The Kindness Agenda

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I’ve seen throughout my life people with agendas and with their own idea of what needs or should be done.  People that focus on what they want and only do something as a means to an end to get their own project or passion done.   A memorable learning experience for me was when I was 16 working and a co-worker played to my kindness and told me how he needed to get out of there and if I would help him get his job done, he would then help me. I helped him and yet nothing ever came about for him helping me. In fact, the manager had a discussion with me about why my job wasn’t done in time and when I told him about the co-worker he said that wasn’t his problem.

A problem with being kind and having a caring heart is people can and will take advantage of that kind heart whether intentional or not. They also may never realize the scars it leaves in the individual that they took advantage of.  I’ve met people that have become very jaded for that very reason believing people are just out to use them. I actively attempt to not be that way.  I reason out things and believe that sometimes people become so focused on their own passion, agenda, or pain that they just don’t realize that they are using or hurting someone else.

I see people want things done for them yet they put off doing things for others because they just don’t have time for it or they have different focuses. They want this, they want that, but when it comes to what someone else wants it is pushed to the side because it doesn’t align with their own agenda.  I always wondered how this worked out for those people. How do you get other people to care about your project or passion when you don’t show the same regard for theirs?  Just something I’ve wondered.

I wonder how many walk away from something going “I’ll never do that again” because they’ve felt used or hurt because they wanted to help but were only used then put to the side until needed again.  I’ve seen the scenario over and over in my life. I even have people in my life that the only time I hear from them is when they need something, but when I need something they are conveniently unavailable.  How do you live your life that way?  Yes sometimes I just am not available to help or can’t for one reason or another but if I can I will.

How do you walk through life with a “it’s about me” attitude? How do you only see the world as what you need?  How is it that only your agenda matters?  I don’t know.  The other problem I have is I have a good long term memory, my short term well not so good.  Though long term can be a little too clear sometimes. I can remember someone standing at a door telling me that what I want to get done they can’t think about right now and don’t have time for, but what they wanted done was suppose to be my priority.   You don’t have time for me yet I’m suppose to have time for you.

I see this in many things where communication just doesn’t happen between people that things just don’t get done. Each person has their own agenda and all they hear is from that agenda and don’t see a bigger picture.  I have always been a kind soul and yes, sensitive, sometimes a little too sensitive. I take things to heart, and I remember hurts, even if I forgive or reason them out, I remember them.   I’ve been told by my father, uncles, and other males that I need a thicker skin or need to just ignore what happens.

I don’t do that. I feel, I experience, and I care.  It makes life hard sometimes because even a little comment can make me wonder what it meant and I will sit and try to discern it.  I care about people, about their feelings, their thoughts, and their emotions.  This also opens me up to be hurt which has happened many times in my life. Yet I still persist in caring because I’ve also experienced love, connection, and amazing beautiful people.  I’ve heard amazing stories and been able to heal others and help others.  I have no agenda in this life but to experience life and to help others.  The projects, passions, and so forth of mine have a reason and a purpose but they do not supercede someone else’s projects and passions.  I see the worth in their works as much as I do my own.

Life would work so much better if people communicated better and helped each other without regard to their own agenda or what they could get from someone.
I was watching the first episode of “Psych” the other night and the police detective was inquiring of the main character why they had so many jobs over time.  His simple comment was “for the experience”. They saw the individual could have been valedictorian and even commented how the main character could be head of IBM which his response was “why would I want to be that”. I really liked that moment because it is how I am.  I do things for the experience and while I could be something bigger, I like using my talents to help others and I like that my experiences have helped me to help others.

I just wish other people learned to use their talents to help others instead of for their own gain.

When I leave this world, I want to know that I made other souls feel better that I helped others and that some stranger that I spoke to briefly someplace may see my photo in the obituary and say “hey, that’s the guy that took time to listen and helped me”.

I’ve walked this earth most of my life broken myself, so really all I want when I leave is to know that I helped fix a small part of the broken in others.

Though given I’m an INFP personality type which Keirsey referred to as the healers , I guess it makes sense that my desire is that my memory left in others is my kindness and that I helped in some way.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read.

“As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.”   Maya Angelou

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It’s Not Easy…

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“You can see how he changed on the surface. But at the core of it all, I think Superman has remained the same – a character with incredible powers but almost superhuman humility and restraint.” – Jim Lee

Five for Fighting does a song called “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” that I enjoy a lot. I am a big Superman fan so much so that when I was a kid, I tried my hardest to hold the ideals that I saw in the man of steel. So I guess it is no surprise that I relate to the hero and desire to be the hero more than any other character. I’ve wished to have super powers on various occasions so I could help people. The ability to influence the world and change it for the better. The power to save others.

I love when they depict Superman with real emotions and compassion. I haven’t read the Superman comics in years, but I still watch the animations and etc. I have various animations of him that I like for different reasons, but one I was thinking about in correlation to the song I mentioned earlier was Superman Versus The Elite. There he faces off not just against a group of super powered individuals but the deeper story is that he can’t follow what the world seems to want. He can’t go against his ideals just because the world seems to want something else. Even Lois seems to side with the world, and he just can’t do that.   He stays strong to who he is. The struggle to do the right thing in the middle of an outcry for something different.

“I grew up watching ‘Superman.’ As a child, when I first learned to dive into a swimming pool, I wasn’t diving, I was flying, like Superman. I used to dream of rescuing a girl I had a crush on from a playground bully.” – Tom Hiddleston

That kind of concept is what caused a discussion in the family of why I love the super hero more than the villain. The villain may be fun to watch like Loki in the Thor movies, but it is the hero that has the hardest battle. The villain gets to indulge his dark side to do as they wish and embrace their whims. The super hero has the conflict of not just the villain but also their own inner turmoil of what to do.

A quote from Batman in “Batman: Under the Red Hood” helps demonstrate this:

“Jason Todd: What? What, your moral code just won’t allow for that? It’s too hard to cross that line?

Batman: No! God Almighty, no! It’d be too damned easy. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he’s dealt out to others and then… end him.

Batman: But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place, I’ll never come back.”

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“For me, growing up in a ridiculously poor family living in dead-end neighborhoods, Superman was a deeply personal icon, one that said you can do anything if you put your mind to it. What he stood for formed the core of who I wanted to be as I grew up, and informed how I view the world and my responsibilities to other people.” – J. Michael Straczynski

 

The greatest conflict sometimes is within us.   I most definitely relate to the hero. The one that wins against that inner conflict and comes out triumphant. The person that no matter the odds overcomes themselves and thereby the world to stand tall and be themselves. The person that no matter their own trials and tribulations, still gives a smile and kindness to others. The one that finds the ability to get beyond themselves and show love to others.

The core of the super hero I look up to and want to be most like has nothing to do with his super powers. His super powers allows him to do great things but it is his heart, his kindness, his perseverance in the face of darkness, and his belief that people are innately good and worth fighting for.   Even without his powers he still fights for what he believes in.

“For a hero is someone who is selfless. Think about it, friends. Superman, Luke Skywalker, and Captain America. They are helping others. They aren’t only thinking for themselves. They are reaching out beyond themselves.” ― Mark Andrew Poe

In any situation, I prefer the path of the hero. No matter how multi-faceted and how much depth you give to a villain he still gave in to the darkness. That doesn’t mean a hero doesn’t fall but the difference is a hero pushes to get back up. They fight to be the hero again.   Which brings me to another song I like with a hint of Superman, “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down. “If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman? If I’m alive and well, Will you be there a-holding my hand? I’ll keep you by my side With my superhuman might.”

When the hero falls sometimes they need someone to help them get back in the game. To lift them up out of the darkness and push on. Someone that believes in them even when they can’t believe in themselves. In a fight to get yourself back it helps to have those that see the good, the potential, and hold the belief that you will get your “A” game back.

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“Actually, it’s as if Superman is more real than we are. We writers come and go, generations of artists leave their interpretations, and yet something persists, something that is always Superman.” ― Grant Morrison
Those people don’t just come from those close to you but from all around you. I can’t remember what super hero it was or even if it was a super hero but I remember a scene where a hero was broken, had given up, didn’t believe they could do it and the start to their recovery happened from a child that still believed in them.   We have to remember the impact we have on others and how we have the ability to give hope to even a stranger with how we interact.

We always think of the hero as the one that saves the day. The one that saves others that stands tall against great odds. The truth is we all can be heroes everyday. It comes down to how we interact with others. You want to save a life? Show kindness, share a smile, give to charity, volunteer, but most of all be engaged with others in some positive way. You won’t only save someone’s life but you may very well change the world.   Your nemesis is apathy, selfishness, callousness, and people that leave broken pieces in their wake. To be a hero help pick up those pieces by sharing a smile, a kindness, a helping hand. The greatest super power is altruism.

Thank you for taking the time to read.  I hope you have a good day filled with kind moments.

“Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear… until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share — I’ll never stop fighting.” – Superman

 

Check out kindspring for some cool ideas to spread random kindness.
http://www.kindspring.org/

Charity sees the need, not the cause.

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You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan

I have given to various charities for years. I have given in various ways from money to volunteering. Though until recently it was to help others. Now with my wife’s daddy being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and progressing in the disease, I am seeing charities from a different perspective. Now it is from the side of receiving the benefits charities offer.

My wife and I use the Alzheimer’s association site all the time. She and her mother attend support groups sponsored by this association and they use information on the site to find various other helpful information. Also contacting the association, the people have always been helpful and provide any information and help they can.

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Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries – not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”

Albert Einstein

Charities are a saving grace for those afflicted with a disease, poverty, or various other life troubles. They help lift us up when we are down. Charities supply support in various ways from support groups, to information, to even financial assistance. The people that volunteer their time to help are beautiful souls that want to help others lift out of darkness as well. Charitable acts big and small provide a light to those in need.

Though it is not just charities that shine a light for those faced with trials. There are individuals that start grassroots projects, forums such as Memory people on facebook for dementia patients, churches, and other groups. When you worry about the world and the violence and turmoil you see reported on the news, take a moment and look to those lifting up their hands to help others. Ferguson made the news a short while back, and while there was violence, there were also peaceful marches, people helping cleanup the day after, and those helping others even in the midst of the turmoil. There was a story about people helping keep people that got caught in the midst of the riots safe in their homes or guiding them to safety.

