I didn’t have to make it very far into the work quoted above to find my first bit of insight. Thomas a Kempis, if he did in fact write the famous work, was quite right indeed. For all of my studying, all of my accumulated knowledge, it all pales in comparison to the insight gained from simply observing my own thoughts. Understanding myself and why I behave the way I do has paved the way for an immense transformation of my spirit.
Every failure where I searched for the part I played has revealed a character flaw I needed to sort out. Every situation has brought a lesson along that has helped me improve. We learn compassion from suffering. Kindness from ridicule. Even isolation teaches us to love ourselves. Life is the ultimate teacher and we all grow through what we go through.
The spiritual life is like that, it’s hands on. We learn by applying what we read and making mistakes along the way. Pouring over scriptures won’t bring you salvation, but applying spiritual principles to the decisions you make definitely will. Talking about lofty philosophical concepts won’t help you become a better person but applying socially conscious ethics to your daily lives will.
At the end of the day you have to practice what you preach. There’s a huge world out there that definitely needs kinder and more gentle people. Especially in today’s climate. That’s all I got.