Thoughts Along the Path . . .


Have you wished anyone a happy birthday lately? What else have you wished for? We tend to use the word “wish” to say what we want for ourselves and for others, though we probably don’t think that wishing is going to make it happen. This morning I heard someone at Ayr Foodland say, “I wish I had remembered to bring my list.” Can you imagine her surprise if the list suddenly appeared in her hands?

What if the fictional character Aladdin were to magically appear and offer me three wishes? What would I wish for? Given the opportunity to think about it, I came up with this list.

Wish #1: I wish that people would no longer hold prejudices. Rather than judge differences or marginalize anyone, we would celebrate diversity. No more racism, sexism, ageism, nationalism, this-or-that’ism. We would recognize that we are all connected, and through that we would respect each other. Our relationships, our communities, and our institutions would be guided through principles such as justice, inclusiveness, and even love. This quotation from the Baha’i Writings summarizes the idea well: “The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”

Wish #2: I wish that we would love our planet and its creatures as much as ourselves, maybe even more. A few days go I happened to see these simple words from the Dalai Lama: “We are visitors on this planet.” If we humans lived as guests here, no more and no less welcome or privileged than other animals and plants, we would surely preserve the environment. We might even find ways to reverse some of the damage we’ve already done. Challenges such as climate change, water disputes, distribution of vital resources, air quality, preventable diseases, and so much more could all be managed if not solved.

Wish #3: With just one more wish available from Aladdin, I am tempted to wish for more wishes. But I don’t know if the rules allow that, if there is such a thing as rules in this fictitious scenario. So instead, I have a wish that brings me personally into this, a wish that is now obvious to me. I wish that I might do something every day to help make the other two wishes come true. What about you? Do you want to end prejudices and encourage inclusion? Do you want to preserve our planet and its creatures? I turned to the Baha’i writings for words to summarize this thought: “Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other.”

I don’t need wishes from Aladdin to live free of prejudices and to honour our planet and its creatures. I can align my practical actions with these ideals. I can have conversations to explore how to do this. I can support organizations that actively engage in social action. If enough of us do so, we can make it a reality.

What about you: What do you wish for? Today is a good day to make your own three wishes. And then do what is necessary to make those wishes come true.




Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, May 2022

© Jaellayna Palmer 2022