“Better to make a few mistakes being natural than to do everything out of a feeling of worry.”
– The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946
It’s better to make a few mistakes being natural. It’s important to be who we are in a natural, real way. If we get everything right, and are absolutely perfect, but it’s done with anxiety…. then it actually isn’t right, is it?
What we do needs to be done with care, love, calm. With joy and sincerity…and since Dr. Benjamin Spock was a famous leader in parenting in the 40s, I’ll take his advice not only for parenting, but also for management. And for our communications, how we live our lives, how we treat others…
Dr. Spock was an influential writer on childrearing, who advocated for increased flexibility and affection in the treatment of infants and children. He was also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and a peace advocate.
Jainism is a group that believes we should leave barely a footprint on this earth. They believe in gentility, kindness, and care for every living creature. It’s even to the extent of not eating root vegetables, because pulling up the roots makes the plant die. Jains honor every living thing.
Founded in a similar time frame as Buddhism, Jainism primarily existed in Hindu parts of India. In the present day it is a small but powerful minority among the world’s religions, with some 4 million followers in India and growing communities elsewhere in the world. A few core beliefs of Jainism include that every living being has a soul; non-violence is the path to right thinking; attachment to possessions should be limited, and one’s life should be lived to be useful to others.
May we be gentle, respectful and observant of the preciousness of life in all its form.
A person is fully human “when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.”
G.K. Chesterton certainly let us know what we need to focus on: joy. And what a life force it is! We don’t realize how much our thoughts impact us, our minds, our actions, our responses. And therefore how it affects others’ minds, actions, and responses. He also points to the vapidness of negative thinking. What can it do, how can it build? It only tears down. And so we should, as best as possible, obliterate it from thought.
We can contribute so much in this world. It starts with our thoughts; it starts right now; and that joy can carry us to an entirely different level of harmonious living.
Thank you to Gilbert Keith Chesterton for such wonderful advice. G.K. was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction. Two of his best known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years. He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.
I am one of those fortunate people who did not need to board a flight this past holiday. My family is local: My parents live 45 minutes away on the Peninsula, and my sister, brother-in-law and three nephews and niece live about 1 mile from my parents.
That’s truly been a joy for me, the simple presence of family. Being able to babysit last minute; experiencing the chaos of taking care of kids during ‘meltdown time’ at 5 pm with a 6, 4 and 1 year old when they were growing up ; celebrating their progress on their soccer field; scootering with them to ice cream on a warm summer night, after dinner.
Why do we allow ourselves to live apart? Why is it so accepted?
I know I am fortunate. Sometimes people have to move because of marriage. A new job. Taking care of an elderly parent. All very legitimate reasons which contribute to family, and yet, also separate…
In a recent Gallup Poll, 16% of the world said they would like to move to another country. This comes from both dire situations (such as Somalia) to the desire for luxury or adventure. But in one region the rates are lower than Europe and America: Asia. Due to progress in political freedoms and enhanced economic opportunities, many Asians are staying put: Only 10% desire to move. But there’s another factor as well: Close family ties, and a cultural commitment to taking care of family, keeps the desire to move low.
Let’s learn, if we are so fortunate, from this cultural and familial commitment to keep family close…
“Greatness consists in doing great deeds with little means in the accomplishment of vast purposes.
It consists in the private ranks of life, in helping one’s fellows, in benefiting one’s neighborhood, in blessing one’s own city and state.”
– Russell Conwell
It’s that simple.
Give something today,
Russell Conwell (February 15, 1843 – December 6, 1925) was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and for his inspirational lecture Acres of Diamonds. The son of Massachusetts farmers, Conwell attended Yale University and after graduating enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1880, and delivered his famous speech “Acres of Diamonds” over 6,000 times around the world. The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune – the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community. Conwell’s capacity to establish Temple University and his other civic projects largely derived from the income that he earned from the speech. The published version has been regarded as a classic of New Thought literature since the 1870s.
“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins
Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.