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The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Charity is one of the first things you see in disaster. First from everyday people helping those afflicted by the disaster, even if they themselves have been affected. People helping dig out someone under rubble, giving water to the thirsty or helping them find someone. Then it continues when organizations show up and start helping people rebuild not just physically but spiritually. Charitable people are a beacon of hope in the cloud of desolation and despair. They save people and let them know they are not alone.

I find solace in the beauty of the human soul represented by these charities, individuals and groups that help lift others out of darkness and give them a little light. There are groups that provide food to the hungry, help support those faced with a disease, and yes even groups and individuals that go into dangerous areas to help those impacted by violence. I like supporting groups like Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, St. Louis Food Bank, as well as those that are a little more selfish for me, such as Alzheimer Association and Parkinson groups.

Love is greater than anything else out there. Love from others supplies hope. Love lifts faith. Love creates the fire that is manifested as light to the world. These charities, groups, and individuals are empowered with love. They are powered by the givers of the world. Love breeds the kindness shown to humanity and propels us forward into a better world.

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There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Charity is not just an organization but a state of mind that is manifested in humans. That need and want to help others. That grows into something bigger when those hearts are combined. Charity starts with you and me. It starts with love and the need to share love, to lift others up so they can be better. I have always believed in helping others not because of what I could receive but what I already have been blessed with in this life. I want others to have the opportunity to find a form of happiness and feel blessed. Which is probably why much of my focus is on food banks because being able to have food and eat is one of the basic elements we all need and keeps us healthy. I know when growing up food was one of the biggest concerns we had.

My belief is that helping people meet their basic needs helps them be able to be better. It is hard to focus on being better and improving your situation when you are just trying to survive. When you are hungry, cold, and lacking basic essentials for living. Your existence becomes about survival. So helping with this basic needs helps people focus on other elements of living. Charities that train people for jobs, help them get jobs, or go to college, also provide another basic need to help others.

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Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

I also think that is why government programs that help lift others up are important. These programs also help charities do their job as well. It allows for a broader expansion of help. The biggest thing charities, government programs, groups, and individuals do is provide hope. Hope helps lift us out of despair and pushes us towards something better.

I hope you show kindness to someone today. I also hope you show kindness to yourself. I also ask you give even in some small way to charity or volunteer time. We are designed to help each other, it is a symbiotic relationship. When we help others we help ourselves. We improve our mood, our mindset, and we lift up humanity.

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Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul, like you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

How can you help someone today? When you are out today look for some way to help someone else even in just a small way. Also, check out the Charity Navigator website to find charities you may wish to help with, as well as which ones use it most efficiently to help others. http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Thank you for reading and may you have a truly wonderful day.

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4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.” Psalms 112: 4-5

Everything is Illuminated

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They can be like the sun, words.

They can do for the heart what light can for a field.”

Juan de la Cruz

It is amazing how light can change things. When I take pictures, lighting and position of lighting can change a picture. You see it all the time in nature. Sun glistening through leaves to fall upon a babbling brook. Mountains that characteristics change depending on the lighting. Animals also are impacted by light. They feed a certain times of day. They do various activities depending on the light.

Light illuminates the unknown and makes it known. It brings warmth to the cold and helps plants grow. We even require sunlight to live. We have a sunshine vitamin that the only good way for us to get it is through sun exposure. Our skin actually reacts to sunlight and converts it into this vitamin. It is also suspected that the lack of sunlight during winter is what brings on seasonal affected disorder. It also helps control our circadian rhythm so we know when to sleep and be awake.

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What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” ― Joseph Addison

Light is an important part of our existence on this Earth. The lack of light brings on short tempers, lethargy, depression, and even hallucinations if we are gone from it long enough. So existing in light is an important aspect to our lives. Without light there would not be life as we know it.

Then you have the quality of light that plays a role. On a cloudy day you still get light and can see, but not as clearly and it skews your perception of things. Sunrise and sunset bring on different perceptions of the world. Ever been watching a thunderstorm and it is pitch black with only glints of light from lightning then a big bolt happens close enough to light up your area. In that instance, even known things can look bizarre or scary. While the light illuminated everything, it was not long enough for your brain to process the elements it was perceiving, so it perceived them differently.

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Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” ― Anne Frank

We seek out light before we journey into the unknown of the darkness. We use it as beacons along the shorelines to guide ships. We use it to keep from being surrounded by darkness and being lost. We even share out light with others to help them. If you are holding a lit candle and someone comes out of the darkness toward your light carrying a candle that has been burnt out, do you not offer to light their candle so they may proceed being able to see their way?

We also use light to deter bad things from happening. They have shown street lights reduce crime and make safer travel. We also use light to draw others. We use lighted signs to draw people’s attention, or we use it to play flashlight tag. I can sit for hours watching a group of fireflies flutter along sharing their light.

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It is impossible to grasp another human’s inner world. But even in the darkness of the densest forest, there can always be the light of a firefly.” ― Krupakar

Also light is used to send messages. We use it to illuminate things that convey a message. We illuminate symbols of patriotism, religious symbols, and whatever else we wish to draw attention to that would convey what we want to say. We use light to send messages in words such as construction signs. Also light carries messages along it. Optical cable carries light that has data within it. During the Cold War, messages were sent via light about secrets uncovered.

So light plays an important part in our society, but there is another kind of light. Spiritual light that has the same abilities as regular light. It can lift your mood, send messages, be a guide in darkness, and help you avoid the dangers in the dark. It can also be shared. Though spiritual light is not self-righteous or judgmental. Spiritual light comes from kindness, understanding, giving hope, and helping lift others up.

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

You see spiritual light everywhere from volunteers to someone stopping to help a person on the side of the road. It is the person that leaves a nice tip to someone who just shares a smile. It is upholding a certain ideal and letting that shine forth. Kindness is one of the brightest lights we have to shine and to share. It cuts through any darkness and can ignite a light burnt out.

Just as regular light, we cannot survive without spiritual light. We require kindness, hope, understanding, and someone that does not see with judgment, but sees before them a burnt out light that merely needs lit again. Someone that has been in darkness and needs a beacon to get out. They need a message in that darkness and they need their candle lit and hope that the sun will rise again.

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How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare

Without spiritual light we become depressed, jaded, and our world begins to twist into a delusion filled with darkness. We need to share our light so that others know that hope and kindness still is alive and well. So that their light can shine even brighter and help another.

Tonight I heard an interesting comment while at a friend’s birthday party. I had someone tell me that when they are in a mood or need some light, they look at my facebook page. That even if for just a moment it helps brighten their day. They said they appreciate my attitude and that my attitude is unique in this world. I do not know how true it is that I am unique in my attitude. I am unique just as we all are, but I find many kind attitudes in this world. Though it is nice to know that I can be a light for someone in this world, even if it is through my facebook page.

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As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

See, all interactions matter whether physical or not. You shine your light no matter where you go. Whether it be cyber space or here in the real world. Every interaction matters and your light can be shown in the smallest of ways. A smile at checkout, a nod of acknowledgment, a hello, inquiring how someone is doing, these are all ways of shining your light. Shining your light does not require grand gestures, just simple kindness.

I have noticed that light takes many shapes and colors. Have you noticed all the kinds of light that illuminates around you? Have you paid attention to the quality of light you share?

Thank you for your time and I hope you have a wonderful day.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – 13 ways to show love….

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Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Ann Landers

I am apologizing in advance do to the length this post ended up being. It is probably one of the longest posts I have made. As stated below you can skip to the list below I created if you wish. Just look for back to biscuits. Also skimming is allowed. 🙂  LOL.  Have a great day. 

It‭ ‬interests‭ ‬me‭ ‬how‭ ‬many‭ ‬people‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬another.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬trait‭ ‬that‭ ‬has‭ ‬been‭ ‬with‭ ‬us‭ ‬probably‭ ‬from‭ ‬our‭ ‬beginnings.‭ ‬We‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬person‭’‬s‭ ‬clothes,‭ ‬speech,‭ ‬job,‭ ‬and‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Now‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬about‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬but‭ ‬more‭over ‬lack‭ ‬of‭ ‬it.‭ ‬You‭ ‬see,‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬thing‭ ‬you‭ ‬find‭ ‬about‭ ‬love‭ ‬is that‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬expectation,‭ ‬or‭ ‬any‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬normal‭ ‬pitfalls‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬as‭ ‬humans.

Also,‭ ‬this‭ ‬particular‭ ‬blog‭ ‬entry‭ ‬may‭ ‬reference‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬and‭ ‬touch‭ ‬on‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬and‭ ‬even‭ ‬beliefs.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬my‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬change‭ ‬you.‭ ‬For‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬also‭ ‬acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬accept‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬you‭ ‬are,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬I‭ ‬am.‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬puts‭ ‬us‭ ‬all‭ ‬on‭ ‬particular‭ ‬paths‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬possibility‭ ‬to‭ ‬learn‭ ‬and‭ ‬expand‭ ‬ourselves.‭ ‬I‭ ‬say‭ ‬possibility,‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬choose‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬those‭ ‬moments‭ ‬and‭ ‬reasons‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬path.  ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬and‭ ‬lacks‭ ‬judgement. ‭ ‬Most‭ ‬religions‭ ‬would‭ ‬agree‭ ‬with‭ ‬these‭ ‬basic‭ ‬premises‭ ‬to‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬states‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬is‭ ‬for‭ ‬God‭ ‬alone.‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬hinders‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬commandment‭ ‬given.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr

You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬skip‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬below‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬the‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬gives‭ ‬a‭ ‬base‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬by‭ ‬talking‭ ‬about‭ ‬me‭ ‬a‭ ‬little.

