Thursday, January 05, 2006

Words from the Dalai Lama

I'm tired and grumpy, so I'll let the Dalai Lama speak, from his Words of Wisdom cards:

The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop oppposing positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. This takes more than prayer or wishing. It requires deep analysis into the cause of harsh feelings like hatred and a conscious effort to shift one's perspective.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fear and Change

I've written a lot about change. I think change is scary. It does create fear and we often don't want to do it, even if we know we should. How many people have New Year's resolutions out there and are struggling?

When we think of each day, do we picture something new and different or do we think more in terms of our routine. Even if we picture our life differently, do we really find ourselves doing different things or have we settled into a routine that resembles the one with our old life, only perhaps with a partner that understands us or with more money or success?

It's hard to embrace true and meanful change. To really create peace in ourselves, first we need to embrace the fear that that those changes can bring about. Fear is a hard one to embrace and sit with. However even acknowledging the presence of fear can go a long ways toward neutralizing it and making it our friend.

Fear is normal when we are in an uncertain situation. Running from it will only make it worse. We need to work with it. Only then can we work with those really big changes that we are so often striving to make within our lives.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

You catch more flies with honey

Reading some more of Jimmy Carter's book Our Endangered Values, I have been reflecting on the use of military force by the United States. The United States used to have the value that force was used as a last resort. It was used to defend ourselves. Rather than defending ourselves, we have gone into Iraq and used an attack first method to meet a percieved threat.

Other nations are understandably threatened by this.

I am reminded of the saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, it is often easier to work with people, to understand them, perhaps flatter them but offer them some objective that benefits them (as well as you) and you are more likely to convince them that your action or objective is sound, rather than just bullying them until they go along.

Personally we need to remember that we should stop yelling and name calling and start pointing out how our objectives are helpful for the people who are in positions to assist us. We might find that this is more effective than trying to bully someone to our way of thinking--no matter if the force is passive agressive or verbally or physically actually agressive.

Diplomacy is a wonderful tool that isn't being used nearly enough.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Different Paths, Same Destination

I'm reading Jimmy Carter's new book Endangered Values. It's a great read and I highly recommend it.

One of the things that made me think of this entry is that as Mr. Carter goes on to explain the reasons he believes and feels as he does on the various issues he tackles, I often find myself saying "NO! NO! That's so WRONG!" but as I continue to read and reach his conclusion, he is often at the same place I am.

I think this is an important point to reach. We don't all think or believe the same things. We don't act for the same reasons. However, we often come to the same conclusions about how we want to live our life and what we want from life.

Many people disagree with policians over a single issue. I'd probably have had a hard time with Mr. Carter because he's against abortion. However, his solutions are not to keep women from having them (as he sees that as a right upheld by Roe v. Wade) but to find out why women were choosing to have them and to create the things that would prevent this decision from occuring. He wants more reproductive education, more help for would be moms and healthcare for both the woman and her baby. Why? Because his research shows that most women choose abortion because they feel they don't have the resources to have a child. I'm all over that. I still think the woman ultimately has a right to choose but we might have fewer women with a need to make that choice, right?

I'm excited about his book because it reminds me to think beyond the simple. It reminds me to continue to look beyond the obvious solution.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

What a great time to talk about change. However I read a great post over at the Martian Anthropologist about resolutions and I think he gives some great ideas.