Wishes

One of the first questions a child is asked at this time of year is “what do you want for Christmas?” Wishing is as natural as breathing. We have all wished for things we did not or could not get. Some of us have been lucky enough to have at least one of our wishes come true.

Wishes fall into three categories:

The first type of wish is the selfish one. This is the one exemplified by the adage “what’s in it for me?” There is no benefit to anyone but the wisher, except by coincidence. This is the wish of ego.

The second type of wish is the impossible one, the one that does not expect fulfillment. This is the wish for the return of something that cannot be returned – a faded youth, a loved one who is gone, or a reciprocation of love where it does not exist. This wish is an excuse for unhappiness, exemplified by the adage, “I could be happy if only…” This is the wish of dishonesty.

The third type of wish is the one given to someone else, with an open heart, without expectation of benefit to the wisher. This is the one exemplified by the adage “it is better to give than to receive.” The good will of the wish is its own reward. This is the wish of love.

My wish is for each person who reads this to cultivate one gift of love, for a dear one or a stranger, and to see through the selfishness and dishonesty that poison desire. And no wish list would be complete without one final adage: “Be careful what you wish for.”

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