Surviving in this world
Taking only what I need
Finding joy where I can
Giving everything I can to everyone I know
Being true to myself
Healing the wounds I must before I move on
So that I am not wounded once again
Stepping away from things that are not my business
Or where my intervention will only produce negative results
This is how I live.
"Every sacrifice is a lesson whose teachers often don't understand the lessons they are teaching and to whom."
We are not always aware of what we are teaching or what we are learning. Our actions and our words mean different things to different people. The impact is like a ripple across an ocean. Our lives touch many others, but we concentrate mostly on those we have direct interaction with because these are the people who mean the most to us.
What is the impact of our actions on an unnoticed bystander? If we were to help a child who was lost and go beyond the call of duty to make sure that child is safe, what lasting impact does this have on those who witness? If we scream and lash out at another in public, perhaps even striking them, what impact does this have? People weave stories. People talk to each other. They use the actions of others to justify their own actions. They treat these acts they have witnessed as judgments of the nature of humankind. The ripple goes out across the ocean. An act of violence of hate breeds further acts of violence and hate. An act of kindness and love breeds further acts of kindness and love.
Even if people don't mirror the actions they observe, read or hear about, these actions have an impact on them. If someone bombs a building and kills people within, the first reaction is of vengeance, to kill those who have killed us. If we see a brave man rush into this bombed building to save a life, then we seek to honor and emulate him. Will we do either? Perhaps not, but the memory remains and impacts future actions and observances.
We have long seen the acts of retribution and honorable violence heralded and called bravery. True bravery comes from helping and perhaps saving the life of your enemy and calling him "friend." Few have that much bravery. It takes far less courage to condemn and kill a person who has done you wrong than it does to forgive him.
"Know forgiveness and you will know the path."
It has always been most amusing to me to witness a nation wrapping themselves in a religion called Christianity and then venting hatred and a desire to kill their enemies with as much force as possible. Interesting that their saviour spoke of "love thy enemy" and "offer the other cheek." Had they known what they were talking about after 9/11 they would have all climbed to the top floor of the Empire State Building and smiled. "We are here and we are ready. Bring it on." To be killed in an act of hatred by another is pretty much the quickest path to grace.
That is, of course, unless...
you actually believe this life is more than just a selfish kindergarten
And there is nothing else but this.
Nothing amuses me more than seeing a bunch of people who claim to be Christians continuing to choose Barabbas. It is really quite an amusing joke. Keep going to church and putting ten dollars in the collection plate. You are doing just fine. Cruise control.
My only relationship with Jesus Christ is that I find the message I have been given to be eerily similar to his. Otherwise, I don't know him and I don't identify with him. I'm not a Christian, nor do I pretend to be. I am merely an observer and a messenger. Yet, if you are going to claim to be a follower of a prophet or a messiah, you need to understand and practice the message. Thanks.
It is important to let go of hate and anger. These things will follow you from one frame of existence to the next, and if we do not learn, they will haunt us for eternity. This is not something I am willing to contend with, so while I find certain people annoying and dangerous in nature, I don't hate them and I practice letting go of my anger every night. I won't be tied to a cruel and hateful person into my next life and I won't let them be tied to me. You cannot know peace until you learn to practice unconditional love for all people. I achieved it, and while I struggle, it is the greatest gift I have ever been given.
For Alex Smith, who lurks somewhere out beyond the perimeter.