Before‭ ‬we‭ ‬go‭ ‬forward‭ ‬even‭ ‬further,‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬state‭ ‬a‭ ‬few‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views,‭ ‬then‭ ‬we‭ ‬will‭ ‬get‭ ‬into‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬on‭ ‬showing‭ ‬love.‭ ‬I‭ ‬rarely‭ ‬talk‭ ‬about‭ ‬how‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬world.‭ ‬Sometimes‭ ‬people‭ ‬get‭ ‬snippets‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬find‭ ‬stating‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬can‭ ‬hinder‭ ‬people‭ ‬being‭ ‬open,‭ ‬even within‭ ‬the‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬realm‭ ‬of‭ ‬thought.‭ ‬This‭ ‬happens‭ ‬partially‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬fear‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬as‭ ‬well‭ ‬as‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬speaking‭ ‬making‭ ‬assumptions‭ ‬to‭ ‬how‭ ‬one‭ ‬would‭ ‬react. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬those‭ ‬rare‭ ‬times‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬give‭ ‬you‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬snippet‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬before‭ ‬I‭ ‬proceed. Not‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬judge‭ ‬me,‭ ‬but‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬understand‭ ‬me‭ ‬and‭ ‬understand‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬that‭ ‬follows‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬better.

First,‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬are‭ ‬ever-evolving.‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬believe‭ ‬any‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬actually‭ ‬a‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination,‭ ‬but‭ ‬a‭ ‬culmination‭ ‬of‭ ‬life‭ ‬experience,‭ ‬faith,‭ ‬learning,‭ ‬and‭ ‬interactions‭ ‬with‭ ‬others.

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“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

I‭ ‬have‭ ‬said‭ ‬from‭ ‬an‭ ‬early‭ ‬age‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Back‭ ‬then,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬any‭ ‬particular‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬because‭ ‬my‭ ‬scope‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬world‭ ‬was‭ ‬limited.‭ ‬Now,‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬mean‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬general. ‭ T‬his‭ ‬would‭ ‬include‭ ‬out‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬faiths.‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬very‭ ‬heavily‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬when‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬young‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬conservative‭ ‬Christian,‭ ‬which‭ ‬might‭ ‬surprise‭ ‬some‭ ‬that‭ ‬know‭ ‬me‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬grew‭ ‬up‭ ‬Southern‭ ‬Freewill‭ ‬Baptist‭ ‬and‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ ‬Adventist.‭ ‬I‭ ‬spent‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬2‭ ‬years‭ ‬in‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ A‬dventist‭ ‬church‭ ‬school, and went‭ ‬to‭ ‬several‭ ‬seminars‭ ‬on‭ ‬various‭ ‬biblical‭ ‬subjects,‭ ‬including‭ ‬an‭ ‬enlightening‭ ‬Daniel‭ ‬and‭ ‬Revelations‭ ‬seminar.

When‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬an‭ ‬older‭ ‬teenager‭ ‬and‭ ‬young‭ ‬adult‭ ‬I‭ ‬searched‭ ‬out‭ ‬other‭ ‬denominations‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬and‭ ‬learned‭ ‬various‭ ‬views‭ ‬they‭ ‬had. ‭ ‬There‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬diversity‭ ‬even‭ ‬within‭ ‬one‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬there‭ ‬were‭ ‬issues‭ ‬that‭ ‬arose‭ ‬from‭ ‬that‭ ‬interaction.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬may‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬knee‭ ‬jerk‭ ‬reaction‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish,‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬was‭ ‬16‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬20.‭ ‬We‭ ‬were‭ ‬dating‭ ‬and‭ ‬had‭ ‬always‭ ‬talked‭ ‬about‭ ‬getting‭ ‬married‭ ‬when‭ ‬she‭ ‬got‭ ‬older.‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬she‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬we‭ ‬got‭ ‬married,‭ ‬but‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬love,‭ ‬not‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬child.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬as‭ ‬you‭ ‬might‭ ‬foresee,‭ ‬this‭ ‬could‭ draw ‬issue with some religious folk.‭ H‬er‭ ‬pastor‭ ‬friend‭ ‬married‭ ‬us‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬woods‭ ‬where‭ ‬a‭ ‬fork‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬creek‭ ‬came‭ ‬together.‭ ‬Yeah,‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬symbolism‭ ‬sometimes.‭ ‬:‭) My wife and daughter just took a hike at the place where we got married and she sent me a picture via text of the fork. That spot where she proved she was crazy by saying “I do”.

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Laozi

So‭ ‬why‭ ‬that‭ ‬story…‭ W‬ell,‭ ‬that‭ ‬parting‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬caused‭ ‬the‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬where‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬ways‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬institution‭ ‬that‭ ‬was‭ ‬Christianity,‭ ‬not‭ ‬the‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christ‭ ‬or‭ ‬God.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬had‭ ‬an‭ ‬issue‭ ‬with‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ (‬I‭ ‬stole‭ ‬that‭ ‬last‭ ‬line‭ ‬from‭ ‬a‭ ‬movie,‭ ‬just‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬paraphrased‭ ‬form.)

Jesus was a country boy – Clay Walker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_c6-rF3jdg

I‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬learning‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬religions.‭ ‬You‭ ‬find‭ ‬interesting‭ ‬similarities‭ ‬between‭ ‬the‭ different ‬religions.‭ ‬One‭ ‬thing‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬quite‭ ‬common‭ ‬between‭ ‬them,‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideal‭ ‬of‭ ‬Love. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬keep‭ ‬trying‭ ‬right‭ ‬now to avoid‭ ‬getting‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬technical‭ ‬stuff‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬religions,‭ ‬like‭ ‬how‭ ‬some‭ ‬share‭ ‬similar‭ ‬bases,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬So‭ ‬excuse‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬slip. ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬exploration,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬a‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬spoke‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬very‭ ‬much.

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“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Think‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬saying‭ “‬here‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬suppose‭ ‬to‭ ‬be”.‭ ‬See‭ ‬I‭ ‬follow‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬heart‭ ‬leads‭ ‬me,‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice‭ ‬tells‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬go.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬trust‭ ‬that‭ ‬feeling‭ ‬that‭ ‬compels‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬things‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬certain‭ ‬directions.‭ ‬Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬Buddhism,‭ ‬which‭ ‬some‭ ‬would‭ ‬argue‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬philosophy‭ ‬than‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬thing‭ ‬about‭ ‬the‭ ‬middle‭ ‬way,‭ ‬there‭ ‬was‭ ‬no‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬up‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬or‭ ‬change‭ ‬sides.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬is‭ ‬very‭ ‬similar‭ ‬to‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬in‭ ‬many‭ ‬of‭ ‬its‭ ‬beliefs,‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬said‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬slightly‭ ‬different‭ ‬way.

Buddhism‭ ‬actually‭ ‬made‭ ‬a‭ ‬big‭ ‬change‭ ‬in‭ ‬me. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauties‭ ‬was‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬much‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬from‭ ‬books,‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬could‭ ‬learn‭ ‬it‭ ‬first from‭ ‬a‭ ‬somewhat‭ ‬scientific‭ ‬approach.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬I‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬of‭ ‬their‭ ‬groupies,‭ ‬either‭ ‬me‭ ‬judging‭ ‬them‭ ‬or‭ ‬them‭ ‬I. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬this‭ ‬was‭ ‬a‭ ‬perfect‭ ‬fit.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬firmly‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬directed‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬path,‭ ‬because‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬was‭ ‬part‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬for‭ ‬many‭ ‬years.‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬simply‭ ‬means‭ ‬enlightened‭ ‬one. Siddhartha‭ ‬was‭ ‬believed‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬basis‭ ‬that‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬grew‭ ‬from. ‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬were‭ ‬wondering‭ ‬how‭ ‬it‭ ‬would‭ ‬not‭ ‬conflict‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬God. I make this clarification because some think Buddha is Buddhism’s god but that is not true.

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Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Then‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬when‭ ‬God‭ ‬thought‭ ‬it‭ ‬was‭ ‬time‭ ‬for‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬remove‭ ‬the‭ ‬last‭ ‬jading‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬of‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬place‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬care‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬deal‭ ‬about‭ ‬now.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬job‭ ‬at‭ ‬a‭ ‬church. ‭ ‬Irony‭ ‬abounds‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬the‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬same‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬that‭ ‬had‭ ‬put‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ journey‬.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauty‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬is‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬custodian.‭ ‬No‭ ‬position‭ ‬of‭ ‬great‭ ‬importance‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬always‭ ‬looks‭ ‬good.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬humor‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬in‭ ‬some‭ ‬ways‭ ‬matches‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬getting‭ ‬off ‭ ‬track. ‭ ‬The‭ ‬position‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church.‭ ‬It‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬those‭ ‬behind‭ ‬the‭ ‬scenes‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬good‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬did.‭ ‬I‭ ‬use‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬loving‭ ‬fashion‭ ‬and‭ ‬mean‭ ‬absolutely‭ ‬no‭ ‬offense‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬word. The people that work at the church are some amazing people and I am very proud to have met them and gotten to know a little about them along my journey.

So‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬spanned‭ ‬many‭ ‬years,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬myself‭ ‬falling‭ ‬in‭ ‬love‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬again.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬hot‭ ‬headed,‭ ‬self‭ ‬focused‭ ‬kid‭ ‬with‭ ‬strong‭ ‬opinions.‭ ‬This‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬been‭ ‬softened‭ ‬by‭ ‬time‭ ‬and‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey.‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬learned‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬truly‭ ‬love‭ ‬people‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬everything‭ ‬as‭ ‬connected. ‭ ‬God‭ ‬had‭ ‬sent‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬journey‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭ ‬might‭ ‬first‭ ‬learn‭ ‬myself‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.‭ ‬He‭ ‬taught‭ ‬me‭ ‬his‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬different‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬happened‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬many‭ ‬traits‭ with ‬Christianity. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬it‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬religion‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬reader.‭ ‬You,‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬eyes,‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬child‭ ‬of‭ ‬God‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬your‭ ‬faith‭ ‬and‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬beautiful or if you prefer, a fellow human deserving of my respect and you are beautiful.

