To wrap up all these thoughts I have poured out I wanted to cover a few more topics. In our hectic daily lives it is easy to forget several very basic concepts. The first one that comes to mind is gratitude. The world and everyone in it isn’t required to give us anything, it would be beneficial for us to remember to express gratitude. Be grateful for the gifts large and small. Nothing should be taken for granted it is all a gift. Remember to say thank you. Be appreciative and acknowledge when someone goes out of their way for you. Stop for a moment and say your thanks for the beauty of the world around you and all the things in it. Slow down and actually mean it when you say thank you to someone. I guarantee if you say thank you from your heart the recipient will know the difference and will know that you truly mean it.
Reciprocity is another big thing we tend to forget about and/or just don’t know how to do. There is more to it than not taking more than you put back in the earth. The same concept applies to people. We learn from those around us everyday. Every once in a while someone takes extra time to share some knowledge or time with us that helps us along our path. That also needs to be reciprocated. You don’t have to be an expert in something to share what you know. Take the time and effort to share with those around you. Share your knowledge and more importantly your time. It is my experience that doing this is just as enriching to those that share as it is those that receive.
This next one is more a goal than anything. It is hard to quantify and is unique to each of us. Be the person you need in your life. In other words strive to be the mentor, friend or leader you want to see. Work toward being the person you wish you had around when you were young. Be that mentor you wished you had when you first started working. Be that friend that you wished was there when you really needed them. People like that don’t just appear they are created and you can be that person for someone else. This links into reciprocity and is one way to pay back for what you have been given.
The next item also relates to reciprocity, give back. We each have unique talents so teach that talent. I mean anything from knitting to corporate mentor-ship. Each of us has a gift, share it, teach it. If you are amazing at balancing 10 plates on your nose, teach someone, share it with the world. It takes the gifts we all have collectively to keep the world moving forward. Don’t horde it like there won’t ever be another. Share who you are, your unique self with others. There is great joy and fulfillment in sharing with someone else.
Here is the last item and the hardest one for everyone, tithing. This is typically seen as a religious concept but it isn’t. It is a spiritual concept. I don’t mean find a church and give them money. I mean give monetarily to a place where you are fed spiritually. Give where you feel called to give. If that is a local charity then give there. Where ever you are fed, give. My acceptance of this concept is fairly new to me and I struggled with it for a long time. Money is tight for all of us and it is really difficult to just hand over money you could really use elsewhere. What I have found is that when you give, you receive. I personally haven’t received a great deal of actual money back, although there has been some showing up out of the blue. What I have received is a great deal of spiritual enrichment. Probably more than I have tithed to be truthful. The typical tithe amount is ten percent. I say start somewhere, anywhere. If you can’t give ten percent then give what you can. As it was explained to me what you tithe shows the value you place on what you are receiving so keep that in mind. For me, ten percent to receive all the enrichment I have gotten is a small price. I won’t tell you how much you should give. I will tell you, you get what you pay for, think wisely.
It has occurred to me that some people might be wondering what prompted a normally silent person to make these posts. There are many things that prompted this but I can expand on a few. Our current political state has made it very apparent that we have forgotten our lessons about integrity and virtue. What is currently defined as integrity is far from the truth. It isn’t moral to stand behind someone who is doing immoral things no matter who that person is. I mean this, even when it is family, clergy or our leaders. It is not moral and it is not living in integrity to allow them to be immoral and not speak out. Immoral acts should be condemned loudly. They should not be tolerated, ever. Having said that there are some other things I need to mention. Condemning and vilifying are two separate things. I am not calling for people to threaten or harm anyone. That is not living in integrity either. The acts should be condemned and the people should be led to receive the help they need to see how their actions harm others. Failing that, they should be ignored and removed from places that can cause harm. Violence is not the answer, although it sometimes seems like it is. It won’t fix the problem and it teaches another set of people to use violence to solve issues instead of working on the root. The only way problems get solved long term is to get to the root and fix what is there causing it.
Another thing driving the need to make these posts is my own growth. In making these posts I was allowed to write out and clarify my own thoughts. It helped me work through some areas where I was less than clear in my thinking. It allowed me to give of myself to help others while receiving the gift of clarity. It is also a very public proclamation of my values and what I consider important in my own life. This will serve to hold me to my path. I have now shared with anyone who cared to know, my set of values, and in a way it gives them permission to hold me to them. I can’t hide anymore, I can’t claim ignorance anymore where these values are concerned. Being public about who I am and what I value is the next step on my path. Thanks for sticking with it and being part of my growth. I really value your participation and appreciate your standing witness.