painful times. For me, though, I find that simply remembering that we’re all just walking each other home, helping each other in a lifelong journey, makes these difficult times easier.
How are you reaching out to help people in your community? Who did you recently walk home? Please join the conversation below.