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“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

 

See,‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬true‭ ‬love‭ ‬makes‭ ‬no‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬It‭ ‬offers‭ ‬up‭ ‬its‭ ‬hand‭ ‬and‭ ‬only‭ ‬wishes‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬taught‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬color,‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬or‭ ‬sexuality.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬human‭ ‬that‭ ‬exists‭ ‬before‭ ‬them,‭ ‬and‭ ‬that person is‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬acceptance. ‭ ‬Whether‭ ‬their‭ ‬clothes‭ ‬are‭ ‬tattered‭ ‬and‭ ‬torn‭ ‬or‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬wearing‭ ‬the‭ ‬best‭ ‬suit‭ ‬available.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬offer‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬need‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬If‭ my children ‬are‭ ‬judged‭ ‬by‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬that‭ ‬persons‭ ‬issue,‭ ‬not‭ my child’s ‬issue. ‭ ‬As‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬magnets‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ ‬fridge‭ ‬says‭ “‬how‭ ‬people‭ ‬treat‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬their‭ ‬karma‭; ‬how‭ ‬your‭ ‬react‭ ‬is‭ ‬yours‭”‬.

So‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬religion.‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬one‭ ‬particular‭ ‬flavor‭ ‬or‭ ‬another,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬not‭ ‬hold‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideals‭ ‬presented‭ ‬by‭ ‬that‭ ‬particular‭ ‬leaning.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬everyone‭ ‬falls‭ ‬into‭ ‬this‭ ‬state.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬say‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ C‬hristian,‭ J‬ew,‭ M‬uslim,‭ ‬or‭ ‬whatever‭ ‬but‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬started‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faiths‭ ‬or‭ ‬denominations,‭ ‬the‭ ‬rest‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬just‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬that‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination.  ‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬we‭ ‬all‭ ‬interpret‭ ‬things‭ ‬differently,‭ ‬even‭ ‬holy‭ ‬texts‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬faiths.  ‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬many‭ ‬religions‭ ‬do‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬good in the world.

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“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu

Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬rambled‭ ‬enough‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬base.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬say‭ ‬this,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬always‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬something‭ ‬beyond‭ ‬us.‭ ‬In‭ a ‬God,‭ ‬though‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬not‭ ‬quite‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬term‭ “‬he”‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬right‭ ‬terminology‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬raised‭ ‬with‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬comfortable‭ ‬using.‭ ‬Only‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬God‭ ‬is‭ ‬greater‭ ‬than‭ ‬any‭ ‬gender,‭ ‬or‭ ‬for‭ ‬that‭ ‬matter‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬he‭ ‬uses‭ ‬everything‭ ‬in‭ ‬his‭ ‬design‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬things.

three wooden crosses – randy travis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP8lCapcqwM

I love the parables of Christ, my favourite Parable of Christ has always been “The Good Samaritan”, a beautiful example of kindness and love.

Back to Biscuits…

Now‭ ‬on‭ ‬with‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬Love.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion,‭ ‬anytime‭ ‬you‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬showing‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬this‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬of‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine‭ ‬or‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬to‭ ‬humanity.‭ ‬However‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬that‭ ‬allows‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬message‭ ‬attempting‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬conveyed…..

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It’s about sharing. You just give what you have to give wherever you go, and you let God handle the rest.
Lindsay Wagner

All the Same (Free Hugs) – Sick Puppies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

1.‭ ‬Acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬covered‭ ‬this‭ ‬way‭ ‬up‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬beginning.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬means‭ ‬true‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬without‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬who‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬before‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬of‭ ‬equal‭ ‬stature‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.

2.‭ ‬Without‭ ‬Judgement.‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬forgave‭ ‬the‭ ‬adulterous‭ ‬woman‭ ‬while‭ imparting the ideal that ‬those‭ ‬without‭ ‬sin‭ ‬cast‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬stone‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬her‭ ‬before‭ ‬him.‭ ‬While‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬true‭ ‬their‭ ‬intention‭ ‬was‭ ‬to‭ ‬cast‭ ‬doubt‭ ‬on‭ ‬his‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬law.‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬compassion‭ ‬or‭ ‬forgiveness‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬woman,‭ ‬but‭ ‬he‭ ‬did.‭ ‬With‭ ‬the‭ ‬simple‭ ‬utterance‭ ‬of‭ ‬sin‭ ‬no‭ ‬more. ‭ ‬Showing‭ ‬Christ‭’‬s‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance and lack of judgement. I have talked with motorcyclist covered in tattoos that were the nicest of people and various other people that do not fit the norm of society view that turned out to be amazing people. The one perk to someone with a lot of tattoos, is you have something to open the conversation with. I generally notice a particular tattoo that I comment on or inquire about.

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“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
― Albert Einstein

The Road You leave Behind you – David Lee Murphy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6DLsf8VG5Y

3.‭ H‬elping‭ H‬ands. ‭ ‬Whenever‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬help‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬help‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬seem‭ ‬like‭ ‬much‭ ‬to‭ ‬you.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬the‭ ‬smallest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love. There is a blog I read recently that talked about someone in line paying the blogger’s seventeen dollar grocery bill and giving them a hug. http://truestoriesofamidwestyankee.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/to-the-woman-behind-me-in-line-at-the-grocery-store/

 4.‭ ‬Kindness. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬be‭ ‬kind.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬not‭ ‬start‭ ‬on‭ ‬this‭ ‬one‭ ‬because‭ ‬well,‭ ‬first‭ ‬a‭ ‬previous‭ ‬blog‭ ‬covers‭ ‬this‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬and‭ ‬well,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬get‭ ‬wordy‭ ‬about‭ ‬it.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬safe‭ ‬to‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬kindness‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬anyone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬cannot‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬anything‭ ‬else,‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬kindness.

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

I saw God today – george strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06AvQF5NOw

5.‭ ‬Smile. ‭ ‬Your‭ ‬smile‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬so‭ ‬much‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬their‭ ‬is‭ ‬pain‭ ‬underneath‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬Smile‭ ‬anyway.‭ ‬Someone‭ ‬else‭ ‬in‭ ‬pain‭ ‬might‭ ‬just‭ ‬need‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.

6.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬people‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention. ‭ ‬In‭ ‬this‭ ‬tech‭ ‬age‭ ‬we‭ ‬can‭ ‬get‭ ‬so‭ ‬caught‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬our‭ ‬tech.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬as‭ ‬today‭ when ‬I‭ ‬saw‭ ‬someone‭ ‬answer‭ ‬their‭ ‬phone‭ ‬while‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬cashier. ‭ ‬That‭ ‬call‭ ‬could‭ ‬have‭ ‬waited‭ ‬however‭ ‬long‭ ‬it‭ ‬takes‭ ‬to‭ ‬checkout.‭ ‬Instead‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬the‭ ‬cashier‭ ‬is,‭ ‬how‭ ‬their‭ ‬day‭ ‬is‭ ‬going.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬them‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention,‭ ‬not‭ ‬that‭ ‬device.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬in‭ ‬front‭ ‬of‭ ‬you,‭ ‬they‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention.

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Love is cheering and sharing and compassion and giving and receiving. Love is an action thing more than a word thing, that brings comfort or joy or relief to anyone or anything.
Ziggy Marley

God’s Will – Martina Mcbride
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCRrrP0EhPc

7.‭ ‬Respect.‭ ‬Love‭ ‬is‭ ‬all‭ ‬about‭ ‬respect.‭ ‬If‭ ‬for‭ ‬any‭ ‬other‭ ‬reason‭ ‬than‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬another‭ ‬human.‭ ‬No‭ ‬matter‭ ‬how‭ ‬badly‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬treated,‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬remember‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬respect‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬maybe‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬very‭ ‬good‭ ‬human‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬moment‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬interaction,‭ ‬but‭ ‬still‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬a‭ ‬creation‭ ‬of‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬We‭ ‬seem‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬online‭ ‬then‭ ‬lose‭ ‬the‭ ‬respect‭ ‬aspect,‭ ‬but‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬online‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ respect is most needed.

 

8. ‭ ‬Listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬your‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬know‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice‭ ‬that‭ ‬tells‭ ‬you‭ ‬or‭ ‬compels‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬know‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬pay‭ ‬for‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬drink‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬but‭ ‬for‭ ‬some‭ ‬reason‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬a‭ ‬certain‭ ‬good‭ ‬action.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬understand‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬being‭ ‬compelled,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you may just‭ ‬find‭ ‬out‭ along the way‬. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬area‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬just‭ ‬follow‭ ‬the‭ ‬compelling‭ ‬notion‭ ‬that‭ ‬strikes‭ ‬me.‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬question‭ ‬it,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬find‭ ‬that‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gestures‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬will‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬change‭ ‬a‭ ‬strangers‭ ‬day‭ ‬or‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬even‭ ‬life‭ ‬by‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬compulsion‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬even‭ ‬renew‭ ‬their‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬humanity‭ ‬or‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬be‭ ‬answering‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬prayer‭ ‬without‭ ‬ever‭ ‬knowing‭ ‬it.‭ ‬Learn‭ ‬to‭ ‬listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.

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We all have that inner voice that is wise, even if we don’t always follow it. It’s that voice I’m trying to listen to.
Ray LaMontagne

Angels among us – alabama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey0HrEvh44c

9.‭ ‬Be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬This‭ ‬seems‭ ‬to‭ ‬go‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬others such as‭ ‬respect,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬But‭ ‬I‭ ‬made‭ ‬this‭ ‬separate,‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬personal‭ ‬battles. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬can,‭ ‬there‭ ‬are‭ ‬days‭ ‬that‭ ‬mustering‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬challenging‭ ‬than‭ ‬others.‭ ‬I‭ ‬still‭ ‬hold‭ ‬the‭ ‬door‭ ‬open.‭ ‬I‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬day‭ ‬is.‭ ‬My‭ ‬battles‭ ‬are‭ ‬my‭ ‬battles‭ ‬and‭ ‬those‭ ‬should‭ ‬not‭ ‬rollover‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬I‭ ‬interact‭ ‬with‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬mean‭ ‬way.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬so‭ ‬overwhelmed‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬mean,‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬avoid‭ ‬interaction. ‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬you‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬battles‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬themselves. They‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬just‭ ‬because‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬your own‭ ‬83‭ ‬problems‭ ‬as‭ ‬well. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬being‭ ‬nice‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬mean. Though‭ ‬it‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬pairing‭ ‬a‭ ‬bad‭ ‬day‭ ‬with‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬but‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬At‭ ‬least‭ ‬make‭ ‬the‭ ‬effort,‭ ‬then‭ ‬use‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger if effort is not enough…um‭ ‬yeah‭ ‬ignore‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger‭ ‬comment. 🙂 and remember….Grinches need love too.

