My wish for humanity this year and moving forward is the ability to gracefully
and respectfully address, challenge or confront ideas, NOT people. Many people engaged in discussions with a compelling argument on opposing sides, rather than a thoughtful discourse on ideas use the statement “you are……, he/she is………they are………” which is frequently followed by a label, insult or disrespectful moniker. We determine the worth of the ideas by the moniker or label we attach to the person. The judgement we use determines the value we assign to the idea. How limiting and suffocating! We are all let down by the potential power of the moment when people are attacked and diminished rather than a healthy vetting of the idea or philosophy. Unfortunately the recent election in America has seemingly given permission to this manner of communication. Please be aware that assigning blame to any particular person, party or persuasion, is not important and ill advised, a wise elder I know says, stay focused on the signal not the noise. Focusing on the noise, which our ego will compel us to do, will entangle us in a quagmire of stagnation and drudgery. So let us focus on the signal instead and ascend to a more satisfying and expansive world by concentrating on possibility, potential, courage and abundance.
We all have an important decision to make henceforth to truly affect what kind of world we want to manifest for each other; our children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters. We have to resist becoming idle in our comfort zone or paralyzed by our fears. So this year dear readers consider as part of a New Year’s resolution to fly towards a life of exhilaration and authenticity. Let us be mindful in all our interactions and observations to advance each other. Remember this simple approach in our communications both written and verbal; is it true, is it necessary, it is kind, and will it improve humanity.
We all have the ability and power to create our own journey and in turn impact the journey of others. So it is up to us how our journey will be, we can choose a rugged or a flowing path. Things will happen that effect us, but how we perceive these events and take action from there is our choice. Speak up when doing so advances our humanity. When engaged in a challenging discussion scrutinize the idea not the person. Try to avoid “I” or “You” statements, remember the vision of humanity is to focus on we and us. Look for common ground when areas of conflict appear remember the strong foundation we share first and then work through the conflicts. When we see injustice or unkindness be courageous speak up for our vision of humanity. Let us celebrate and spend time with what is refreshing and rejuvenating in our community and lives. Let us encourage fellowship and kindness. Each day focus on what supports this vision, the signal, rather than what doesn’t, the noise. We all seek belongingness and to sustain a peaceful and thriving existence we have to find ways to advance the feelings of acceptance to each other while also advancing our cleverness.
Let us all transform and break out of our cocoons of fear and spread our wings to create a humanity of oneness!
If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other ~ Mother Teresa
I have been getting some strong messages in my life lately, the kinds you cannot ignore. Like a bullhorn blowing a few inches from your ear. Toooooo dooooooo dooooo doooooooo, waaaaaaaaa oooooooooooo……ok I could clip in some audio here but that was more fun. First a trusted advisor was counseling me on what she called 4th dimensional living, where basically we move from service to self or ego which is considered 3rd dimensional living to service to others. She was saying 4th dimensional living allows us and others to attract what we intend but from a community perspective, in other words, we view the universe as a whole and not us within the whole, but we are part of the whole. She was encouraging me to notice when I am in 3rd dimensional thinking, when ego is on a joy ride at my expense, and gently shift to 4th dimensional thinking. I was so grateful for her timely advice I am working on being present to my intent in my interactions and her guidance has reinforced that practice.
So this morning I received my next nudge, when I got up to watch Sunday Morning on CBS, which has been my routine since I was in high school, I saw a piece on Dale Carnegie and I instantly flashed back to earlier in life where my employer sent many of us through Dale Carnegie training. It is probably the best training anyone could ever receive. What really caught my attention was Dale Carnegie, a salesman from Missouri born in 1888, was conveying a similar message. Dale Carnegie talks about creating happiness for others and encourages restraint from ego driven activities such as criticizing, condemning and complaining. 4th Dimensional living encourages us to recognize personal journeys, committment to others achieving a positive reality along with us, and lack of ego satisfaction. There is much common ground here.
I decided I am receiving these messages for a reason so I revisited some of my favorite points from the Dale Carnegie training, which I felt I needed to be reminded of, and reflect on how they have helped who I am being in this world and that I need to be present to still today.
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. – Mr. Carnegie’s famous quote on this principle is: “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.” – This is about respecting others point of view even if it does not reflect your own. It is also about controlling the ego. It is okay for others to have a different point of view and if you can hear differing views without reaction, your universe will expand. You will be open to seeing and hearing view points you would not conceive. If you cannot hear others points of view, your opinion of the world and the universe is narrowed to your own limited experience. In addition, it is difficult to cultivate rich relationships and experiences if others encounter you from a place of criticism, complaining or condemning. I have seen the devastating effects of complaining, condemnation and criticism, where once thriving relationships have been permanently damaged. However, I have also seen the marvelous effects admiration, commendation, and praise produce.
2. Smile. – “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you, You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” That is why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them.” – Dale Carnegie. A genuine, authentic smile is the best gift you can give yourself and the world. A smile is acknowledgement of our interconnectedness, I believe the less connected you are to the whole of the universe the less inclined you are to smile. We all know people who smile or have infectious smiles, they light up a room. Think about how you feel when you are with those people; amazing, light, safe, giddy and comfortable. It is almost like they emit a magic elixir that you absorb through your skin, it is powerful. The opposite of that are the people who wear their disapproval on their sleeve and instead of invigorating others, it is exhausting and draining. So smile it is a simple but powerful action that can manifest happiness in those you touch each day.
3. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” – I cannot stress enough the almighty power and possibility born of honest and authentic praise and the devastation and misery of going straight to criticism or condemning. I have actually seen people accomplish things they never thought possible, including myself, as a result of well-timed and authentic praise. If you think about it, when have you felt the most amazing, the most powerful? I bet it has something to do with a parent, mentor, teacher, coach, trusted advisor or friend giving you praise on an accomplishment, telling you they are proud of you. You wish you could bottle that feeling, it is nirvana. I believe it is the highest state of being when you look at someone and your initial thought is love or praise. Imagine the possibilities born of this state of being!
Just remember in every interaction what would you like to be acknowledged for, how would you like to be treated, and then treat others from that perspective. Really this goes back to the golden rule, or as Confucius said – “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” It is a very simple maxim to follow, treat others how you would like to be treated. Think of it this way. You are the teacher in a very large classroom and everyday you go out among your students and through example you behave in the way you want them to behave. As I heard one person put it, it’s common sense, but not in common practice today.
If you have ever had the experience of dealing with someone who has shaped their world by bullying and humiliation to get what they need, have compassion for them, and remember your response to their behavior is how you want them to treat you. So if you respond in kind, you are teaching them to continue the behavior, if you respond with loving kindness even under this most stressful situations, you are teaching them how you want to be treated. Will this change the person that is using negative approaches to cope, maybe not, but it is about you maintaining your integrity in the face of adversity and manifesting the life you want. So give loving kindness and smile is it a gift that you can share with many people all at once, loved ones and strangers alike, but the true recipient of your gift of smiles is your own heart and soul.
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ― Mother Teresa