Tag Archives: Listen


20 Feb

When we read about the legacies people leave behind when they pass away, they generally refer to monetary situations. Maybe they donated a large sum of money to a special charity, or left valuable property to family members. But a personal legacy is more than that. It doesn’t always involve things of monetary value. Our behavior can become our legacy. What we do while we’re alive, who we help, how we serve, and how we interact with others is the real legacy we leave behind. Money gets spent, property gets sold and after time people forget about it. But if we’ve touched other lives in positive ways, and made a personal impact it isn’t easily forgotten. When we think back over our lives we remember the times when we needed help and someone was there for us. We recall specific moments when we felt lost and someone reached out a hand to us. Those are the memories that never seem to fade. They are etched in our minds forever because we felt loved and cared for. If we live our lives in ways that extend love to others, we will change the world for good because we were here. It will never be forgotten, and although time will continue to move forward after we’re gone, the rippling effect of kindness will carry on forever.

It seems as time has passed we’ve become more callous, more selfish, and less sensitive to the needs of those around us. Our lives are more complicated now than ever before. People are busy and focused on their personal lives and sometimes don’t even look up when they pass us on the street. Smiling and saying hello has become a rare experience instead of the norm. We seem to always be rushing off to the next thing, and in a hurry to leave where we are. But when things go wrong and everything stops we see those around us, and notice what’s happening, and if we need help and someone is there for us we feel intense gratitude. Those moments are a reminder of who we are and how much we need each other. Even when we’re busy we can still take a moment to offer a smile, say hello, and lend a helping hand. It’s amazing how even small gestures of kindness can change a situation. If we keep our eyes open we will find countless ways to do small acts of kindness every day. And although they may seem small to us, they be an enormous help to those receiving them.

Life is complicated. We experience a lot of things as we go through the course of one day. We make dozens of decisions and often accomplish much. If we want to make a positive impact and leave a mark of kindness and support, we have to look up and outside ourselves. It’s so easy to be only focused on our own lives. We have a lot to take care of and responsibilities to attend to. But as we go along we are passing others who have just as much to manage. If we try we can be a blessing to them. We can help lift a grocery sack, open a door, pick up something that’s dropped, or take a moment to listen. It doesn’t take much time and if we tried every day to be just a little more helpful, kind, and supportive to others, over the course of our lives we would change the world. When we help someone it makes them feel cared for and they may then care for someone else. Like the never ending ripples in a pond, the kindness will expand. That’s a legacy to be proud of. We don’t need money, and we don’t need expensive possessions. We just need to be kind. It’s the very best thing we can do.

Today if you’ve been focused on all you have to do and haven’t noticed those around you, stop for a moment and look around. See if there is some way you can extend a small kindness. If you do that every day you will feel the glory that comes from goodness and you’ll leave a legacy behind that will never end. You have so much to give. You can change the world.


Do This Not That

3 Sep

It seems everyone is willing to give us advice. Sometimes we ask for it and when that happens we may be glad to receive it. Other times those around us may offer it because they think we need to hear it. We may not want their advice so when it comes unsolicited we may not appreciate it. Even though we are the only ones who know exactly what’s happening in our lives, others sometimes think they know better and will tell us not only what they think, but what they think we should do. We may take from their comments whatever we find helpful, but we aren’t compelled to listen to anyone’s suggestions about our lives if we don’t want to. We are free to live each day as we choose, even if that doesn’t match what someone else thinks is best for us.

It’s natural to want to be helpful when we care about someone. If we see them doing something we think is the wrong decision, or something we think will hurt them, we may want to step in and tell them how to change things before something goes wrong. We care about them, and we don’t want them to suffer. But there are limits to what we should do, and certainly limits to what we can do. Perhaps we have a friend who makes the same mistake over and over again, and always gets hurt. If we see them headed down that same, tired road again we may want to stop them before things go wrong. We can talk to them about their decisions, and we can offer our advice, but if they don’t accept it, we have to let it go. It’s hard to walk away when we think we can help, but if they don’t want the advice, it won’t help anyway.

We can find ourselves giving advice without thinking about it. If we see someone doing something we don’t agree with, or something we don’t think will work, we might just speak up. It’s fine to give suggestions but we must remember that a suggestion isn’t an order. The receiver doesn’t have to listen to us, and we need to respect their choices. We never really know the entire story of why anyone does anything. There are often extenuating circumstances affecting their decisions, but even if there is nothing more than what we can see, the choice is theirs to make. We all get to make our own choices, good or bad. It’s up to us.

Today if you’re getting advice you haven’t asked for you may choose to follow it or let it go. Be thankful to those who think enough of you to offer their help, and then choose what’s best for you. If you find yourself giving advice, remember that your suggestions may not be followed. In either case, it doesn’t mean the advice is bad. It just means we all get to decide what we’ll do on our own. Getting it or giving it, advice is just a suggestion. Take it or leave it, it’s up to us. You know what’s best for you. Follow that.

Pointing North

7 Jul

Have you ever been lost? Have you ever taken a wrong turn, and found yourself somewhere you didn’t recognize? Have you ever walked a little too far, and missed the path you meant to take? We all get lost sometimes. It can be unsettling, and confusing. Getting lost is part of life. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, and sometimes, in the twists and turns that happen, we lose our way. And before we know it, we’re far, far away from where we intended to go. We’re at a destination that seems foreign. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s not the end of the road.

There are a lot of influences on us every day. People who want us to do things a certain way, or be a certain way. Sometimes because of the situation we do as we’re asked, and if we do that enough we can forget where we’re going. We can forget who we really are. It’s possible to wake up one day, and realize that the life we’re living is nothing like the life we really want. It’s nowhere near where we really want to be. We took a turn, which lead to another turn, and another, and where we’ve ended up is not at all where we thought we were going.

If we determine that we are not on the right road, the only way to get to where we want to go is to stop, and reset our course. There is inside us inspiration, like a compass, that always points to the person we really are. It’s always there to guide us, but we have to listen. If all we can hear are the directions of those around us saying, “Go here,” or “Go there,” we won’t recognize our own compass telling us which way is right for us. But it’s always there to remind us. When we are ready to get to who we really are, and where we really want to be, we need to listen to it. We can always alter our course. We can always retrace our steps. Nothing is permanent, and everything can be changed. Change isn’t always easy, but if the change brings us back to the road we want to be on, it will be rewarding, and worth whatever it takes.

Today, if you’re feeling like you’re not where you really want to be, if your life isn’t on the road that will take you there, you can change your course, and begin again. You can choose a new direction. You deserve the life you want the most. You deserve every happiness. You can do this your way, and you can succeed. Today, hear your personal inspiration. Listen to your compass. If you’ve been lost, it will guide you back. You know the way back, you’ve just forgotten for a while. Today, listen and remember. And then, take the first step to getting there.