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“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.”
― Steve Maraboli,

 Father’s Love – George Strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2af10YlLoc

10. Understanding. “True love is born from understanding” stated the Buddha. When we attempt to understand someone else. To see things from their perspective, it enlightens us. Before my wife and I traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois one year for our anniversary; I spent time learning about Mormans and their faith. This way I would understand the customs and beliefs of the area I was traveling. This also allowed me to avoid offending anyone. By attempting to understand someone else you are touching on accepting, respect, and non-judgement, which in turn touches on Love. A quote from Aristotle that I love is “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” You can learn and understand something without having to change your own idealogy. You are merely gaining insight and understanding of someone else’s. Which helps love flourish.

11. Be vulnerable. Sometimes to show love you must open yourself up as well. You have to put yourself out there. You have to make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes being vulnerable and honest shows a great deal of love. It shows trust not just in someone else but in yourself. It also connects us. Love is connection so anything that brings connection opens the door to love. By opening the door it not only allows love to be shown but to be accepted by all those involved. I love brene brown talks. I really think watching at least her vulnerability talk is very important to view. She’s funny so don’t worry about it being dry. 😉 http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

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A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.
Denis Waitley

Have a beer with Jesus – Thomas Rhett:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dphMriny1Js

 

12.‭ ‬Allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬love,‭ ‬experience‭ ‬love,‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬it.‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬love,‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬it‭ ‬yourself.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬love‭ ‬given‭ ‬to‭ ‬you‭ ‬by‭ ‬others‭ ‬and‭ ‬allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬experience‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬Allowing‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬can‭ ‬allow‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬love. Only through love can you understand love.

13. Empathy. Many people are just looking for someone to try and understand what they are going through. Someone that gives them the feeling of genuine caring and knows how they feel or at least tries to understand how they feel. Showing empathy for our brothers and sisters that share this earth is one of the most genuine ways we can show love for them. To listen to them, show compassion, and let them know they are not alone.The first time I ever listened to this I cried when it came to the part of shame and men. Well everytime I listen to it I at least get teary eyed at that point, but the first time I had a good cry. http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

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“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
― William Shakespeare,

Moments – Emerson Drive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzriEXPJ1-k

Thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time. ‭ ‬Have‭ ‬a‭ ‬wonderful‭ ‬day. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬appreciate‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬this‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬your‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬might‭ ‬be.‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬just‭ ‬thankful‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬from‭ ‬your‭ ‬day‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬it‭ ‬or‭ ‬skim‭ ‬it.‭ ;)‬

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“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
– Dr. Seuss

Just as I am – alan jackson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meITKEI7Wdo

and I believe 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives one of the best depictions of how we should love.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

if you get a chance read this interesting blog entry by moved by love:
http://www.movedbylove.org/blog/view.php?id=287

 

“OFFERING love is a mere gesture . . To become an ANGEL . . one needs to BE love . . for love is SEEN with the heart” – – Hans

From the Angels among us video by alabama above

also all pictures in this blog entry are owned by the author of this blog. If you care to use elsewhere please ask. Thank you.

Changing‭ ‬the‭ ‬world‭ ‬one‭ ‬smile‭ ‬at‭ ‬a‭ ‬time

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I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are,
But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.
~ Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe ~

So‭ ‬this‭ ‬morning‭ ‬on‭ ‬facebook‭ ‬I‭ ‬saw‭ ‬a‭ ‬post‭ ‬that‭ ‬says‭ “‬Be‭ ‬helpful.‭ ‬When‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬a‭ ‬person‭ ‬without‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile,‭ ‬give‭ ‬them‭ ‬yours‭”‬.‭ ‬This‭ ‬got‭ ‬me‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬about‭ ‬how‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬Which‭ ‬then‭ ‬furthered‭ ‬the‭ ‬thought‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬various‭ ‬ways‭ ‬one‭ ‬can‭ ‬bring‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬to‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬face.‭ ‬Though,‭ ‬before‭ ‬I‭ ‬list‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬ways‭ ‬one‭ ‬can‭ ‬endeavor‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬someone‭ ‬smile,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬like‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬side‭ ‬trip.‭ ‬I‭ ‬know,‭ ‬surprising‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬take‭ ‬a‭ ‬side‭ ‬trip‭ ‬with‭ ‬my‭ ‬thoughts.‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬skip‭ ‬the‭ ‬side‭ ‬trip‭ ‬feel‭ ‬free‭ ‬to‭ ‬skip‭ ‬down‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬back‭ ‬to‭ ‬biscuits‭ ‬comment‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ ‬the‭ ‬smile‭ ‬portion‭ ‬continues.‭ ‬:‭)

I‭ ‬first‭ ‬wanted‭ ‬to‭ ‬mention‭ ‬the‭ ‬stereotypes‭ ‬of‭ ‬introverts‭ ‬and‭ ‬extroverts.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬saying‭ ‬these‭ ‬words‭ ‬conjures‭ ‬up‭ ‬thoughts‭ ‬of‭ ‬what‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬must‭ ‬be‭ ‬like.‭ ‬Many‭ ‬think‭ ‬of‭ ‬extroverts‭ ‬as‭ ‬the‭ ‬out‭ ‬there‭ ‬social‭ ‬individuals‭ ‬that‭ ‬hold‭ ‬careers‭ ‬like‭ ‬rock‭ ‬stars‭ ‬and‭ ‬attention‭ ‬getting‭ ‬careers‭ ‬and‭ ‬ones‭ ‬that‭ ‬organize‭ ‬and‭ ‬socialize‭ ‬events‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Then‭ ‬when‭ ‬I‭ ‬say‭ ‬introvert‭ ‬you‭ ‬probably‭ ‬conjure‭ ‬ideas‭ ‬of‭ ‬someone‭ ‬reading‭ ‬a‭ ‬book,‭ ‬shying‭ ‬away‭ ‬from‭ ‬groups‭ ‬and‭ ‬being‭ ‬very‭ ‬quiet‭ ‬and‭ ‬shy.‭ ‬Most‭ ‬of‭ ‬these‭ ‬ideas‭ ‬were‭ ‬put‭ ‬there‭ ‬by‭ ‬media.‭ ‬We‭ ‬think‭ ‬of‭ ‬most‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬characters‭ ‬on‭ ‬big‭ ‬bang‭ ‬theory‭ ‬as‭ ‬introverts‭ ‬with‭ ‬maybe‭ ‬the‭ ‬exception‭ ‬of‭ ‬Penny.‭ ‬We‭ ‬then‭ ‬think‭ ‬of‭ ‬an‭ ‬extrovert‭ ‬as‭ ‬Charlie‭ ‬Sheen‭’‬s‭ ‬character‭ ‬from‭ ‬two‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬half‭ ‬men‭ ‬or‭ ‬Josh‭ ‬on‭ ‬West‭ ‬Wing.‭

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Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.- Frank Lloyd Wright 

I‭ ‬would‭ ‬leave‭ ‬commentary‭ ‬on‭ ‬extrovert‭ ‬to‭ ‬well‭ ‬an‭ ‬extrovert.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬I‭ ‬can‭ ‬tell‭ ‬you‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬about‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬my‭ ‬kind‭ ‬particular‭ ‬taste‭ ‬of‭ ‬introvert.‭ ‬Most‭ ‬people‭ ‬might‭ ‬get‭ ‬the‭ ‬wrong‭ ‬impression‭ ‬of‭ ‬me‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬saw‭ ‬me‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬group‭ ‬of‭ ‬people.‭ ‬You‭ ‬would‭ ‬see‭ ‬me‭ ‬be‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬more‭ ‬shy‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬more‭ ‬withdrawn,‭ ‬unless‭ ‬you‭ ‬by‭ ‬chance‭ ‬were‭ ‬able‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬personal‭ ‬one‭ ‬on‭ ‬one‭ ‬conversation.‭ ‬See,‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬by‭ ‬no‭ ‬means‭ ‬shy,‭ ‬but‭ ‬the‭ ‬environment‭ ‬dictates‭ ‬my‭ ‬comfortableness.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬were‭ ‬designing‭ ‬an‭ ‬event,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬choose‭ ‬an‭ ‬extrovert‭ ‬personality‭ ‬to‭ ‬manage‭ ‬the‭ ‬event‭ ‬from‭ ‬a‭ ‬social‭ ‬point,‭ ‬while‭ ‬I‭ ‬worked‭ ‬behind‭ ‬the‭ ‬scenes‭ ‬making‭ ‬sure‭ ‬everything‭ ‬went‭ ‬off‭ ‬smoothly.‭

