I have a grandson named Charlie, who is my guru. This is not as silly as it sounds. Charlie is a very wise ten-month old, especially when it comes to tricky social situations, questions of how to best spend one's time, or, most importantly, love.
When I find myself obsessing over some minor social slight, some thoughtless behavior on the part of an acquaintance, or any one of the myriad other occurrences that tend to get me down, I simply ask myself, "What would Charlie do?" Of course, the answer is always: Charlie wouldn't do anything. From his perspective, none of this matters at all.
Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by all the things I "should" be doing, often so much so that I end up not doing anything but feeling guilty. At such times, I try to remember to ask myself,"What would Charlie do?" The answer is one of the following: Charlie would laugh. Charlie would play. Charlie would eat. Charlie would sleep. All good advice. What Charlie would not do is feel guilty.
Often (very often) I hold back from letting people know how I feel about them, when the truth is I love them very much. Charlie, on the other hand, is all about pure, unqualified love. He doesn't care whether or not you "deserve" it. He just gives it. It's the only way he can be.
So, I've found that it is not necessary to go to India, or anywhere else to find a guru to follow. My guru is right here in my family. I couldn't have made a better choice.
This was originally posted on Facebook on June 14, 2009.