March 11


Today's Quotation:

We are responsible for what we are, and what we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.  If what we are now has been the result of our past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.

Swami Vivekananda

Today's Meditation:

What I will be next week or next year depends on what I do today.  When I look at things that way, today becomes much more important.  The way I treat people, the way I talk to them, the ways in which I act, the actions that I neglect--all of these things seem to be much more important when I realize that each of these aspects of my day today will go some way towards defining the person I will be in the future.

My hope is that I'm not going to grow and develop into a new person by making many mistakes and learning through regret and embarrassment and my own poor example.  My hope is that my actions of today help me to grow in dignity, love, peace and hope, and help to spread dignity, love, peace, and hope.  If I'm able to do this, then not only my future will be brighter, but perhaps the future of someone else will be brighter because of the way that I have treated him or her.

I've noticed that almost all of the people who talk about present actions are focused on our actions that affect other people, our selves, or other living creatures, not actions like buying a new TV set or filling our tank with gas.  Though these things can be important, they aren't the things that help us to grow and expand and become more than we are today.  The things that help us to grow are those things that help others (or our selves) to see their own value and value their own lives.

Sometimes actions take a firm schedule and a lot of dedication--if you want to write a novel, it doesn't happen in an hour or two.  Sometimes actions are quick and fleeting, like the smile and the sincere "thank you" for the person who held the door open for you.  Whatever kinds of actions we commit, though, it's important that we keep in mind that they are the parts of our lives that are shaping us, molding us, and defining us as we grow into tomorrow.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What kinds of actions can you take today to help you to grow as a person?

2.  What kinds of actions did you shy away from yesterday?  Why?

3.  Think of the people you know who are at peace with themselves, and satisfied with life.  Were they born that way?  What kinds of actions might they have taken in their pasts to become this way?

For further thought:

Words are plentiful, but deeds are precious.

Lech Walesa

more thoughts and ideas on action



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