I‭ ‬am‭ ‬a‭ ‬very‭ ‬social‭ ‬creature,‭ ‬it‭ ‬just‭ ‬has‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬one‭ ‬on‭ ‬one‭ ‬or‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬small‭ ‬group‭ ‬environment.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬also‭ ‬for‭ ‬a‭ ‬comparison‭ ‬between‭ ‬me‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬extrovert‭ ‬friend‭ ‬I‭ ‬have,‭ ‬he‭ ‬is‭ ‬much‭ ‬more‭ ‬social‭ ‬and‭ ‬enjoys‭ ‬large‭ ‬groups,‭ ‬events,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Yet‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬personal‭ ‬level‭ ‬he‭ ‬tends‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬as‭ ‬he‭ ‬states‭ “‬more‭ ‬superficial‭”‬.‭ ‬He‭ ‬likes‭ ‬the‭ ‬small‭ ‬talk‭ ‬that‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬require‭ ‬depth‭ ‬because‭ ‬it‭ ‬allows‭ ‬him‭ ‬to‭ ‬socialize.‭ ‬I‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬hand,‭ ‬am‭ ‬one‭ ‬that‭ ‬likes‭ ‬in‭ ‬depth‭ ‬conversation.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬sit‭ ‬and‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬you‭ ‬about‭ ‬a‭ ‬movie,‭ ‬and‭ ‬then‭ ‬continue‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬philosophical‭ ‬ideals‭ ‬presented‭ ‬by‭ ‬that‭ ‬movie,‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬possible‭ ‬impact‭ ‬on‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬viewed‭ ‬it.‭ ‬To‭ ‬better‭ ‬put‭ ‬it‭ ‬into‭ ‬context,‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬use‭ ‬what‭ ‬he‭ ‬has‭ ‬mentioned‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬a‭ ‬couple‭ ‬times.‭ ‬He‭ ‬asks‭ ‬someone‭ ‬how‭ ‬their‭ ‬day‭ ‬is‭ ‬but‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬really‭ ‬care,‭ ‬I‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬hand‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬someone‭ ‬day‭ ‬is‭ ‬and‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬feel‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬care‭ ‬and‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬hear‭ ‬it.‭ ‬That‭ ‬was‭ ‬his‭ ‬analogy‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬difference‭ ‬between‭ ‬us.‭

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What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scriptures, I learned in woods and fields. I have no other masters than the beeches and the oaks. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux 

I‭ ‬will‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬long‭ ‬conversation‭ ‬about‭ ‬a‭ ‬cashiers‭ ‬day‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬troubles‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬facing.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬had‭ ‬in‭ ‬depth‭ ‬conversations‭ ‬with‭ ‬people‭ ‬while‭ ‬standing‭ ‬in‭ ‬line.‭ ‬You‭ ‬also‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬what‭ ‬will‭ ‬start‭ ‬a‭ ‬conversation.‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬standing‭ ‬in‭ ‬line‭ ‬at‭ ‬Walmart‭ ‬when‭ ‬an‭ ‬older‭ ‬gentleman‭ ‬in‭ ‬front‭ ‬of‭ ‬me‭ ‬noticed‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬holding‭ ‬Marvels‭ ‬Mystery‭ ‬Oil.‭ ‬He‭ ‬commented‭ ‬how‭ ‬he‭ ‬uses‭ ‬that.‭ ‬The‭ ‬conversation‭ ‬then‭ ‬progressed‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬waited‭ ‬into‭ ‬his‭ ‬days‭ ‬growing‭ ‬up‭ ‬and‭ ‬about‭ ‬his‭ ‬kids,‭ ‬as‭ ‬well‭ ‬as‭ ‬about‭ ‬his‭ ‬retirement,‭ ‬how‭ ‬money‭ ‬is‭ ‬tighter‭ ‬since‭ ‬he‭ ‬retired‭ ‬and‭ ‬so‭ ‬he‭ ‬when‭ ‬they‭ ‬raised‭ ‬the‭ ‬price‭ ‬of‭ ‬Marvels,‭ ‬he‭ ‬considered‭ ‬not‭ ‬buying‭ ‬it,‭ ‬but‭ ‬he‭ ‬has‭ ‬used‭ ‬it‭ ‬for‭ ‬years‭ ‬and‭ ‬so‭ ‬he‭ ‬decided‭ ‬to‭ ‬go‭ ‬ahead‭ ‬and‭ ‬get‭ ‬it.‭ ‬A‭ ‬whole‭ ‬conversation‭ ‬spanning‭ ‬several‭ ‬things‭ ‬as‭ ‬we‭ ‬waited‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬line‭ ‬to‭ ‬progress‭ ‬for‭ ‬us‭ ‬to‭ ‬check‭ ‬out.‭ ‬Then‭ ‬as‭ ‬he‭ ‬finished‭ ‬checkout,‭ ‬he‭ ‬told‭ ‬me‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬day‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬told‭ ‬him‭ ‬to‭ ‬enjoy‭ ‬the‭ ‬sunshine,‭ ‬to‭ ‬which‭ ‬he‭ ‬replied‭ ‬he‭ ‬definitely‭ ‬would‭ ‬today.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬little‭ ‬moments‭ ‬like‭ ‬this‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬live‭ ‬for.‭ ‬I‭ ‬enjoy‭ ‬people‭ ‬just‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬personal‭ ‬level.‭

 

I‭ ‬like‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬laugh.‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬seeing‭ ‬them‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬the‭ ‬concept‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬could‭ ‬have‭ ‬an‭ ‬impact‭ ‬on‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬life‭ ‬even‭ ‬for‭ ‬just‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬like‭ ‬just‭ ‬being‭ ‬an‭ ‬ear‭ ‬for‭ ‬their‭ ‬troubles.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬had‭ ‬many‭ ‬moments‭ ‬where‭ ‬a‭ ‬stranger‭ ‬just‭ ‬sits‭ ‬and‭ ‬talks‭ ‬with‭ ‬me‭ ‬about‭ ‬things‭ ‬without‭ ‬either‭ ‬of‭ ‬us‭ ‬knowing‭ ‬each‭ ‬others‭ ‬name.‭ ‬People‭ ‬are‭ ‬important‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬caring‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬comes‭ ‬from‭ ‬a‭ ‬total‭ ‬stranger.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬can‭ ‬make‭ ‬someone‭ ‬feel‭ ‬better,‭ ‬feel‭ ‬cared‭ ‬about,‭ ‬or‭ ‬just‭ ‬give‭ ‬them‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment‭ ‬to‭ ‬vent‭ ‬their‭ ‬issues‭ ‬and‭ ‬it‭ ‬eases‭ ‬their‭ ‬burden,‭ ‬then‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬is‭ ‬worth‭ ‬living.‭

On‭ ‬the‭ ‬flip‭ ‬side‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬my‭ ‬moments‭ ‬where‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬alone.‭ ‬I‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬secluded‭ ‬and‭ ‬away‭ ‬from‭ ‬everything.‭ ‬These‭ ‬are‭ ‬my‭ ‬moments‭ ‬with‭ ‬nature‭ ‬generally‭ ‬or‭ ‬while‭ ‬just‭ ‬driving‭ ‬with‭ ‬some‭ ‬good‭ ‬tunes‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬radio.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬then,‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬I‭ ‬meet‭ ‬someone‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬trail‭ ‬or‭ ‬at‭ ‬a‭ ‬gas‭ ‬station‭ ‬that‭ ‬requires‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment‭ ‬away‭ ‬from‭ ‬my‭ ‬solitude.‭

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To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. – Helen Keller 

Now‭ ‬back‭ ‬to‭ ‬biscuits….

Various‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬people‭ ‬smile:

1.‭ ‬The‭ ‬easiest‭ ‬thing‭ ‬is‭ ‬to‭ ‬just‭ ‬smile‭ ‬yourself.‭ ‬They‭ ‬may‭ ‬not‭ ‬return‭ ‬the‭ ‬smile,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬offered,‭ ‬and‭ ‬you‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬inside‭ ‬they‭ ‬may‭ ‬have‭ ‬accepted‭ ‬it,‭ ‬and‭ ‬are‭ ‬just‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬lot‭ ‬and‭ ‬unable‭ ‬to‭ ‬return‭ ‬it.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬about‭ ‬acknowledgement‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬smile‭ ‬as‭ ‬much‭ ‬as‭ ‬giving‭ ‬freely‭ ‬that‭ ‬which‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬give.

2.‭ ‬Do‭ ‬something‭ ‬silly.‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬silly‭ ‬dances,‭ ‬make‭ ‬funny‭ ‬voices,‭ ‬say‭ ‬random‭ ‬words‭ ‬that‭ ‬make‭ ‬no‭ ‬sense‭ ‬just‭ ‬to‭ ‬bring‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬One‭ ‬odd‭ ‬thing‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬random‭ “‬meow‭”‬.‭ ‬Which‭ ‬I‭ ‬remember‭ ‬a‭ ‬lovely‭ ‬woman‭ ‬at‭ ‬work‭ ‬inquiring‭ “‬did‭ ‬you‭ ‬just‭ ‬meow‭” ‬as‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬just‭ ‬walked‭ ‬by‭ ‬her‭ ‬office‭ ‬door,‭ ‬and‭ ‬did‭ ‬in‭ ‬fact‭ ‬meow.‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬sure‭ ‬people‭ ‬view‭ ‬as‭ ‬an‭ ‬odd‭ ‬person‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬okay‭ ‬with‭ ‬me.‭ ‬If‭ ‬they‭ ‬smiled,‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬they‭ ‬think‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬odd‭ ‬or‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬I‭ ‬still‭ ‬made‭ ‬them‭ ‬smile.‭

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All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. – Marie Curie 

3.‭ ‬Do‭ ‬something‭ ‬random.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬bought‭ ‬a‭ ‬single‭ ‬flower‭ ‬for‭ ‬individuals‭ ‬I‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬know.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬paid‭ ‬for‭ ‬something‭ ‬for‭ ‬someone‭ ‬I‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬know.‭ ‬I‭ ‬comment‭ ‬on‭ ‬something‭ ‬someone‭ ‬is‭ ‬wearing,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬You‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬just‭ ‬what‭ ‬kind‭ ‬of‭ ‬impact‭ ‬this‭ ‬will‭ ‬have‭ ‬on‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Oh‭ ‬,Oh,‭ ‬and‭ ‬always‭ ‬hold‭ ‬the‭ ‬door‭ ‬open‭ ‬for‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬care‭ ‬the‭ ‬gender.‭ ‬Simple‭ ‬gesture,‭ ‬small‭ ‬pause‭ ‬in‭ ‬your‭ ‬day‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬can‭ ‬make‭ ‬a‭ ‬difference‭ ‬and‭ ‬change‭ ‬a‭ ‬thought‭ ‬pattern.‭

