28 March 2017
the end these things matter most: How well did you love?
How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?
I have no money, no resources, no hopes.
I am the happiest man alive.
no one who loves be
unreturned has its rainbow.
I feel strongly that we've got to tell children
about death, and stop protecting them and giving
them concepts that we are immortal. We act
as if we believe that we are. Freud said a
lot of really nice things and one thing that he
said was so many of our problems and our
inability to live stem from the belief that we
will never die. We think we have
forever. If you think about it in the back
of your mind, you always think it's the other
person who dies, not you. Well I have news
for you. We are all going to
die! That is the most democratic thing
that has ever happened. No matter who you
are, how wealthy you are, how illustrious you
are, how many degrees you have, how fouled up
you've made your life, you're going to die.
But why fear it? You only fear death when
you're not living. If you're involved in
the process of life, you won't wail and
scream. If you've treated people in your
life beautifully while they were alive, you will
not throw yourself over their caskets screaming,
"Don't go, don't go!" For
goodness sakes! We don't even let people
die in dignity. We let them die guiltily
by screaming, "Oh, please don't die."
What a weird concept we have of death. We
don't want to take children to funerals.
Some of you remember that we used to have open
wakes and some of you were asked to go and look
at Grandpa and look at Grandma and say
Some of you
had it explained that everything dies as flowers die in
winter and then grow again. Death is a continuous
beautiful process of life. Then when you've
seen it, you don't fear it. Death is a good friend,
an awfully good friend, because it tells us we don't have
forever and that to live is now; therefore, you see how
precious every minute is. We read it and say,
"Oh, yes, that's so true." But do we live
that way? How wonderful it is to be with the moment
when you see a flower. When somebody is talking to
you, for goodness sake, listen and don't look over a
shoulder at what else is going on. Cocktail
time! There's no greater insult. If you don't
want to be with me, don't be with me! That's
all right, I can adjust to that. But if you are
going to be with me, will you be with me? You
say, "I am going to look at the ocean." Do
you look at the ocean? "Oh, isn't that a
beautiful sunset." Do you mean it, do you see
it, do you recognize that it will never come again?
Death teaches us--if we want to hear--that the time is
now. The time is now to pick up the telephone and
call the person that you love. Death teaches us the
joy of the moment. It teaches us we don't have
forever. It teaches us that nothing is
permanent. It teaches us to let go, there's nothing
you can hang on to. And it tells us to give up
expectations and let tomorrow tell its own story, because
nobody knows if they'll get home tonight. To me
that's a tremendous challenge. Death says,
"live now." Let's tell the children that.
* * *
Another thing that I want to share with the children is
that life is not only pain, misery and despair as heard on
the seven o'clock news and read in the newspaper.
Those are the things that make news. What we don't
hear are the wondrous, enjoyable, great, fantastic things
that are also happening. Somehow or other we've got
to let children in on those wonderful things, too.
In order to do that, what you've got to do is get in touch
with your own joy and madness again. We're all
crazy! And if you don't believe it, you're crazier
than most. Boredom arises from routine. Joy,
wonder, rapture, arise from surprise. Routine leads
to boredom and if you are bored, you are boring.
And you wonder why people don't want to be with you!
We can choose. We have choice. You can choose
how you want to live your life. You can select joy,
freedom, creativity, surprise, or apathy and
boredom. And you can make that selection right now!
This is something I really like and it brings everything
together. It's written by Frederick Moffett of the
Bureau of Instructional Supervision, New York Department
of Education. He calls it "How a Child
children learn, by wiggling skills through their fingers
and their toes, into themselves. By soaking up
habits and attitudes of those around them, by pushing and
pulling their own worlds. Thus children learn, more
through trial than error, more through pleasure than pain,
more through experience than suggestion and telling, and
more through suggestion than direction. And thus
children learn through affection, through love, through
patience, through understanding, through belonging,
through doing and through being. Day by day children
come to know a little bit of what you know, a little bit
more of what you think and understand. That which
you dream and believe are in truth what is becoming those
children. As you perceive dully or clearly, as you
think fuzzily or sharply, as you believe foolishly or
wisely, as you dream drably or goldenly, as you bear false
witness or tell the truth, thus children learn.
We need to tell children that they have a choice to become
either lovers or losers. For to miss love is to miss
life. Thornton Wilder says, "There is a land of
the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is
love. The only survival and the only meaning."
Let's tell the children!
