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Girls With Earphones on EBAY

Taking the road less traveled is actually far more difficult than I had ever previously thought. It takes resolve, a sureness in one’s life’s direction, and a willingness to see it through to completion despite obstacles and momentary failings. Tests come far more regularly, and sometimes the bombardment can seem overwhelming.

We’ve all experienced a person on the internet who is rude for no reason and mocking that hurts your feelings. Perhaps a loved one just doesn’t get you, a clerk in a store gives you an attitude, or a person is selfish to your face. Being kind all the time, despite what others do is well…hard…and I have failed.

WE all do.

I think more important to the crux of living is what we do after our failures that is the true determinant of our character. It is in the moments after our failure to love, to be kind, to be forgiving, to be peace that determines our destiny.

Life is a sequential string of moments dangling in our experience. Moments of pleasure and pain, sorrow and laughter. It is a life time of choices that reveals one’s character, view of the world, and willingness to be a servant in it. Life is an endless progression of events that leads us to choices. Choose love or choose—something other?

I’ve never gone for a run that I regretted. I’ve never returned wishing I had not gone. Despite the rain, the cold, or the burning sun—living life after exerting a bit of effort is far more rewarding. Similarly, I’ve never done a kind thing with good motives and regretted it.

I’ve done kind things with ulterior motives, I’ve done kind things out of guilt or shame and they have left me feeling sour. But, I’ve never done a kind thing with loving motivation that I have since regretted.  The purpose of “being” then it seems is to string countless moments of genuine kindness together. This is what it is “live”. This is what we call a lifetime. People always say, “If you were to die tomorrow, how would you live today?” How much better then is it to know the moment that you do actually die that you spent the last day, week, or year(s) of your life being the love in every situation possible?

As a mental exercise, I’ve thought of what heaven and hell might be if there were such a thing. Heaven would be trapped for eternity with the memories of a life of love and service surrounded by all the people you helped and were kind to. Hell conversely, is being trapped reliving the the opposite, the regret, the shame, the sorrow of not having loved when we had the chance. People always talk about wanting to go to heaven where “everybody loves on each other”. However, I never get why they don’t just start now? If heaven is loving others, why do we practice the opposite? Did not some religious characters say, “On Earth as it is in heaven?” Why not?

Disappointingly, my string of kindness remains blemished. By one or a million it matters not…

Being peace instead of PEACE is hard. Being more quiet is difficult. When you name yourself Peace…you have to live up to it. When you don’t…well…you don’t.

Walking with a blue tunic on is more loud, but it is short in duration. Walking a living peace day in and day out…is far more challenging and quiet. However, the mistakes are so very loud and perhaps more costly.

Each of us, you and me, everyone of us will encounter a choice tomorrow and the day after. Each of us will find it hard. We will be pressed. It will be difficult to do the right thing, the loving thing in a moment when we want to assert our rights, demand our justice, explode in anger at our frustration, and let loose a barrage of weapons that serve to wound, hurt, and kill rather than love.

Despite their failings, mother Teresa put on her robes the day after she was rude, Martin Luther King put on his collar the day after he cheated, Gandhi picked up his walking stick the day after he spoke unkindly, and Pete Seeger hugged his banjo despite his anger the day before. Despite their failings, it was the multiple successes that set the course of their lives rather than the errant word, unchecked thought, or unloving act. Occasionally, every servant spills on those with whom they choose to serve.

Pete Seeger said that the song “We Shall Overcome” was his most cherished work. The former hymn revamped for union marches, was completely overhauled and given its modern form by Seeger. Seeger born in 1919, has seen a lot of Presidents, CEOs, Corporations, KKK members, and police dogs. He has spread the message of peace despite the obstacles, both extrinsic and intrinsic.

In an interview, he recalled his friendship with Martin Luther King, and he said, “King had a choice to take three teaching posts in norther states, all with lucrative salaries and prominent positions. Instead, he took a job in the middle of it all. He took a job in Alabama. Three months later Rosa boycotted her bus, and MLK became the face of the civil rights movement.”

Our choices on a daily basis determine our destiny. Choose love. Life may not always be sweet, but it will never be bitter.

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