Scientists believe that our attraction to ‘sweetness’ is innate and helped primitive man intuitively select safe foods whilst avoiding the bitter ones, which were mostly poisonous. Could the same be said of the soul and its attraction to sweet encounters?
No festive occasion would be complete without the distribution of some sweets; a birthday party, for instance, would not be the same without the cutting of a cake. Christmas also would not be the same without pudding or Diwali without mithai, or Ramadan without ‘lugaaimat‘ or ‘Vimto’! Chocolates are also very often given as gifts, as a sign of love and affection. Our sweet tooth is voracious and manufacturers capitalize on this huge market.
There is also a sweet saying that if you want to give someone the ‘medicine or bitter pill of truth’, then sugar coat it. The sugar, which could be defined as sweet words conveyed in a polite and respectful tone, go a long way in making the truth more palatable!
Natural sweeteners are also an excellent source of energy and strength for the body. Thus could we perhaps conclude that sweetness is indeed the essence of life? And without it we lose the ‘taste’ for life!
Sweetness for a spiritual seeker is like the acid that helps the soul ferment… oops I mean ‘age’ wisely and maturely! A prudent soul can ‘afford’ to be sweet. It does not have the fear of ‘ants’ coming to take advantage of its sweetness. In fact a ‘sweet’ soul will be modest and flexible, like a tree laden with fruits bows to everyone. Those with a matured sense of humility and who live in their own dignity know very well the wonders and powers generated by this innate gift.
Just as a honeybee is attracted to the sweet nectar of the flower, so too our fragrance from within will attract other souls seeking that nourishment. Sweetness is also an energy booster for others and ourselves; for the kindness we distribute returns to us in the form of sweet blessings and sweet tidings.
There is a beautiful saying in many languages that, ‘the fruits of patience are sweet’, implying that it is better for the palette and the stomach to wait for the fruits of the season to ripen than to eat them raw. Implicit within sweetness is a certain patience, an endurance, a stamina. Without this wisdom, it is simply naivety or a passivity. Yes children too are sweet and this is the quality of purity and innocence shining through them.
Sweetness can be expressed in many ways for example: sharing a smile; speaking loving words; speaking an encouraging statement, making a sacrifice, random acts of kindness; gift-giving and so forth.
Just as we add sugar to our tea and coffee or to just about anything to improve its taste, sweetness in life generally is about going that extra mile and making a difference in someone’s life. Yes, life will go on regardless and everyone will survive, but with the added quality of sweetness, everyone (and everything) will flourish n sweeten as a result.
As with all qualities, sweetness needs to be balanced with a deep sense of sensibility and dignity. You need not be so sweet that others take advantage of you. Learning to value yourself is an act of sweetness and there is no harm in that.
It’s time… to add the extra teaspoon of sweetness to the elixir of life and share that kindness with others. Go the extra mile and let your beauty shine. Fortunately this is one sweetener that won’t give you extra calories or a toothache!
Take time to enjoy the sweet things in life...