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Would you be disappointed?
Or pleasantly surprised?

There are many things in life we say that we want and need. Sometimes we do not draw a clear line between the two, allowing overlap depending on our current state of mind. Beyond the most basic needs of what is required in order to stay alive in this place, there is an entire shopping mall filled with wants and needs. Those of us with the ability to pursue these things wander into the shopping mall and begin to make acquisitions. The game of life becomes a game of acquisition.

The more we acquire, the more we develop a need for acquisition. To have things is to be able to relate to others around us who also acquire goods. We allow ourselves to be defined by our holdings. "How can you not have the latest technology?" To keep pace with sisters and brothers, we must acquire. We make our homes into showplaces, more about displaying our acquisitions than about warmth and welcome. Some acquisitions reflect a kind of outward representation of ourselves. Others reflect our willingness to acquire the latest goods and our ability to acquire them. These material things provide a comfort zone. They aid in our enjoyment of the time that passes, but the more we drift into this way of thinking, the more willing we become to simply let time pass.

This is your time.
Use it wisely.

The need for acquisition is usually not as strong as the need for definition. Our tendency with people is to define their roles in our life. The closer we become to them, the more stringent our desire is to define them. Definition allows us to exact a form of control. By definition we decide the nature of their role in our lives. If they step outside the established definition, friction results. We begin to question their definition. All too often, instead of allowing that definition to evolve and change, we try to force it to remain static.

We have our own personal dogma. It is based in expectations we have of others and is seasoned by years of exposure to personal tastes. We develop over time our individual sense of right and wrong, good and bad. Usually this is brought about by what we learn from the people we are most often exposed to. This becomes the foundation of the way we live our lives, but as it becomes set in stone, personal dogma becomes a dangerous element.

Are you accepting of those who have different beliefs than yourself? Are you accepting of those who do not define relationships in the same way that you do? Are you willing to accept that someone else's taste in movies, music, books and entertainment is nothing more than a difference in taste? Can you accept the viability of a third option in an argument, that both points of view are correct and incorrect at the same time?

Disappointment
Transfixation
Fear
Reinterpretation

They call it being "set in your ways." Perhaps you have grown comfortable with your interpretations of life and how you witness it. There may be nothing wrong with these interpretations, but when we impose our ways upon others against their will or personal judgment, we kill a part of them. They surrender their belief, their values, their manner of seeing things in order to accept ours. We perform tiny alterations on others in order to create a greater comfort within our own personal reality.

Sometimes we understand how to reinterpret new elements that enter our orbit. Sometimes we reject them outright. Sometimes we find they were something we've been looking for, whether we were aware we were searching or not. To accept the validity of new information and new points of view does not require that we abandon our own. It may mean reinterpreting information. It may be a simple case of accepting the differences in individual points of view. Or, it may mean allowing personal dogma to evolve into something more beneficial.

Those who are accepting of their sisters and brothers
And expect no more from them than they are willing and able to give
And hold no dominion over their sisters and brothers
Shall know the first step to internal peace

Give to the collective reality what is required by the collective reality. Ask for nothing within your personal reality and require nothing, for what is needed will be given. Have the wisdom to know the difference between functioning within the collective reality and maintaining clarity within yourself. The personal reality is eternal. The collective reality is a series of temporary adjustments.

Can you adjust?
Without giving yourself up?

This depends on how you define yourself and your purpose within a collective reality. If you feel the need to preach, to interject your difference of opinion on every topic, then you will be far from peace. To communicate is to speak only to those who are willing to listen and to speak only to those who you are willing to listen to in return. To beat your fists into a stone wall accomplishes nothing aside from injuring your hand.

To speak only to those who already understand and believe in the statements you are making is a reinforcement for the inner sanctum. As individuals we value the validation of our peers. This can act as a reinforcement or it can become the foundation for dogma. When we have plenty of reinforcement for our ideas and beliefs, we tend to interpret them as truth. This kind of truth, which becomes a widely held belief, becomes dangerous because we have forgotten that reality is relative. Those on the outside of this new "truth" become afraid to express themselves, suffocated by the mob.

There are those who are suffering
Because their voice is not loud enough to be heard
They struggle in their own dark wilderness
They are the ones who will one day inherit the fruit
Borne of our own selfishness
We have ears that hear but do not listen
Mouths that speak without saying anything
We take more than we require
We judge those we are incapable of understanding
We do not know how to walk in their shoes

There is plenty
But there are those amongst us who hoard the bounty
And to what end?
You have earned nothing when you take more than you give

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