4.‭ ‬Acknowledge‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else.‭ ‬I‭ ‬all‭ ‬to‭ ‬often‭ ‬nowadays‭ ‬see‭ ‬people‭ ‬caught‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬their‭ ‬tech.‭ ‬Yes,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬know‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬faulted‭ ‬for‭ ‬this.‭ ‬As‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids‭ ‬use‭ ‬to‭ ‬point‭ ‬out,‭ ‬they‭ ‬could‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬around‭ ‬a‭ ‬store‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬reading‭ ‬something‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ ‬phone‭ ‬or‭ ‬texting‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬following‭ ‬them‭ ‬by‭ ‬seeing‭ ‬their‭ ‬feet‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬peripheral‭ ‬vision.‭ ‬I‭ ‬sure‭ ‬hope‭ ‬no‭ ‬one‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬same‭ ‬kind‭ ‬of‭ ‬shoes‭ ‬and‭ ‬gate‭ ‬happens‭ ‬to‭ ‬walk‭ ‬past‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬are‭ ‬paused.‭ ‬I‭ ‬might‭ ‬end‭ ‬up‭ ‬someplace‭ ‬totally‭ ‬different,‭ ‬with‭ ‬someone‭ ‬wondering‭ ‬why‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬being‭ ‬followed.‭ ‬LOL‭ ‬Though‭ ‬seriously,‭ ‬acknowledge‭ ‬people.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬just‭ ‬nodding‭ ‬at‭ ‬them,‭ ‬making‭ ‬eye‭ ‬contact,‭ ‬etc.‭

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My profession is to always find God in nature. Henry David Thoreau

5.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬their‭ ‬day‭ ‬is.‭ ‬Not‭ ‬just‭ ‬the‭ ‬cashier,‭ ‬but‭ ‬random‭ ‬people‭ ‬you‭ ‬meet.‭ ‬There‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬reason‭ ‬that‭ ‬the‭ ‬weather‭ ‬makes‭ ‬a‭ ‬good‭ ‬conversation‭ ‬piece.‭ ‬It‭ ‬allows‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬acknowledge‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬talk‭ ‬with‭ ‬them‭ ‬and‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬continue‭ ‬conversing,‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬opened‭ ‬the‭ ‬door‭ ‬for‭ ‬them‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬such.‭

6.‭ ‬Say‭ ‬thank‭ ‬you.‭ ‬Be‭ ‬grateful‭ ‬for‭ ‬even‭ ‬the‭ ‬routine‭ ‬jobs‭ ‬people‭ ‬do.‭ ‬We‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬society‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬tendency‭ ‬to‭ ‬complain,‭ ‬but‭ ‬many‭ ‬times‭ ‬forget‭ ‬to‭ ‬say‭ ‬thanks‭ ‬unless‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬an‭ ‬exceptional‭ ‬experience.‭ ‬Every‭ ‬year‭ ‬I‭ ‬give‭ ‬our‭ ‬mailman,‭ ‬Mike,‭ ‬a‭ ‬card‭ ‬for‭ ‬Christmas‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬10‭ ‬dollar‭ ‬gift‭ ‬card‭ ‬to‭ ‬Starbucks,‭ ‬he‭ ‬likes‭ ‬caramel‭ ‬macchiatos.‭ ‬When‭ ‬the‭ ‬bank‭ ‬used‭ ‬deposit‭ ‬envelopes,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬write‭ ‬notes‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬deposit‭ ‬envelopes,‭ ‬especially‭ ‬the‭ ‬ones‭ ‬I‭ ‬put‭ ‬in‭ ‬night‭ ‬drop‭ ‬or‭ ‬atm.‭ ‬They‭ ‬noticed‭ ‬and‭ ‬thanked‭ ‬me.‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬and‭ ‬send‭ ‬out‭ ‬Christmas‭ ‬cards‭ ‬to‭ ‬my‭ ‬insurance‭ ‬agent‭ ‬and‭ ‬other‭ ‬people,‭ ‬especially‭ ‬if‭ ‬we‭ ‬had‭ ‬any‭ ‬kind‭ ‬of‭ ‬interaction‭ ‬during‭ ‬the‭ ‬year.‭ ‬Be‭ ‬thankful,‭ ‬but‭ ‬also‭ ‬show‭ ‬that‭ ‬thanks.‭

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Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God. – George Washington Carver 

The‭ ‬last‭ ‬thought.‭ ‬Accept‭ ‬rude‭ ‬people.‭ ‬When‭ ‬you‭ ‬go‭ ‬out‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬idea‭ ‬of‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬smile‭ ‬and‭ ‬changing‭ ‬peoples‭’‬ days,‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬come‭ ‬across‭ ‬rude‭ ‬people.‭ ‬The‭ ‬way‭ ‬I‭ ‬approach‭ ‬things‭ ‬is‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬no‭ ‬expectations‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬interactions.‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬expect‭ ‬to‭ ‬change‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬day‭ ‬or‭ ‬make‭ ‬them‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬hope‭ ‬I‭ ‬can.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬run‭ ‬into‭ ‬rude‭ ‬people,‭ ‬depending‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬interaction,‭ ‬I‭ ‬simply‭ ‬apologize‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬bother.‭ ‬I‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬why‭ ‬they‭ ‬might‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬rude‭ ‬reaction.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬accept‭ ‬it‭ ‬and‭ ‬move‭ ‬on.‭ ‬Okay‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬depending‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬interaction‭ ‬I‭ ‬play‭ ‬a‭ ‬fun‭ ‬little‭ ‬interaction‭ ‬out‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬head,‭ ‬but‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭ ‬can‭ ‬keep‭ ‬my‭ ‬smile‭ ‬to‭ ‬pass‭ ‬on‭ ‬to‭ ‬others.‭

Try‭ ‬and‭ ‬bring‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬to‭ ‬one‭ ‬person‭’‬s‭ ‬face‭ ‬today.‭ ‬Trust‭ ‬me,‭ ‬even‭ ‬the‭ ‬grumpy‭ ‬old‭ ‬grandpa‭ ‬has‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬in‭ ‬him.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬seen‭ ‬it‭ ‬on‭ ‬more‭ ‬than‭ ‬one‭ ‬occasion.‭ ‬The‭ ‬very‭ ‬last‭ ‬piece‭ ‬of‭ ‬advice,‭ ‬be‭ ‬observant,‭ ‬especially‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬ones‭ ‬that‭ ‬look‭ ‬like‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬having‭ ‬a‭ ‬really‭ ‬bad‭ ‬day‭ ‬or‭ ‬are‭ ‬grumpy.‭ ‬Sometimes‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬pick‭ ‬up‭ ‬something‭ ‬that‭ ‬can‭ ‬give‭ ‬you‭ ‬a‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬strike‭ ‬up‭ ‬a‭ ‬conversation‭ ‬or‭ ‬help‭ ‬them‭ ‬along.‭ ‬The‭ ‬grumpy‭ ‬old‭ ‬man‭ ‬might‭ ‬be‭ ‬attempting‭ ‬to‭ ‬carry‭ ‬something‭ ‬heavy,‭ ‬reminiscing‭ ‬about‭ ‬his‭ ‬youth‭ ‬and‭ ‬how‭ ‬this‭ ‬simple‭ ‬grocery‭ ‬bag‭ ‬is‭ ‬now‭ ‬giving‭ ‬him‭ ‬trouble.‭ ‬Where‭ ‬as‭ ‬in‭ ‬his‭ ‬youth,‭ ‬he‭ ‬hiked‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬50‭ ‬pound‭ ‬pack‭ ‬on‭ ‬his‭ ‬back.‭

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“There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Remember ..‭ ‬approach‭ ‬everyone‭ ‬with‭ ‬dignity,‭ ‬respect,‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Those‭ ‬things‭ ‬alone‭ ‬will‭ ‬brighten‭ ‬a‭ ‬person‭’‬s‭ ‬day‭ ‬to‭ ‬not‭ ‬be‭ ‬talked‭ ‬down‭ ‬to,‭ ‬to‭ ‬not‭ ‬be‭ ‬treated‭ ‬like‭ ‬a‭ ‬child,‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬spoken‭ ‬to‭ ‬as‭ ‬an‭ ‬equal‭ ‬human‭ ‬being.‭

 

Have‭ ‬a‭ ‬wonderful‭ ‬day.‭ ‬thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time.‭ ‬May‭ ‬you‭ ‬be‭ ‬blessed.‭

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“Speed is not a priority, just enjoy your hike – Keep smiling”
― Barry Perdana Putra

 

