Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny, said Gandhi. We all have something to learn: we do not accept corrections, we do not tolerate any remarks, we do not listen or question, we do not acknowledge fault or admit that we are wrong. Especially when it is us who do wrong! And then we say that the world is going wrong. Correcting oneself is the most difficult task in human reality.
In these dynamics we find ourselves victims, but also executioners. We are ruthless judges of others, but for us there is every alibi. Do not take it for granted that we are always on the right side, guys! How to do it? It is not easy! A detail from the sacred page gives us a hint: Jesus says that the quality of God the Father is 'to be in heaven'.
Starting from here, I take an example that has appeared online, on social media: the crow and the eagle. The black crow is the only bird that dares to peck at an eagle. It strikes back clutching with its scratchy nails, bites its neck bragging with its obnoxious cawing, and keeps pecking trying to snare the eagle. The eagle does not respond, nor does it react badly, nor does it fight with the crow, nor does it waste time or energy, nor does it gnaw at its liver.
It simply opens its wings, begins to rise. The higher it rises into the sky, the more difficult it becomes to breathe for the crow, which, for lack of oxygen, weakens and falls. How much time, how much energy, how much serenity, how much life do we lose through black crow attacks? They are doubts, wounds, frustrations, frailties, regrets, faults, mistakes, but they are also people who catch us from behind, who keep hurting us with their stubborn cawing. If we learn to carry them high they will weaken. If God 'our' father is in the highest heaven, then each one of us, as a 'son', is capable of heaven and can stake on his ability to rise. Only in this way can we let go of the most cackling, sour, boring, hurting, wearing, enervating, binding ballast. In the Roman dialect it renders it just right: 'o t'elevi, o te levi', ‘either you rise or you fall away’.
A book by Father Antonio Spadaro is entitled "Svolta di respiro" ("The breathing turn"). It shows how every man "inhales" the world around him and then "exhales" it, reworking it into visions, images, choices, understandings of life, but also tensions, frustrations, wounds.
The two motions, inhaling and exhaling, show us how life is an interweaving of things that go and don't go, of joys and thorns, of victories and failures, of people who understand and appreciate you and of harmful ones who judge and hurt you. There is, however, a third dynamic, besides being able to inhale and exhale, which is that of God, that of the eagle: that is, to be 'inspired', to be enveloped by the sky. It asks to take flight, it asks for a very high level where, however, someone feels short of breath and gives up: better that way!
It is precisely the difference between those who accept to be crows and those who want to be eagles.
The black crow rises with the moon askew; the inspired eagle rises with the sun in his face.
The black crow begins by pointing out what is lacking; the inspired eagle begins by centring on what is there.
The black crow stops to describe the darkness; the inspired eagle begins by turning on the light.
The black crow grabs an oyster while fears viral hepatitis; the inspired eagle looks for the pearl and even if there is no pearl there it tastes the mollusc.
The black crow forgets to laugh; the inspired eagle laughs to forget.
The black crow complains because the roses have thorns; the inspired eagle rejoices because the thorns have roses.
The black crow at the coming of night says 'now it is getting dark'; the inspired eagle says 'now you begin to see the stars'.
It is so true: Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.