Who Are You?

Who are you, concept words on blackboard.“There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.” –Pearl Bailey

A few weeks ago I participated in an interesting group activity. The participants were distributed in groups of twos and instructed to face one another. One person was directed to ask the question “Who are you?” The other person would then respond with one word that describes him/her. This sequence would be repeated as much as the 30 second allotted time frame would allow. Once the activity commenced, a cacophony of vocabulary rhetoric ensued that mimicked that of the unpredictable clamor of thunder and lightning during a harsh electrical storm. When my opportunity came I spewed out words like “strong”, “intelligent”, “confident”, “visionary” etc. However, at the end of the exercise the instructor posed a thought-provoking question that hit me like a pillow case full of bricks. He asked, “Did anyone give any negative responses?”

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol

As humans we prefer to accentuate our positive qualities while neglecting or masking our faults. As we paddle down our river of life we experience feelings of insecurity, fear, confusion, or brokenness.  We choose to leave our weak areas hidden so that we will not be at risk of having to face the brunt of society’s harsh criticism and ridicule. We all have negative traits that could use some polishing, buffing, or a good scrub.

We must first know who we are, before we can make the changes needed to become who we want to be!

So ask yourself, WHO ARE YOU?

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The DO’s and DOMES!

antidepressants“One pill, two pill, three pill, four, five pill, six pill, seven pill, floor.” – Anon

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a young lady. During the conversation she started to peel back the cornhusks of her personal life and revealed certain things to me that most individuals don’t know about her. She expressed her immense desire to go to a concert so that she can hang out with her friends, drink, and do drugs. Then she went to state “If I’m not high on domes then I’m home sleeping!” Now for those that don’t have a master’s degree in street slang, domes are the street name for the drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). LSD is known for its psychological effects that include altered thinking processes, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences. During the conversation, I attempted to open her eyes to the underlying truth that her life is valuable and she shouldn’t waste it chasing after an insignificant and temporary induced high.

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Anon

Our lives are important and we exist to fulfill a greater purpose. Each day we are blessed to inhale the sweet nectar that is air, we are given another opportunity to make a difference. What we do next, and the choices we make are up to us. I have no clue if my conversation added to the account stored in her memory banks. I hope it did.

However, there’s a maxim that states, “you can lead a camel to water but you can’t make it drink”.

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Castles in the Sand!

IMG_0888A few weeks ago as I ambled along the golden sands of (in my humble opinion) the most beautiful islands in the world, (The Islands of the Bahamas) I stumbled onto a sandcastle. This was not your ordinary, archetypal sandcastle sculpted using the minuscule phalanges of an adolescent boy or girl. This sandcastle’s architecture easily rivaled that of the Windsor Castle in Berkshire England, which served as the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As I stood and watched as the waves inched closer and closer to the Krptonian fortress of solitude, I could not help but think of the parable of the fool that built his house on sand.

In the parable the wise man build his house on a rock. When the rains and wind came the house stood firm. However, a foolish man built his house on sand. The rains and winds blew and beat against that house and if fell with a great crash.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

How often do we find ourselves caught up directing all our energy towards building up an abundance of treasure that will only rot, be plundered, or left behind once we exit this world? We tend to become so consumed trying to win first prize in this treasure hunt that we get tangled in the tightly spun web of materialism. We want the lavish homes, cars, and designer clothes that serve as status symbols. We should treasure having moral fiber, character, doing good will, and helping those we can. These actions define a legacy that will last long after your days are numbered on the earth.

Don’t build up treasure that will be swept away with the tide once your wave of life goes out!

 

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Wordy Conversation

compssionloogo“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” – Confucius

About a month ago I found myself in the middle of a unique exchange. I made the health-conscious decision to walk down the plethora of stairs that led to my destination rather than taking the elevator. After getting mentally prepared for the arduous task I now faced, I decided to commence with my descent. As I was making my way down the stairs an acquaintance of mine began making her way up the same stairs. She’s normally a happy go lucky, outgoing and rambunctious lady. However, something didn’t seem right. I had no way of deciphering what or if something occurred that caused the Learjet that is her day to go uncontrollably spiraling downward. As our separation distance shriveled down to that of the length of a five dollar footlong sub; I did what I thought was best. I simply gave her a hug. No words, no interrogation, just a compassionate embrace. Immediately, a tsunami like flow of tears disgorged from her eyes onto my shoulders. She later proceeded to divulge an abundance of details about her life that she hadn’t shared with anyone.

“A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.” – William John Bennett

We all had moments in in which we ignored or chosen not to be bothered with the plight of those around us. We inhabit a world in which demonstrations of compassion has become as rare as red diamond. We all can do a better job being sensitive to the needs of those around us.

A simple conversation, lending an ear, or even a hug can serve as the salt needed to add an explosion of flavor to an individual’s dish of life!

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Decisions, Decisions!

A week ago the right hemisphere of my brain fell under the full fledge attack of a myriad of decisions I needed to make before the fall semester began. Decisions related to the type of classes to take, the amount of classes to take, the appropriate times to take those classes and where to take those classes. Immediately following our first breath of air (after being spanked on the derriere by a doctor) we are catapulted into a life infected by a cornucopia of decisions that need to be made. We decided when to take our first steps, whether to make “dadda” or “momma” our first words, if we desire to be a law abiding citizen or a criminal, which profession to pursue, if we prefer to make a difference or be a mediocre statistic, etc. As the hour hand on life’s time clock rotates (clockwise) the decisions we make mutate in complexity and are appended with ramifications.

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” –Chinese Proverb

Decisions regardless of size should never be rushed or made without taking the time to properly weigh all options or consequences.

The decisions we make will determine how straight we can keep our shell (kayak) as we scull (row) during the repechage of our lives!

We will always be surrounded by decisions each day of our lives. Will you choose to make the right or wrong decisions?

“We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.” – Gary Collins

 

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