Monday, January 19, 2015

Some thoughts for MLK Day

We live in agitated times. There's unrest everywhere.

This sense of upheaval is palpable. 

It's on the surface where it can be seen and felt and affects the millions. 

Unrest is within us as well, and that can be where the most harm is done. 

Disgruntled lives are common. Many folks are seriously unhappy. Almost all of us are deeply concerned about the state of the world. 

We wonder about the place we're creating out of this one earth. We harbor environments where children can't play safely or freely, and human potential is cramped or goes wasted. 

Recognition of our failure, and the realization of our shortcomings, in dealing with real needs is great.

We turn on the news and see hatred rage. We're bowled over by or tremble at the violence in all its shapes. Harsh cries are a cacophony we cannot dodge.

We see continual protests. Someone is always protesting something. It may be an individual, a few persons or large marching groups calling attention to some concern. 

The media add their part to scenes of strife and discord with coverage replayed over and over. 

You begin to think these are the only happenings going on. You can be misled to believe there's no such thing as nice, happy and normal any more.

It's time to shake off this disordered existence we've made for us. Concentrating only on the negative, while not trying at the same time to counterbalance the actual ills of these times about us, is causing huge damage to the fabric of our daily lives. 

Even from sincere intent we're skewing perspective when we let fear and lashing out and loud voices raised for or against any situation be the guide for how we proceed in solving the big and many times smaller and always thorny or downright critical problems.

Keeping with this way is a detriment to the well-being of those for whom society was formed to protect, especially the young and those who require a sharing hand. 

For every angry shout-out, or clenched fist, for every smart-aleck comment or cutting remark, we're called instead to think and act with a fresh sense of the fragility of the framework by which we are all connected. 

The furor that seethes that has become part of our universal culture has need of a lot of mending if it's going to settle down. It takes some practice but it can be done.

We can begin by collectively lowering our tone. Lower the decibel and gained harmony is an instinctual response. 

Respect another's view. Hear their point. Let the other person have their turn. Be happy for another's success. Smile. It opens doors and hearts and lets the sunshine in.

Chill a bit. Don't take everything personally. Don't lightly take offense. Maybe you simply misread a signal or misconstrued what was said. Most of us are trying our best. Let's do our best to remember this.

Be the first to apologize. Don't be afraid to forgive someone when the chance is offered. It can settle a score or cancel a dispute quicker than any other attempt at resolution of an issue. 

Be more generous than you've tried before. Notice the generosity around you. Believe your day, and the next person you meet, is the bearer of good.

You know the right thing to do. The right thing to do is in each of us.

It's in us because it's the pilot system put into human nature to hold society together. The more we're aware we have guidance available to us to act for good the more we change our actions to follow along those lines. 

We determine whether we want to cooperate with this benevolent driving force within us. When we do, and this means many of us (not just a few), it starts having a major effect.

Be considerate is key. It's a form of hospitality. Kind actions spread when consideration goes wholesale. This is the forward movement we should strive for. 

Be kind and see agitation decrease. Be kind and you help everyone beginning with you. Together we can forge a new spirit from our agitated times. Together we can add to peace.

Ro Giencke - January 19, 2015

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