Not again

“Let’s not do that again!” creeps out when we’ve acted and failed.

“On no, not again!” seeps out as a sigh or groan.

Sometimes we’ve said these phrases to ourselves or at other times heard it from someone else.

These remarks can lead to a reflection and review to examine ourselves and a revision.

In Christian literature Paul advised us to “examine yourselves… in 2 Corinthians 13:5.

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”

Socrates said this because having a mechanical life with an unthinking routine, under the rules of others without ever examining whether or not they truly want to live with those routines or rules is basically not worth living anymore.

 

We examine our lives to avoid a waste of our precious time to avoid making the same mistake again.

Review can lead to revisions to our lifestyles and we chose live by the right priorities.

It is a weighty matter to look back and find our lives heavily out of balance.

 

When we seek a steady peace of mind, we consider whether the character we show the world aligns with the intent we claim is in our souls.

Review, reflection, and revivion can hurt at first but heal and renew in the long run.

Can We Hear Ourselves Snore?

“I can’t hear you” publicizes the strengths of cell phone carrier setting.

Another setting occurs when one family member suggests or says or screams, in an ascending flow from a stream to a storm of words, “You’re not listening!”

Do we hear to reply or listen to understand?

While we may say we hear the words of others, do we understand the meaning of their words?

While this exists in our lives with others, how aware of what they are really saying?

Are deaf to others?

And are we deaf to ourselves?

I don’t think I snore, until I wake myself up in the middle of a snore.

A mystery?

Mark Twain said “There ain’t no way to find out why a snorer can’t hear himself snore…” in Tom Sawyer Abroad.

Find, Use and Shine

Peter, an early leader wrote to his community, “As each one has received a special gift …” 1 Peter 4: 10 (NASB)

While no one is good at everything, each one of us is good at something.

Over the decades, I have learned that I have the ability to communicate to others.

From my family, especially my dad, I learned his gift of reaching out to others, sharing jokes, and being friendly.

Later this emerged and grew in the ability to tell stories and be an agent of growth and change, in my life and those of others.

Now I write, intending and hoping to offer wisdom in daily life.

Thus, I choose to use this gift to bring something special and unique into the lives of others.

As you read, what is gift.

Use your gift to enrich others.

As Ben Franklin wrote “Hide not your talents, they for use were made,

What’s a sundial in the shade?”

Which?

“Order Or Chaos” provided the title and the theme yesterday.
Today let’s look at three “W’s” — “what”, “so what”, and “now what”.
This three part paradigm and process (by now obviously I am alliterative.) offers a way to choose to live responsibly rather than reactively.
This three part paradigm and process has evolved and become incorporated in me, in life, my presence and place in different sectors.
“What” takes in the present with as many of the physical senses, as possible.
“So What” emerges and even erupts from my feelings — it is my reaction and not a chosen action YET!
“Now What” blossoms into a potentially life-giving and life changing choice!
Because we are listening, learning, and living out choices we chose to be responsive, purposeful persons rather than reactive, purposeless persons.
The choice along this chosen road has made a difference in my life.
Robert Frost wrote in the last three lines of “The Road Not Taken” the following:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Order Versus Chaos

What drives us crazy.
“Where is the ketchup?”
“Where did you put that?” is a refrain often said to a husband or teenager.
This is one form of chaos — mild ones depending on the person who said it or shouted it!
Then another form of chaos occurs on the highway, erupting either in an accident or in road rage.
There happens when someone reacts.
The other is the choice to respond.
This emanates from the wisdom expressed in the following “We must be the change that we wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.
Let’s be that change!
N.B. — This meditation developed from an afternoon of cleaning out the pantry and the refrigerator and resulted in a hug and kiss!

Sun and smile

Payback or pay forward.

The choice is ours.

It is easy to react by payback — it called be called revenge or something similar.

Laying on the horn after someone cuts in front is one form of payback.

Blurting out an obscenity after a slight, real or imagined, is another form of payback.

“We need to make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 15 niv

We break the cycle of conflict by choosing to be considerate rather than contrary.

We need to choose to play the card that no one expects — taking the high road rather than the low road of violence.

We choose to respond from a magnanimous heart, we show an undeserved graciousness to our antagonist.

By doing this, we disarm our opponent, and our enemy may become our friend.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “As the sun makes ice melt; kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

Let’s be that sun or smile that melts!

Which one

Life is about choices.

We have the power to make choices about life or …

Just last night a news piece talked about new research on the long term negative effects of drinking soft drinks too much and too often.

The movie “Supersize Me” also showed literally the negative effects of eating fast foods every day for a month.

Both of these continued choices were not life giving.

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live …” Deut. 13:20.

What will we choose to eat today that is healthy and not just convenient?

Quick and slow

Quick and slow
“Quick on the draw” and “slow on the speech” speak volumes and birth a range of events in life — from random and growing acts of violence to heart warming vignettes which cause a smile to grow on a face and warm a hardened heart.
One day local and national news stations broadcasted one young child holding the hand of another frightened young child. And then broadcasted yet another mass shooting.
Centuries ago a wise person wrote “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry” Ecclesiastes 7:9.
The sage counsels not being quick on the draw whether blurting out angry words or shooting out a fury of bullets. Both either injure or kill!
Another sage wrote “… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” James 1:19,20.
“Quick” and “slow” seemingly while being contradictory just do not belong together, so it seems.
AND YET…

A stream of wishes and decisions

“May I be an enemy to no one and the friend of what abides eternally.

May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and be reconciled quickly if I should. 

May I never plot evil against others, and if anyone plot evil against me, 
may I escape unharmed and without the need to hurt anyone else.

May I love, seek and attain only what is good. 

May I desire happiness for all and harbor envy for none.

May I never find joy in the misfortune of one who has wronged me.

May I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make reparation.

May I gain no victory that harms me or my opponent.

May I reconcile friends who are mad at each other.

May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary help to my friends and to all who are in need.

May I never fail a friend in trouble.

May I be able to soften the pain of the 
grief stricken and give them comforting words.

May I respect myself.

May I always maintain control of my emotions.

May I habituate myself to be gentle, and never angry with others because of circumstances.

May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done, but know good people and follow in their footsteps. 

Eusebius

Kind Words and Sticks and Stones

On the one hand a childhood saying “Sticks and bones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me” spouts a lie.

On the other hand, “a kind word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12: 25 niv

Kinds words uttered softly and liltingly can unlock closed minds and soften hard hearts.

In a fable attributed to Aesop, the Sun and the North Wind enter into a contest to see who can get a passing traveler to remove his coat. The North Wind blows furiously in an attempt to strip the coat from the man, but the effort backfires. The man only wraps his coat around him even more tightly. Then the Sun gets a turn. In no time, the coat is off, thanks to the Sun’s gentle warmth.

Our kind words also accomplish what a verbal buffeting could never do.

Our words can heal; they can inspire; they can empower.

Mother Teresa purportedly said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”