A Way

Easy Way, or Hard WayImagine that a close friend announces, “I’m going away.”

What is our response?

I know what mine is. I launch into my Philadelphia Lawyer shtick with the: Why, What, When, Where and How questions!

The intent is pure.

I want the best for my friends and am desirous of understanding: Why are they making that choice? What will they be doing there? When will they leave? Where are they going? How long before we are together, again?

Going away is one thing. Going toward something is entirely different!

Wherever we go, there we are. Moving away from one set of circumstances is no guarantee of a blissful life. Moving toward a vision of the future is the best way to arrive at where we want to be!

Life is what we make of it, friends; if it doesn’t fit, make alterations!

To get from here to there, we do need A Way, to go; one which ensures an enjoyable journey and a successful arrival at the new destination.

Have you noticed that everyone has an idea for you and your resources?! They sincerely believe that they know best the path for you. They don’t. Only, YOU do!

Yet, how do we, each of us, individually, know the way to go? Actually, that is quite simple. We begin by sifting our many options through the filter of these three words: Right, Just, and Fair. Before we take the first step, let’s ask these three questions: Is it Right? Is it Just? And; Is it Fair?

Sometimes, the answers will be obvious and we can respond with a resounding “Yes!” to all three. Other times, the way will be more obscure. If that’s the case, then, we add these attributes to our matrix of questions: Patient, Kind, Generous, Honest, Humble, Happy, Protective, Trusting, Hopeful, and eternally Optimistic.  In other words, “Will we exemplify these facets of character as a result of the choice we are about to make?” If so, then, let’s go!

All we do begins with a thought!

Thoughts manifest in words; Words lead to actions; Actions develop into habits; Habits accumulate into character; and, Character becomes our Destiny. The catalyst for this chain reaction is a single choice at the beginning to decide. Individually, we choose. The result is who we are at this very moment!

Although impossible to write a new beginning to our life story, we can at any time begin to write a new ending! The secret? We must begin! It is by our decision, to take a single step down a path right for us, that we find the courage to take more.

That first step will be a failure, or a success. Either way, it is a beginning for us to find a better way. You see, in order to find a better way, there must first be a way!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one: Hard is easy; Easy is hard.

By choosing a path of righteousness, justice and fairness, we have chosen a journey of guaranteed thrills. There will be bumps and curves, ups and downs, tummy-ticklers extraordinaire. This road is not for the faint of heart. It is for those strong of will. It is for those who set their eyes on the horizon of opportunity, knowing full well that long-term growth is a result of short-term pain.

There are no short-cuts, or easy ways, to success. The easy way is always a temptation and it is always a dead-end cul-de-sac. Going in circles is a fitting metaphor for those running away! To break free from the insanity, they have this choice:

Stay and Decay?
Or, Away and Play!

The answer will be found in a new WAY. What way?! This better way of asking the hard questions, of themselves: Why Are You … Thinking, Saying, Doing, Behaving, Repeating, and Believing this WAY?!

Yes, I know; we will never look at the word WAY in the same way, ever again! Because, we will all be asking this question of ourselves: Why Are You …

www.kimfoard.com

Freedom

Liberty and Freedom At The Core

From the song written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, Me and Bobby McGee, comes the line, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”

The powerful, rhyming, complement in verse is what I offer for consideration, “We all have the free will to choose.”

In the darkest depths of war and in the slavery of a Nazi concentration camp, Viktor Frankl discovered true freedom.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….

More from the Wikipedia article:

He (Frankl) often said that even within the narrow boundaries of the concentration camps he found only two races of men to exist: decent and unprincipled ones. These were to be found in all classes, ethnicities, and groups. Following this line of thinking, he once recommended that the Statue of Liberty on the East coast of the United States be complemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast.

Quoting from the Statute of Responsibility Foundation:

The Statue of Liberty has served as a symbol of liberty, both in America and throughout the world. Its counterpart, the Statue of Responsibility, will likewise serve as a symbol – a visible representation and call to responsibility – both in America and abroad. These two principles – liberty and responsibility – when linked together, will help engender and secure freedom for the present generation, and for generations yet unborn, wherever a thirst for freedom exists. Only by balancing Liberty with Responsibility can Freedom be sustained.

In other words, our freedom to choose is not a license to harm others. Our choices must be within the parameters of what is: Right, Just and Fair.

Loss of Freedom

Granted, the concepts inherent within the words Right, Just and Fair are intangibles; hard to understand and measure. So, the temptation is strong to take the easy path of materialism. The accumulation of Stuff becomes a way of life. It is visible to all, very tangible, measurable, flaunt-able, and laughable. Because: We do not own things; Things own us. As a result, true freedom is lost.

A wise, farmer, friend brought to my attention the fact that Mother Nature hates a vacuum. In his words, “You either plant seeds to produce a crop of value, or weeds will grow.”

So it is with our life. We either nurture the character required to produce liberty and responsibility, or a society of selfishness emerges.

The secret to happiness and freedom is found in: A belief that we are wonderful chunks of conduit for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.

Our value is not in who we are; it is in what we allow to flow at the core. We have the freedom to choose the object of our service. That choice will determine every thought and action.

Love Is ...

Some will gain the whole world and lose their soul. Others will embrace suffering and sacrifice in their journey to finding the true self.

The first group will be concerned about “keeping up with the Joneses” and “what others think about them”.

The second group has nothing to lose and everything to gain. They understand: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

As the song Me and Bobby McGee concludes, we hear the rest of the chorus: “Nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free.”

www.kimfoard.com

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