A motto is a short sentence or phrase chosen to capture the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution. Over the years my personal motto changed many times. One of my favorites was ‘Everything is beautiful. Everything is funny.’ This might be a future blog theme.
Although not official, Germany has a motto that is inscribed on Army belt buckles and some German coins. ‘Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit’ (‘Unity and Justice and Freedom’) India has a motto in Sanskrit I can easily identify with, ‘Truth alone triumphs.’ Not all states have mottos.
Growing up in Florida, I learned its motto, ‘The Sunshine State’. Named for having over 300 days of sunshine every year. When I moved to New Mexico, I discovered its motto used to be ‘The Sunshine State’. Yes, for also having over 300 days of sunshine a year. We could not have two states in America with the same motto, so New Mecixo’s motto became ‘The Land of Enchantment’.
Years after learning both states had the same motto, I learned both states also had the highest rates of lightning storms. I never gave it much thought how many lightning storms we had in Miami until I read how Florida was the state with the greatest possibility to be struck by lightning, and die from a lightning strike. New Mexico was the number two state where lightning strikes could kill you.
On the humorous side, I see why neither state adopted the motto, ‘The Lightning State’. We all know lightning is dangerous and could kill us. This would not be an attraction to move to that state.
So what is the point of this pointless blog? Consider the yin/yang symbol. The light side and the dark side in a spinning circle. Meaning, the whole is made up of both light and dark. The two states have both sunlight (the source of all life, energy, food, and warmth), and lightning (the source of terror, fear, forest fires, and death).
Life is always like this. Up/down, hot/cold, like/dislike, man/woman, all represent the wholeness of existence on earth. The yogis say this is a world of duality. If we are to exist and live in this world, then we must accept the opposites as part of the whole. This sort of thinking can be a huge help in recognizing truth and enjoying life. There is a reason the desired state of joy, balance, understanding, acceptance, and spiritual mastery is called ‘Wholeness’
‘Do no harm. Take no shit.’ is an interesting personal motto.