Loving, and Learning is a delightful collection of
Dr. Buscaglia's informative and amusing lectures,
which were delivered worldwide between 1970 and
1981. This inspirational treasure is for all
those eager to accept the challenge of life and to
profit from the wonder of love.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Wants to Be a Perfectionist, Anyway?
seems to have elevated the quest for perfection to the status of
virtue. When someone is described as a perfectionist they are
frequently admired and envied. A perfectionist, in my
opinion is someone living in a constant state of dissatisfaction
and that isn't healthy. To perfectionists, no one, including
their spouse, children, family, friends and themselves ever
measures up to their impossible standards. Perfectionists
spend their lives never being happy with what they have
accomplished always wanting things to be perfect. I could
have or should have done better becomes the motto by which they
imagine the anxiety involved in living with a perfectionist?
I recall teaching a bright high school senior whose mother was a
perfectionist. After receiving an A in my subject she looked
rather emotionless. I asked her if she was pleased with the
mark she achieved, and she said, "Yes, but my Mother
won't be. She'll want to know why it isn't an A+."
I don't know
if full-blown perfectionism can be changed without psychological
intervention, but I do think that it can definitely be avoided by
adopting more reasonable expectations of yourself and
* Make friends
with your imperfections and those of others. Sure, it's
important to strive to do well in what you attempt, but if your
best efforts don't result in what you wanted to achieve, don't be
too hard on yourself. It is more important to strive to
improve than to insist on perfection.
* Strive to
find pleasure in what you do, not perfection.
* Believe in
the old saying "Anything worth doing is worth doing
badly." If you enjoy playing the piano but play it
poorly, keep playing for the sheer pleasure it gives you. It
isn't important how well you play. It is more important that
you get pleasure out of doing it.
* Never let
your urge to do something well become a compulsion to do it
perfectly. Just commit yourself to the joy of doing and enjoy the
thrill of improving at it.
* Live by the
law of reasonable expectations rather than by the law of
perfection. Not only is perfection stressful, it's also
boring. Imperfection evokes humour and laughter while
perfection evokes stress, frustration and anger. One
promotes health and well being; the other, anxiety and dis-ease.
* Learn to
laugh at yourself and your imperfections. If you don't, you
leave the job to someone else.
beings, by nature, are imperfect, so relax and enjoy the fact.
~ ~ ~
Mike Moore is
an international speaker and writer on human achievement and humor
therapy. You can access his site at motivationalplus.com
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yourself among those who carry on their lives with passion, and true learning
will take place, no matter how humble or exalted the setting.
But no matter what
path you follow, do not be ashamed of your
learning. In some corner of your life,
you know more about something
than anyone else on earth. The true measure of
your education is not
what you know, but how you share what you know with others.
Judge Not. . .
were having a discussion in one of our classes yesterday about whether
or not a certain character deserved to die based on his actions in a
story. Most of the students felt that he did. It wasn't a
big surprise, given the actions, but I wanted them to understand
something extremely important about what their culture has done to
them as they've grown up, so we started talking about the factors that
might have influenced their decisions.
Theirs is the first generation to have grown up with almost constant
access to both television and the Internet. They've been exposed
to more screen time than any generation before. And on those
screens, one of the things that they've seen in abundance--an element
of culture that has become stronger than ever in recent years--is
Thumbs up or thumbs down? Should he be voted off the
island? Call this number if you want this singer to advance to
the next round. Should I like this, or give it an angry
emoticon? Over and over again, our young people have been
exposed to many different types of judgment, so much so that it's come
to be seen as the norm in our society--as soon as someone does
something, we need to judge both the person and the action. Our
young people have seen so many types and degrees of judgment that many
of them are terrified of doing anything themselves because they just
know that some sort of harsh judgment is going to result.
Others are so caught up in judging themselves that they find
themselves friendless because they find it necessary to judge their
acquaintances by the same criteria that they would judge someone who's
singing on American Idol or The Voice. It's a
fascinating phenomenon to witness, but also a very sad one, as many
people are becoming alienated and lonely who wouldn't be so if they
weren't so afraid of other people's judgment.
and criticism. The human way is to judge in haste the
actions of others, but the divine way is to remain quiet and loving.
Just what is our
world going to be like if we continue to move towards judging others
constantly and harshly? Just who are we going to become as
people if we are those people who judge first and gather evidence
second--or not at all? Are we going to be people that other
people want to be around, or will we be someone whom others avoid
because they know that we're going to judge them no matter what
they're doing or what they've done? Do we want to take the cues
from our society and turn into that judgmental person simply because
it seems that everyone else is doing so?
