Every year, the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States brings to mind the horrors of this tragedy. But it also reminds us of the strength of everyday heroes. From the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who sacrificed their lives to crash the plane down in an empty Pennsylvanian field, to the people who rushed into the World Trade Center towers to help those inside, to all of the volunteers who helped look for survivors in the rubble, and more, people came together without being asked and without a tangible reward.
Tragedies such as this one, which unfortunately have occurred time and again throughout history, demonstrate humanity's innate potential for altruism, or what in Korean is called the Hongik
spirit. This spirit emanates from our
, which is divine.
While we all have the Hongik spirit
in us, sometimes our need for security, recognition and control overpowers this natural tendency. Society and religion teach us morals about what it means to be good and giving in order to help us overcome these base desires and live in harmony with one another. However, while helpful, these guidelines come from outside of ourselves. We may follow them in order to be valued and have a place in society, or we do it to avoid guilt or out of fear of damnation.
Giving to and considering others, even at a cost to ourselves, is always beautiful and can help us grow. However, if we do it with an underlying sense of fear or guilt, it can only take us so far in our personal, especially spiritual, development. Fear and guilt blocks our energy flow and prevents our bright spirit from shining from inside to out.
Daily practice of exercises such as yoga
, which accumulate pure energy
and keep it flowing throughout your body, will help this divine spirit fill you. When you are full enough, it will spill out of you, and you'll naturally want to help others
. You'll also have the greater physical, emotional and energetic capacity to do so. Because these exercises will give you access to limitless energy, you'll feel secure, recognized and in control while being able to give freely to others.
Does that sound good? It's not easy to do alone, however. It's much easier when you find or create a community of people who help each other practice and remind each other about what it means to be Hongik. When other people are doing it, it's easier for you to do too.
Each of us can be a force for change in the world if we express our Hongik spirit in our daily life. And each of us has the responsibility to be the change that will someday make the expression of our divine essence commonplace. Our combined power will make terrorism obsolete, and we won't need tragedies to remind us of the greatness of the human spirit
, for it will fill all of our lives.
(Photo courtesy of History.com