Category Archives: Honesty

Rightmindedness

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to that word: Rightmindedness.

We have a thousand opportunities every day to choose our mindset. If we get our minds right, we can choose happiness, joy, freedom, love, light, loyalty, sunshine.

Or, if something we don’t like happens, we can allow it to color our whole day, our month, our year.  A moment’s temptation can throw us off a diet, for example, and in a few days, all the good hard work that’s been done is erased. Or, we could choose to not let that happen. We could choose to put our minds right again, and not let a small slip throw our world into chaos.

The same goes for fear and anxiety. We can let it run our lives, or we can live with self-forgiveness and let old conflicts go. When new situations arise, we have the power to choose our reaction to them. If we behave ourselves, what do we care if others misbehave?

I read an article about how human minds seek out similarities. We like finding coincidences. We match up things that go together. We say things like: He looks just like so-and-so, except for…”  And that also goes for series of events. In one day, we could have a flat tire, have to wait so long at a professional’s office that we miss another appointment, get some bad news and have to deal with a miscommunication. Each of those things has the potential to ruin our day, if we let it, especially if we run down the litany of everything that went wrong to the spouse or loved one.

Instead, we should run down all the great things that happened. All the miracles that we’ve bunched together, all the coincidences, all the moments of synchronicity and delight. All the good things that people did for us, all the nice things people said about each other.

We’re not in control of much in our lives, but we are in control of our attitude. I know people who are negative, and I know people who are positive. I’d rather hang with the positive folks. The socially fragrant ones help me enjoy life.

I’m working on getting my mind right, one decision at a time, because that will make life a lot more fun. And it will also make the world a better place.

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Filed under Beauty, connections, Discipline, Friends, Fun, goals, Goodness, Honesty, Joy, peace, Personalities, regrets, relationships, Spirituality

We Vote Every Day

I’m asking each of us to take a moment and consider how much our votes count. I don’t mean the ones on election day, I mean the votes we cast every single day with our dollars, our television remote control, and our mouse clicks.

When we click on the ridiculous stories bandied about by voyeuristic internet sites to ogle the photographs of celebrities when they are trying desperately to live normal lives with their spouses and children, we are putting money in the pockets of the paparazzi that haunt their every waking moment.

When we watch a stupid television series, we are telling the producers and the advertisers and the networks, that we not only approve, but we want to see more, similar  idiocy on our television sets. Don’t you think there is too much idiocy on our television sets and not enough quality? Vote with your remote control.

We vote with our dollars every time we go to a movie at the theater or buy an artery-clogging Big Mac or something cheap from China. If you want Americans to have jobs, buy American goods. If you want quality television, don’t watch trash. Read a book instead. Don’t fall into the trap of feeding the media frenzy on ridiculous stories that invade privacy and promote mindless speculation.

It’s up to us if we want to hold our country to a higher standard of… of everything. When we say “America’s going down the tubes!” Well, guess what? We’re America! You and me.

We can become a more compassionate country by being more compassionate ourselves. We can be more involved parents by not leaving the entirety of our children’s education to the schools. We can demand better television programming by not watching the “least objectionable” show at the time we want to flop on the couch, or politically incendiary rantings. We can become better people by making better, conscious decisions on what we buy, what we wear, what we eat, what we watch, what we view on the internet (and what we pass along), and how we live our lives.

We need to take control of ourselves. We need to live our lives as examples to the next generation. We are role models, each one of us, whether we signed on for that job or not. We can’t just blame our elected officials for leaving a mess for future generations, we’re doing a fair job of it ourselves.

So I ask you today: make a difference. Speak only with great purpose. Act mindfully. Behave as if your vote counted, because it does.

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Filed under Honesty, Learning, Possibilities, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

Farrah’s Story

I just heard that Part 2 of Farrah’s Story is in the works.

For those who didn’t watch the 2-hour documentary on NBC last Sunday night, it chronicled Farrah Fawcett’s two-year battle with cancer. She said that the purpose of filming and screening her horrendously painful treatments was to educate, but what did we learn?

Not much. We learned that Farrah is a fighter, to an astonishing degree.  The cringe factor in her treatments was extreme.

But we didn’t learn much else. We only learned the type of cancer almost as an aside (squamous cell carcinoma). We didn’t learn anything about squamous, how it grows or spreads. We didn’t learn how she discovered this tumor. We didn’t learn anything about her treatment options or why she chose the ones she did. Instead, we learned about her iconic hair, and how the doctors tried to perserve it. Good grief.

So, Ryan, if you’re not out to exploit the pain and suffering of the woman you love, use this platform to do some serious education. We all know that chemo makes people puke. That’s not the type of learning we’re after. We want to know the medical stuff of treatment. We want to know what trials are being done. There’s not a one of us who hasn’t been personally affected by cancer, and we’re after answers. Show us her scans. Have a doctor explain them. Show us alternative treatments and experimental treatments and how they work, and why they didn’t.

We all know and love Farrah, but her story has so much more potential to save lives and educate people than what we endured by watching her incredible suffering on Sunday night.

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Filed under Cancer, Dying, Honesty, Memoir, Spirituality

Absolute Honesty

Is there such a thing as absolute honesty?

According to whom?

When I was younger, things were much more black and white. There were fewer shades of gray, and my code of ethics was easier to live by. Or abandon, depending on the situation. But these days, right and wrong seem to be thinner and thinner slices of a broader picture.

I read in a textbook yesterday that we must live our lives in absolute honesty. I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, that one statement made me question the entirety of the text. How could anyone with even a single grey hair believe that absolute honesty was a possibility?

Even if I judged my honesty today, by my own standards, I can’t be absolute. Tomorrow, I might uncover information that calls my honesty into question.

Honesty is a big deal to me today, but I am such a master of justification that I can easily confuse the issue with my cleverness and then my manipulation of the truth will keep me up at night.

I can’t be alone in this. Surely other people question their honesty on a daily basis. On a moment-by-moment basis.

Right?

Regardless, I need to stick to my own spiritual program, and while rigorous honesty is a part of it, I doubt that I will ever feel like I live my life in absolute honesty. The shades of grey become ever more complex.

The best I can do today is the best I can do today. I try not to fall for the tricks my mind plays on me, and I try not to let the “I wants” run my life. But I am far from infallible, and succumb to my old habits all too often.

Absolute honesty?

Funny.

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Filed under Honesty, Spirituality