The Kindness Agenda

chess-316658_1280

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

6Hsm9zAU

Advertisements

Diversity in Christmas Lights

P1380267_1280x855

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”

Max de Pree

I enjoy Christmas lights. When the kids were younger we would go out and drive through neighborhoods looking at all the different lights people displayed. Monday night I got a special treat and was able to go with my wife to Missouri Botanical Gardens Glow night for photographers. They allowed tripods and monopods in the garden for that evening. It was wonderful. Though I would love to upgrade my camera and let my wife have my old one so when an opportunity comes up again we both can take pictures. She isn’t quite the photo buff I am but I felt like all she was doing was carrying my stuff that night and keeping me company.

Though last night I went out with the camera to find people’s homes that were displayed with wonderful lights. I had fun driving around and seeing the diversity. Though this got me thinking about diversity and lights. I was thinking how when you drive around looking at all the lights people put on their homes you realize how well that represents human diversity. You have colored lights, white lights, blue lights, simple displays, elaborate displays, and gloriously gaudy displays. I would drive by homes with just candles in the windows then others would accent framing of the house, and yet others would go all out so the people on the space station could see.

P1380161_1280x855

Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”

Jinato Hu

Humans are much the same you have diversity in color, culture, and language. Then you get into style, you have clothing choices, extroverts, introverts, and just well so much diversity. Sometimes you find someone like the simple candles in the windows house and other times you find the ones that boldly present themselves to the world. Also much like the lights on the homes, much of what we see is just an outside representation. We can’t see in the homes to see the inner workings and setup. We just see what is presented to us. Sometimes you get to glimpse inside the home but even that is just a small percentage of the whole house.

Could I tell you something about a person by merely looking at their Christmas light display? I’m sure some psychologist out there would say yes and then go through a list of things that the display represents about the person. Though really its just lights. It is what the person wants you to see. It says something about them indeed but it in no way gives you the depth of the home they are displayed on.

P1380252_1280x855

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

– Bob Hope

I saw a home with a very simple display last night it was a couple lit trees and 2 pink deer. Now without knowing the individual that displayed those I could make wrong assumptions about that home. I could assume girls live there, maybe gays, or maybe it has a child that really really wanted the pink deer even though daddy really didn’t want pink deer in his yard, but he decided the smile on his child’s face was more important than what other people thought about it. The only way to know is instead of judging based on appearance is to actually talk to the people of the home. Maybe they just wanted something that would be a talking piece. 🙂

Also I noticed that the size of the home nor the neighborhood influenced the style of lights you saw. I saw in what some would call a higher rent district a Christmas monkey in the yard. Yet I saw a simple display of wreaths and lights in the older part of town. I saw homes with wonderful style and thought to their decorations and others that seemed to be put together with whatever they found on clearance last year. All still very beautiful and the people that put up the display equally as beautiful. They just wanted to share something with the rest of us and I was glad to be one of the people to enjoy that sharing.

P1380233_1280x855

Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. “ ~Betsy Cañas

Though just as there was diversity in the displays, I also saw there was also a common ideal of lighting the home for others to enjoy. The idea of sharing something with others in their own way. A common element of while being different we are all human no matter the light display and that is beautiful.

I even saw a 18 wheeler with a Christmas wreath tied to the front grill and lit up. You know what I learned about that driver from that simple display. He likes this time of year and wanted to share that. Maybe there is some reason to the wreath, maybe his child put it on there for him, I’ll never know. I do know that I appreciated seeing it and it made me smile.

P1380137_1280x855

The outdoor Christmas lights, green and red and gold and blue and twinkling, remind me that most people are that way all year round — kind, generous, friendly and with an occasional moment of ecstasy. But Christmas is the only time they dare reveal themselves.” – Harlan Miller

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. May Peace, Love, and Joy be in your hearts this season and in all seasons.

Thank you for your time. I do apologize this is my wife’s busy time of year so grammar errors will most definitely occur because she has enough to handle without her grammar impaired husband bothering her. 🙂

P1380254_1280x855

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” ~Charles Dickens

Everything is Illuminated

P1340617_1280x719


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.

P1350037_1280x960

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.

P1340896_1280x719

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.

P1340960_1280x719

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.

P1350091_1280x960

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.

P1350163_1280x719

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.

P1340987_1280x719

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

P1350178_1280x719

Member of The Internet Defense League