PS.‭ ‬I‭ ‬wrote‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬entry‭ ‬Saturday‭ ‬morning.‭ ‬Saturday‭ ‬afternoon‭ ‬while‭ ‬out‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬hike‭ ‬at‭ ‬Starved‭ ‬Rock‭ ‬state‭ ‬park‭ ‬in‭ ‬Illinois,‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ ‬I‭ ‬took‭ ‬the‭ ‬pictures‭ ‬in‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬at,‭ ‬we‭ ‬came‭ ‬across‭ ‬a‭ ‬gentleman‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬St.‭ ‬Louis‭ ‬Canyon‭ ‬waterfall.‭ ‬He‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬tripod‭ ‬and‭ ‬dslr‭ ‬camera‭ ‬and‭ ‬was‭ ‬taking‭ ‬pictures.‭ ‬It‭ ‬first‭ ‬started‭ ‬out‭ ‬by‭ ‬me‭ ‬mentioning‭ ‬about‭ ‬going‭ ‬behind‭ ‬the‭ ‬waterfall‭ ‬which‭ ‬was‭ ‬mostly‭ ‬frozen‭ ‬that‭ ‬you‭ ‬got‭ ‬pretty‭ ‬greenish‭ ‬blue‭ ‬colors‭ ‬through‭ ‬the‭ ‬ice.‭ ‬He‭ ‬then‭ ‬offered‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬our‭ ‬picture‭ ‬with‭ ‬my‭ ‬camera‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬in‭ ‬turn‭ ‬use‭ ‬his‭ ‬camera‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬his.‭ ‬We‭ ‬began‭ ‬walking‭ ‬back‭ ‬down‭ ‬the‭ ‬trail‭ ‬and‭ ‬he‭ ‬caught‭ ‬up‭ ‬with‭ ‬us.‭ ‬He‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬talked‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬back‭ ‬until‭ ‬our‭ ‬paths‭ ‬diverged.‭ ‬We‭ ‬talked‭ ‬about‭ ‬photography,‭ ‬the‭ ‬weather,‭ ‬snow,‭ ‬St.‭ ‬Louis‭ ‬250‭ ‬years,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Neither‭ ‬of‭ ‬us‭ ‬offered‭ ‬our‭ ‬names‭ ‬and‭ ‬while‭ ‬he‭ ‬mentioned‭ ‬his‭ ‬boss‭ ‬neither‭ ‬of‭ ‬us‭ ‬discussed‭ ‬what‭ ‬we‭ ‬did‭ ‬or‭ ‬where‭ ‬we‭ ‬worked.‭ ‬When‭ ‬our‭ ‬paths‭ ‬diverged‭ ‬he‭ ‬wished‭ ‬us‭ ‬well.‭ ‬As‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife,‭ ‬daughter‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬were‭ ‬climbing‭ ‬back‭ ‬up‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬bluff‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬commented‭ ‬about‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬written.‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬like‭ ‬what‭ ‬about‭ ‬it.‭ ‬She‭ ‬just‭ ‬said‭ ‬she‭ ‬found‭ ‬it‭ ‬funny‭ ‬how‭ ‬I‭ ‬wrote‭ ‬this‭ ‬and‭ ‬then‭ ‬had‭ ‬that‭ ‬interaction.‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬not‭ ‬sure‭ ‬exactly‭ ‬what‭ ‬level‭ ‬she‭ ‬was‭ ‬connecting‭ ‬it‭ ‬to‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬but‭ ‬since‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬not‭ ‬posted‭ ‬this‭ ‬yet,‭ ‬awaiting‭ ‬to‭ ‬add‭ ‬pictures,‭ ‬I‭ ‬figured‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬add‭ ‬it‭ ‬since‭ ‬she‭ ‬found‭ ‬a‭ ‬connection.‭

After‭ ‬finishing‭ ‬editing‭ ‬my‭ ‬blog‭ ‬entry,‭ ‬my‭ ‬lovely‭ ‬wife‭ ‬simply‭ ‬said‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬ps‭ “‬because‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬anybody‭ ‬and‭ ‬everybody‭ ‬about‭ ‬anything‭ ‬and‭ ‬everything.‭ “

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“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” ― John Muir   (this is picture of my lovely wife and grammar fixer)

‭The pictures here are from starved rock state park area. The main trail we took was from lodge to st. louis canyon not a long trail about 1.5 miles but with camera in hand and some adjustment for terrain due to ice, snow, mud, etc. It took us 4 hours roundtrip. Though most of the time was spent just enjoying the various waterfalls along the way. Especially since my editor as well as my daughter absolutely love waterfalls.

‭Sometimes people complain about the snow and while shoveling it and driving on it can sometimes be an inconvenience it is the beauty of winter. It adds a beauty to the dormant trees and plants that is just beautiful. I love snow, though I must admit this year I have reached my limit of its beauty and look forward to the flowers of spring. 🙂

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An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. Henry David Thoreau – (made me think of Pastor Ron)

 

May You Have A Blessed Day

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Speak only the speech
that neither torments self
nor does harm to others.
That speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only endearing speech,
speech that is welcomed.
Speech when it brings no evil
to others
is pleasant.
— Sn 3.3

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“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

I saw a post saying “if you voted for Obama twice you are way too stupid to argue with”. I see various stuff in similar fashion on social media and the internet at large. You see people making rude statements on forums and the like. Which is saddening to me.

I don’t mind political statements, religious statements, etc. What I draw issue with is when you start calling people stupid or other various unflattering phrases just because they have a differing viewpoint. Unfortunately, I see this in real life just as I do in cyber life, though it seems much more predominant in cyber life, but that is probably due to anonymity of the net. Though really, in real life many times it is due to anonymity as well. The rude behavior is directed at individuals you don’t know and don’t know you.

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“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8

I had my neighbor once say while watching news of innocents dying in either Iraq or Afghanistan that they deserved it for choosing the wrong religion. I don’t understand this type of mentality.We were all put here on earth to live and be different. Just because you see something one way does not mean that someone else is immediately wrong, stupid, or inferior. It just simply means they see things differently.

Some of the MMO on the net (large multi-player games) can be rather bad for trash talking and doing mean things. Which makes me question what kind of statement this makes about our human nature. When given anonymity, how do we truly act? I know that not all of us are this way, but it still makes one ponder especially about those that are. What happened to playing nice, keeping your mouth shut, and being kind?

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“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Mark Twain

While I think technology is great, and the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives; it still brings into light some of the darker elements of our nature. You have a political stance, that is fine. You don’t like a particular politician feel free to comment on him. But when you comment on individuals that voted on him in a negative way, you are making a larger statement about yourself than about them. Same with religion, when someone says someone deserves something because they have a different belief you are making a much larger statement about yourself then you are ever about another religion.

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“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” – Amelia Earhart

In fact it was people’s attitudes that made me leave the church years ago. It seems many have forgotten the very nature of the one they serve. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35. Jesus was all about love. When you look at my favourite parable of his, the Good Samaritan, it speaks all about perception, love, and how to treat each other. Samaritans were look down upon and for this day and age you could see them as any group that is looked down upon. It is the attitude in your heart that makes the difference.
He made sure in his parable to use someone from their own nation, their own faith, then one that was not looked favorably upon. The one whom they despised is the one that helped him.

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“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37

Most religions actually hold true to a love aspect and treating others with kindness and love. Many uphold the ideal of treating everyone with kindness.

If we just spoke nicer to others, treated everyone as deserving of our respect no matter their place in society, their beliefs, political views, or even sexual orientation. If we just loved them for being human. If we tried to avoid hateful speech. If we stopped and considered who might hear or read what we say or write. There are feelings attached to your words. My father-in-law has a saying that I love and have kept with me since the first time he said it, “It isn’t what you say, but what other people hear”.

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

They say sticks and stones may hurt your bones but words will never hurt you. But I have found in life that cuts and bruises heal more quickly then wounds from words, especially from those closest to you. Psychological wounds dealt with words can cut much deeper then most realize.  Also remember that the words you use on someone else can harm you as well. There are many that regret words spoken. So please be careful not to cut someone today using your words.

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“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

Though our culture seems to condone such behavior with political ads that talk poorly about the other candidate, slanted media coverage of virtually anything, television shows and movies that use crude humor and make people the focus of jokes. Mind you there is a form of humor that does this but there is a tasteful way to do it and then there is what I see much of now in the media, which is just crude and hateful. I’ll laugh at a couple guys poking at each other such as Big Bang Theory, but cringe at things like Jackass and other shows that do mean things.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a great day. May life bring you many interesting adventures.

This last photo is a photo of flowers my mother planted before she passed but never got to see them bloom.

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“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

Happy Holidays, Season greetings, Merry Christmas, and etc.

You know I don’t understand why there is an issue with any terms used for the holiday season.  Happy Holidays is appropriate given some celebrate Hannukkah, others Kwanzaa, etc plus you have new years all in this set. Various holidays happen during this time of year including those that see winter solstice as a holiday.  So I have a hard time grasping the anger, irritation, etc from Christians that want the use of Merry Christmas instead of any other greeting.  That stance first seems a bit self focused and negates the views and beliefs of anyone else celebrating during this time of year.  

On the flipside I don’t understand the issue people have with the use of Merry Christmas either. Christmas is a federal holiday. Yes it is a religious holiday but it is also a federal holiday thus for those not of the Christian faith or even those of the Christian faith that don’t observe Christmas, such as Jehovah Witnesses, it should be seen more as a term such as Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Fourth of July, etc. Just a term used in relation to a federal Holiday.  So I don’t understand the irritation from either side really.

From a business perspective I grasp the concept of wanting to utilize the term Happy Holidays or Season Greetings because you have a very wide base of customers and thus not knowing what your clientele observe it is more fitting to use Happy Holidays. Though again Merry Christmas would still be appropriate to me due to it being a federal holiday.

Though even more I’ve seen Christians in particular get mean when told happy holidays. They get snappy or in one instance I saw a lady yelling at the cashier that its Merry Christmas.  Which I think is a dispointing display from Christians.  I really don’t think Jesus would really care the term used. We cry political correctness but in the same breath we demand our way be done and forget anyone else feelings or beliefs. It doesn’t seem right.  Especially when you consider Jesus didn’t care about the religious affiliation of a person or etc.  Think the story of the Good Samaritan which is my favorite parable. 🙂

Also I don’t understand because no matter the term used the individual presenting it is wishing you well, happiness, and being nice. How do you turn ugly against a display of kindness? How do you get so caught up in your own self that you get angry over a gesture of kindness and caring.   It would be like getting angry because someone said “hi” instead of “hello”.   It is all gestures of kindness and the conveyance of joy and happiness. In fact season greetings is probably the least of the sayings to convey that. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas both are conveying a desire for you to have joy, happiness, and merriment.  Someone in turns gets irritated or pushes their own agenda.  I don’t grasp, but then again I am a bit more liberal in my views and don’t see an issue with the use of words if they are conveying some form of kindness.  I mean if they said have a crappy holiday I might draw an issue. 🙂

Just something I can’t get my head around, never could.  My dad would get so mad over the use of happy holidays and yes even he would get ugly with someone that said it.  I couldn’t understand it.

Wouldn’t it be much simplier to acknowledge the intent behind the message then the way it is worded. If we just accepted the kindness offered us without demanding it be on the terms we wanted I think the world would be a little better place. I mean if someone said Happy Hannukkah to me, I would say thank you, tell them I wasn’t jewish but then would wish them a happy Hannukkah.   Understanding, caring, love, kindness are way better then taking a hard stand on your soap box and being annoyed at people.

1 Corinthians 12:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

I hope you have an awesome and wonderful holiday season whatever holiday you may observe and a happy new year. 🙂

And thank you for taking the time to read.

Member of The Internet Defense League