February 16

Today's quotation:

A loving person lives in a loving world.  A hostile person lives in a hostile world: everyone you meet is your mirror.

Ken Keyes, Jr.

Today's Meditation:

"The world gives back to you exactly what you give to it."  "Give to the world the best you have, and the best will com back to you."  Quotation books are full of platitudes such as these, and believe it or not, they're true.  They aren't written by people who are miserable and who want to spread their misery--they're written by people who have found happiness and joy in life and who want to help others to experience similar happiness.

I learned this lesson much later than I would have liked to have learned it, but I'm grateful that I did learn it.  I constantly meet people who are much older than I who go around trying to spread judgment and criticism and harsh words, and it's very obvious that they're just trying to hide their fears and insecurities.  They make me very sad, but I'm sure that they've been exposed to these lessons but have rejected them.  Sometimes it's easier to hold on to our fears and then blame others for our misery than it is to take responsibility and admit that the world is treating us exactly like we treat the world.

And most of us don't want to treat the world badly--we get so used to acting through the filters of our fears, though, that we come across as fearful people, and we're harsher than we intend to be, or more intolerant, or more judgmental.  And then we use our logic to rationalize just why people don't want to be around us.  Perhaps they don't like it when others tell them the truth about themselves, or maybe they're in denial about their own faults and don't want to hear about them.

But what if I spread love and encouragement and hope and peace of mind?  What if I help others to see the good sides of themselves and compliment their accomplishments?  What will the world give back to me then?  And what will my life be like?

Questions to consider:

What kind of face do you show to the world?  Why?

How could other people respond in positive ways to someone who is always negative?  How difficult would that be?

Think of someone you know who is loving, and someone you know who is hostile.  Who do you like being around more?  Who's happier?
For further thought:

Our attitude tells the world what we expect in return.  If it's a cheerful, expectant attitude, it says to everyone with whom we come in contact that we expect the best in our dealings with the world.  You see, we tend to live up to our expectations.  And others give to us, as far as their attitudes are concerned, what we expect.  Our attitude is something we can control.  We can establish our attitude each morning when we start our day--in fact, we do just that, whether or not we realize it.  And the people in our family--all the people in our world--will reflect back to us the attitude we present to them.  It is, then, our attitude toward life that determines life's attitude toward us.  Cause and effect.  Everything we say or do will cause a corresponding effect.  If we're cheerful, glad to be experiencing this miracle of life, others will reflect that good cheer back to us.  We are the kind of people others enjoy being around.

Earl Nightingale

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