May Peace be …

I was so young when The Youngbloods originally recorded (1966) and then released (1967) this song I do not remember it. However this song is part of my life’s soundtrack and I do remember it being popular as it was re-released by The Youngbloods again in 1969 and finally making it to #5 in the charts.

The tune has a longer history dating back to a performance of it in 1964 by The Kingston Trio and also having been recorded after that date by a number of artists including Jefferson Airplane and David Crosby. However it is this version by The Youngbloods that has remained the most popular and remembered.

I post it today as I find we are at another one of those turbulent times that reminds us that security is but an illusion and peace can sometimes seem elusive. For me what  I have to remember is that hate cannot rid us of hate, only love can do that.

I must take a deep breath and take time to respond and not to react. I must strive to understand, accept, respect, have empathy, forgive, share, have patience, give and love. I must remember that truth always reveals itself, even if it takes longer than I want it to. I must strive to learn, to grow and to teach. I must smile, I must smile on you and even smile on those with whom I differ. I must remember that I am human and I have more in common with others than I sometimes realize, as they are human as well.

I mustn’t claim to have all the answers because I don’t. I must stand for righteousness without acting, feeling or being superior. I must remember that actions speak louder than words. I must be kind. I must be an example of what is good by being just that which is good. I mustn’t judge, nor throw stones. I must help those in need. I must love, love unconditionally.

The Youngbloods – Get Together – 1966

May peace be with you my brother, my sister, my friend.

Gentle Kindness

In my opinion we need more Mr. Rogers in our lives.

Fred Rogers was a HUGE part of my childhood. For him I will forever be grateful.

Watch and see how he uses kindness and respect to overcome adversity in this short 6 minute clip.

I remind myself the inspirational words of a certain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”

I choose to be kind today. I choose to share love today. I choose to respect today.

Being of service to others

Some of you know I’m sober. Some may have picked up I follow a twelve step program. Others reading this may not have a clue about these personal detail but guess what, now you do.

The final step, the twelfth step, is about carrying the message and helping others who want or desire help. It’s about helping each other. It’s about helping the group. It’s about improving just the little part of the world that surrounds oneself. It’s simply being of service.

Earlier today while driving to the grocery I was contemplating what difference can I make? What difference in the vast world? How could I change the world? How can I, big bearded little me, make any difference?

Start. Start right here. Start with what I have. Start where I am. Do one thing that makes this little area right around me better. Clean the trash or of a shopping cart left out in the parking lot and bring it in to use. Then return that shopping cart clean and ready for use in the proper spot. Smile and share humor with the clerk adding “Thank You, I hope you have a great day” when walking away. Be courteous when driving home. Let someone ahead of me in traffic. Put my neighbors trash cans away  for them after I park my car before carrying my groceries in from the alley. Leave each place I encounter just a little better than I found it by doing just one simple gesture.

Little things have ripple effects. I feel good when I do good. Others feel good when I share good. Good interactions lead to more. More leads to even more.

Turns out being of service is simply doing little things that improve small situations. This little service returns big results. When each of us do simple little things to make each immediate area around us better than we found it, imagine. Imagine the possibilities.

Go ahead. It has to start somewhere. 😉👍😃

 

Quality contemplations

Kindness

the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

synonyms: kindliness, kindheartedness, warmheartedness, affection, warmth, gentleness, concern, care, consideration, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness, altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding, big-heartedness, benevolence, benignity, friendliness, hospitality, neighborliness, generosity, magnanimity, charitableness

Tonight I’m contemplating quality of kindness.  I think I’m kind, but have the desire to look deeper. To understand better I need to start with the definition and I love the synonyms. I can look at the synonyms and see which of those come easily to me and which ones I need to develope. It’s a challenge to me on the path towards a better self. A challenge to keep improving.

In order to see my blind spots I should look at these antonyms as well:

Animosity, hatred, ill will, hostility, indecency, indifference, intolerance, meanness, mercilessness, selfishness, thoughtlessness, barbarousness, cruelty, harshness

Am I harboring any of these antonyms? Toward anyone or myself? What synonym can I practice or refine to improve?