It feels like an eon since I unwrapped the first gift, Consciousness. Perhaps Nelson Mandela's passing and the bombardment of eulogies was timed to bring us all back to consciousness.
Madiba has since been laid to rest and my focus has been with the rest of the world's on the measure of the man. As it happens, that measure has been in no small part due to his capacity for thoughtful discernment, the second of our gifts.
The gift if discernment gives us the capacity to discern right from wrong, good from evil and truth from fiction, but always in the context of Life as it truly is (rather than we would have it and demand that it should be). Although discernment includes the making of a judgment, we judge not as we believe things should be, but rather by reference to the laws of nature and God.
Tata Madiba risked everything,including the alienation of his own supporters, when he discerned that it was time to negotiate with the enemy. His higher self discerned that speaking to the South African apartheid government was more important for the good of the whole than was his ego's need to draw and maintain battle lines. He discerned that letting go of his resentment and actively pursuing reconciliation with the oppressors of the Black people was more important than getting revenge for the indignities and injustices of the past. If ever there was someone who was entitled to feel bitter and get even, it was Nelson Mandela, but his discernment, drawing on the truth of a higher vibrational energy, created the miracle which no one believed possible.
Discernment requires us to tell the truth about Life as it is and then make choices for each next step out of a space of pure integrity, choosing not just for the small space which each of us occupies, but for the bigger space which we all occupy in the Universe. It is big picture decision making, drawing on our highest selves and the noble virtues which we all possess.
And when we discern for the higher good, that is when we truly make a difference both in and around us. What an incredible gift.
Still on the subject of gifts, with Christmas approaching you might want to consider giving someone The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.