“We all need joy, and we can all receive joy in only one way, by adding to the joy of others.”
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What does God ask of thee, except thyself? Since in the whole earthly creation He made nothing better than thee.
– Saint Augustine
The scriptures of all religions have a great deal to say about renunciation. They are not asking us to renounce our stamp collection or our tickets to the World Series; they are asking us to sacrifice our self-will. This is a painful renunciation to make, because the ego will try every trick in the book to undermine our efforts.
Just as the mountain climber does not begin with Mount Everest, you cannot get rid of all your self-will immediately. Practically speaking, it is best to start on a very small scale. When you go out to dinner with a friend, instead of painstakingly choosing just what you like, have what the other person is having. More likely than not it will be something you would just as soon pass over. That is the time to smile and enjoy it. If two people who care deeply about one another can do this, can learn to like what the person they love likes, they cannot help moving closer to each other.
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