April 15


Today's quotation:

Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness.  Carry a vision of heaven in your hearts, and you shall make your name, your college, the world, correspond to that vision.  Your success and happiness lie within you.  External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer wrappings.  The great, enduring realities are love and service.  Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.

Helen Keller

Today's Meditation:

Helen Keller tells me that it's all within my control.  That what I do and the way I approach the world determine whether or not I'm happy, whether or not I'm successful.  My life and my happiness are not a result of the "accidents of life," but a result of the "vision of heaven" that I carry in my heart.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not all that good at consistently carrying such a vision.  I am quite good at seeing things in a somewhat negative way, at being judgmental and jumping to conclusions.  I miss many opportunities to serve others, mostly because my mind and self are caught up in something else, and I completely miss the chances that so often come my way.

But when I read passages such as this one, I'm reminded that the world I live in corresponds to what I put into it.  It's a mirror, and if I face it with darkness and want, then that's what it gives back to me.  If I bring to it kindness and thoughts of success and love and service and joy, guess what the world gives back to me?  Sometimes it takes a while, because the world gives back in its own time, but it does come.  God (or what you conceive God to be) is the same way--God does things in God's time, because God knows when the best time for us has truly arrived.

If I face the world with an attitude of want and boredom and criticism, then guess what the world gives back?  On Christmas and birthdays, we don't give crappy presents to the people we love, so why would we give a gift of a crappy attitude to this life that has given us so much?  Especially when we know that if we give a crappy attitude, that's what life is going to reflect right back at us?

Questions to consider:

What do you give to the world?

What does the world give back to you?

Just for this day, can you follow Helen's advice?  And if you can, can you do so tomorrow, too?  And the next day?

For further thought:

You cannot fail at being yourself.  A cat doesn't try to be a tiger, and you shouldn't try to be something you aren't.  You are a process, not a product.  Your job is to discover what you are and to create that creature.  You still won't be perfect, but success isn't about perfection-- it is about authenticity.  You are a success if you are being your real, authentic self.

Bernie Siegel

more thoughts and ideas on authenticity



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