There is a saying from the scriptures that without knowledge of literature, music and the arts and sciences, a person is like an animal without a tail. Knowledge of literature helps to open the intellect, knowledge of music helps to open the heart and knowledge of the arts helps to improve character and behaviour. These are the three areas we need to focus on to become good human beings.
One should not try to become a perfect being, because it is only by chance that someone is born perfect, but we can definitely try to become good beings. Connecting with the goodness of life is the culmination of human effort. When we connect with the positive, the uplifting and the inspiring, we connect with contentment, joy and peace.
Ultimately we are responsible for our own happiness. Nobody else can give us happiness. To attain happiness we need to work at the levels of head, heart and hands intellect, feelings and performance. Knowledge is the quality of the head. Softness of sentiments and feelings, compassion, is the quality of the heart. Appropriate behaviour and performance according to the demands of the situation and circumstances is the expression of human character and behaviour. Attainment of these three makes one happy, healthy and wise. So during this coming New Year we should know that we are responsible for our own happiness.
When we are young, we feel that the world is ours and we can do anything and everything we want to. As we become a little older, we gain in maturity, common sense and strength, and one should use these strengths to do what one can to improve the life and the environment.
Pain is a part of life, but to be a slave to pain is not a part of life. When we are slaves to our suffering, we identify with weakness and limitation, with the words 'I can't', but when we identify with strength, with the words 'I can', then goodness, wisdom and willpower combine to become more dominant, and in pain, the infertile self becomes more dominant.
So the aspiration for the New Year should be a determination to expand the horizons of intellect, emotions and performance.
With good wishes, om's and prem,