There are many terrible results of judging. Yes, we can
rationalize our thoughts and actions by telling ourselves that it's
okay for us to judge because that other person did something awful
anyway, but if we do so we're ignoring the greater part of the
picture. And that has to do with our relationships with people,
and us putting ourselves above others in order to be able to judge
them. Most people would automatically say, "I'm not putting
myself above anyone else," but if we consider just what judgment
is, it's pretty much impossible to make that claim. Judgment is
calling an action wrong based on my personal thoughts, feelings, or
beliefs, and when we do judge, we're simply saying that my personal
thoughts are somehow more important or more valid than yours.
We like to judge based on sex, for example. We've seen over and
over again people who have judged others for things like adultery,
homosexuality, or having sex out of wedlock. If I know someone
who's having an affair, though, just what right do I have to tell that
person that he or she is wrong? Do I know what's going on in the
marriage that might have pushed this person to commit this
action? Do I know the needs inside this person's spirit that
makes him or her feel compelled to have an affair? Does everyone
in the world have to see the concept of marital fidelity in the same
is very unfair to judge
any bodyís conduct, without
an intimate knowledge
of their situation.
In no way would I
condone a person having an affair. The very idea makes me sad,
and personally, I would suggest trying to improve their own marriage
before looking elsewhere for sexual gratification, and if that doesn't
work, then have the courage to break up the marriage and then be with
someone else. The affair is going to end up hurting people
But if I just tell the person "What you're doing is
terrible," I'm coming from the moral high ground of not having an
affair myself, and I'm putting that person in a position that's lower
than that high ground. I'm telling that person that somehow I'm
better than he or she is, and that I have the right to tell them
what's right or wrong, good or bad in their own lives. The truth
is, though, that I don't have that right.
How should I treat this situation if I'm not being judgmental?
How about talking with that person, being there for him or her,
letting them know that they have someone to talk to if they want to
discuss anything. And believe me, people who are having affairs
do have something to talk about, but almost no one to talk to.
That's partly why the affair began in the first place. I can
show love and compassion to the other person without condoning the
action and without harming our own relationship. It can be
difficult, of course, but how many of the things in life that really
count are easy?
feel offended, you're practicing judgment. . .
may not realize is that when you judge another
person, you do not
define them. You define yourself
as someone who needs to judge
It's even easier
to judge people on television--the entertainers and athletes and
politicians that we see so much of. They're far away from us,
and we never get challenged about the judgment we make. We can
say out loud that the person is a horrible person, and never have to
hear him or her ask us, "Who are you to judge me?" We
judge with impunity because we never have to justify our
judgment. And we get into the habit of doing so, and we extend
that judgment to the people in our lives--and by then we're so used to
judging that we can rationalize our judgment easily and quickly and
We weren't placed on this planet to judge, though.
We were placed here to love.
Judgment is not a form of love. Criticism can be a form of love
when others welcome it and when it's constructive in nature, but it's
important to remember that judgment is not criticism, even though we
often use it to criticize. Judgment is never constructive.
So it's important for us to avoid judging others, and it's important
for us to help our young people to see that life isn't about judgment,
but about love. Caring and compassion are ways to help others to
become their best selves; judgment merely shuts doors and builds
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
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is simply the law of cause and effect. If you plant an apple seed,
you donít a get a mango tree. If we practice hatred or greed, it
becomes our way and the world responds accordingly. If we practice
awareness or loving-kindness, it becomes our way and the world
responds accordingly. We are heirs to the results of our actions,
to the intentions we bring to every moment we initiate. We make
ripples upon the ocean of the universe through our very presence.
Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield
Robert Paul Gilles
"let go" does not mean to stop caring.
It means I can't do it for someone else.
"let go" is not to cut myself off.
It's the realization that I can't control another.
"let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the
outcome is not in my hands.
"let go" is not to try to change or blame another.
It's to make the most of myself.
"let go" is not to care for, but to care about.
"let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.
"let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a
"let go" is not to be in the middle, arranging all the
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
"let go" is not to deny, but to accept.
"let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead
to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
"let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
"let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live
for the future.
"let go" is to fear less and to love more.
(from his book Thoughts of the dreampoet : vol. 1.)
development of loving kindness is a demanding practice that requires
time. However, see if you can cultivate some part of loving
yourself, other people in your life, and the natural world around you
As we keep practicing, we begin to see beyond what is best for
for other people, toward what is good for all life that is affected by
Loving kindness for all life on the earth is the ultimate result of
the deepest understanding of the unity of life.
and the Natural World
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