Archive for January, 2012


Know Better? Do Better!

To speak words is a much simpler act than to live words. So often our words
and actions have very little to do with each other. How we conduct our own
lives often bears no resemblance to how we say we should. More people learn
by example than by listening. Talk is cheap, but to live by one’s belief system
is a very difficult thing to do. It calls for faith in whatever you believe, in spite
of what the world around you may be thinking or saying.

You have to remain true to your own value system, and the values you plant
in your mind determine the fruits that you reap in your life. Plant mistrust,
pessimism, hate and anger and you will reap the same. Plant love, tolerance
and trust instead and you will harvest joy and contentment.



It is disconcerting that we have no control over how our actions are going to
be interpreted. Each action creates its own stream of reactions which may bear
little or no resemblance to our original intent. Any reaction to a particular
event is directly related to how one is feeling and thinking at that precise
moment. On another day, in a different emotional state, there could be a
totally different response. Clearly, any act of ours is like a message in a bottle
put out to sea. Depending on the wind and currents, the message could end
up on any one of our distant shores.

You may find yourself in a situation with which you are totally unfamiliar, and
yet a reaction is expected from you. Any response you make will be
determined by several different variables. If you lack the necessary
information, your response may be neither the correct nor the expected one.
Always remember, you have options and there are many ways to behave in
any given situation. There is hardly ever only one right answer or solution. If
the situation relates to a test in school, and not a ‘test’ in life, your options are
more limited. When life expects a reaction from you and you haven’t a clue,
be honest and admit it to yourself. Sometimes, your only option in this life,
so full of variables, may be to do the best you can. Since you are the one
making the decision, if life hands you a lemon, you don’t have to suck on it
– you can choose to make lemonade instead

‘Nuff said!


Rule #1

Sandbox Rule #1: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As
we try to live by this very basic rule, we find that it calls for a lot of spiritual
and emotional work. Life, at times, seems to have its own agenda, and we are
here to hold on and do the best we can. Sometimes we get it right; sometimes
we get it wrong. The problem is that no life exists in a vacuum and that is what
makes it so difficult. Each life is connected to others, and each act has a ripple
effect on all the lives that interact with that one life. When we trace the
far-reaching effects of some simple acts, we realise that we must be careful of
the potential damage of our words and deeds to others. So often, we fool
ourselves into thinking that our words have no impact, simply because we do
not want to accept any liability for the pain we cause.

Most things in life go in circles, and at some point you are going to confront
your own mistakes and inadequacies. At that point you must attempt to make
things right. If you ignore the mistakes you made, the lessons will only return
in another form, and likely with increased difficulty. When you accept the fact
that each of us is a thread within the total fabric of life, you know that by
elevating your behaviour you change the quality of the fabric – that is, many
other lives.



Absolute freedom is a great illusion that we continue to treat as real, because
we want to think that we are in total control of what happens to us. When two
people join in holy matrimony and swear “till death do us part,” do they think
that they can ever be free again? When our heart is captured by the one we
love, how can we ever be free? When a baby grabs hold of a parent’s heart,
is that parent ever free again from love or obligation? Is anyone free to drive
their high-powered vehicle at top speed on our nation’s highways? Is one nation
free to control another for its own economic gain? The day our beloved
creator placed a conscience within us, it ensured that total freedom would
forever be just another illusion.

At no point are you ever totally free from the chains of responsibility to others.
Yet, this is not a negative concept. The glow from one tiny candle can fill a
dark room with light. In the same way, amidst all the constraints on you, there
is a glowing reality that you possess at least one valuable freedom that will
always be yours. This is the freedom of “choice.” Its importance grows as you
ponder the multi-layered controls that exist in your life. Your attitude is the key
in choosing how you deal with tragedies or triumphs, and what you leave as
a legacy when you die. This big-little freedom allows you enough room to
live a life full of joy and promise.

January 2012
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