We often hear the term “live large.” But what does it mean to “live small”?
Professor Reginald Ray offers a good description in his book Indestructible Truth. In writing about motivation or the intention with which we pursue various activities in life he says:
“The small level of ordinary motivation refers to beings whose focus in life is on being happy and content within their one lifetime, trying to make themselves secure and comfortable. They seek a good family situation, health, an ample income, a fine dwelling, social status, and so on. They . . . are not concerned with what happened before . . . or what will happen later.” (Ray, 314)
It seems to me that to live a middle class lifestyle without any concern about how that lifestyle exploits or impoverishes others is truly a very small life. It is difficult to learn how many ordinary things we do affect others around the globe. But it is necessary in living an examined life.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love: A Reflection on a Course in Miracles,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
My one life is a very valuable gift. Living small devalues that gift.
I do not want to live a small life.