December 16
A life of reaction is a life of
slavery, intellectually and
spiritually.  One must fight
for a life of action,
not reaction.

Rita Mae Brown


Today's Meditation:

We have so few role models who act instead of reacting.  In my life I could count the people I've known who are consistent actors as opposed to reactors on relatively few fingers--I think I'd need more than ten, but not too many more.  There just aren't enough people out there who are able to teach us about the importance of learning to overcome our propensity for letting others determine our courses in life, letting others determine our moods and our feelings, letting others keep us down by keeping us thinking negative thoughts that are the result of other people's actions and words.

If you insult me and I feel down, that's my fault, for I'm simply reacting to the words you've used, not acting to maintain my dignity and character.  If I feel crushed because I've lost a job, then the feeling of being crushed is my doing, as I react to a situation rather than deciding on paths to follow now that there are more roads open to me.

When we think seriously about what it means to react instead of acting, we realize that there's something fundamentally wrong with that approach.  In reacting, we're giving others the upper hand in our lives, giving them the power to push us in directions in which we don't even want to go--and they probably don't even realize that they have that power over us.  When we're reacting, our spirits can't soar, for we never know what others are going to give us to react to.  In my life, I really want to be one who acts, who decides on a course of action and then follows it.  Only when I do so will I be living what could be called an authentic life.

The people I know who react are buffeted by the winds of chance, are tossed here and there by the circumstances of life.  I hope that my life won't fall into that pattern, and that I'll always be able to take the steps necessary to determine my own course, my own directions, and my own actions.

Questions to consider:

How do we fall into the pattern of reacting instead of acting?

How can a life of reacting be a life of slavery? 

What kinds of actions can you take today that will be positive influences on the life you lead?

For further thought:

You don't reward reaction;
you reward results.

Edwin Louis Cole

More on action.


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