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This was exact quote that I had sent to my friend earlier that day! Out of all quotes in world, out of all chapters I could have read up to, out of all days in my life; this quote came up twice in one day! I knew there must be a reason for it happening so with some help from my friend I did a little research today on Internet. This quote has been translated from Hebrew so I have now come to see that it has been interpreted in many different ways. This is general meaning that I have come to think that words mean:
'If I am not for myself, who will be for me?' relates to self-esteem. It means that if you don't believe in spiritual aspects of your Self and love yourself for your divine essence and not just your ego, then others will only see you as someone who hasn't truly formed an identity of your own. If you don't love and have faith in yourself, then others will naturally find it hard to love and have faith in you.
'And if I am only for myself, what am I?' To me this is about then spreading your love and faith to others around you. It is very important to do things that will make you feel better about your own self-esteem, but just doing things for yourself is selfish. The best way to become a strong and happy person is through service that we can do for others. We have to realize that others are just another form of ourselves, 'I' that is intrinsic to all forms of life in Universe (Great Spirit), and their well-being is just as important as our own.
The last line, 'And if not now, when?' refers to action. It's all good and well to have this knowledge, but it is act of putting it into action that is of greatest importance. Now is only time that is truly real. The past is gone and can never be lived again, while future has not appeared yet and for some of us (while in human form) it won't ever come. Any second could be our last, so now is time to put our knowledge and beliefs into work by integrating them into our every movement.
I believe that these 'Universal connections' happen all around us everyday of our lives. We only have to focus our attention to see them; though sometimes they are so profound they will just jump right out and smack you in face!
Jesse S. Somer M6.Net http://www.m6.net Jesse S. Somer is a human who is learning to remember that there is more to this life than meets the eye.