March 31

Today's quotation:

I love the people that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.  'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but those whose hearts are firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

Thomas Paine

Today's Meditation:

I find it interesting that many people can't understand how I can smile when there are problems afoot.  They don't see what I see--that problems are opportunities for us to excel, for us to find new ways of doing things in order to solve those very problems that we see as negative influences in our lives.  During times of crisis many people perform at levels that surprise even themselves, as they reach deep inside themselves to find reserves that they've only imagined before.

If we develop our principles and live by our consciences, we can't help but grow.  Obstacles in our way will be minor, for as long as we live by our principles, we know that they'll guide us through any challenges that may arise in our lives.  If we see our principles as firm guides--while always remembering that they may change with time as we learn more about life--we can accomplish much more than if we don't follow them at all.

We have many opportunities not just to live by our principles, but also to "pursue our principles" while we live.  Life is all about making ourselves more caring, more compassionate, more loving human beings, and our principles can guide us in reaching these goals.  But we must be careful--principles that treat money or fame or fortune as ultimate pursuits can drag us down into despair and pain.

Do you want to be a person who lives by principle, and who thus is able to look obstacles and troubles in the eye as learning experiences rather than as disasters?  Keep your heart firm, then, and make your decisions and live by them, keeping in mind that your decisions of tomorrow may very well be just the opposite of your decisions today.  Stay the course firmly following your principles, and troubles will be very little to you.

Questions to consider:

What does it mean to you to "pursue your principles"?

Is it easier to follow your conscience or to go with the flow, whatever that happens to be in your surroundings at a particular time?

Can you "smile in trouble"?  What does trouble mean to you?

For further thought:

When you know what your values are,
making decisions becomes easier.

Glenn van Eckeren


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