Do your part make the world a better place…

February 10, 2016

“You must make the world better by making yourself better.”  (Father Basil), as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

There are all sorts of inspirational messages that tout the positive impact of one small effort, especially if enough people make the one small effort. Web sites like Go Fund Me and Crowd Rise also make the point that enough people giving just a small amount can make a huge difference.

monkSo, today’s saying by Father Basil, one of two Detroit guys who started a monastery in a remote spot in Michigan’s U.P. that was recently featured in a Detroit Free Press feature article, may provide us all with a small starting point to making a better world for everyone. If each of us resolved to become a better person – kinder, gentler and more caring for others – perhaps a tsunami of goodness would sweep across the world and it woud become a better place for us all.

When you think about it, our own actions are the only thing that we are really in control of anyway. We may throw money into a collection plate or mail in a donation to a worthy cause, but we don’t really have any idea how that money is used or for what good it went. If we stop and help someone who needs help because we care, we have an immediate sense of well-being from having made the effort. That effort starts with making the effort to become a better person ourselves.

In Father Basil’s world the monks become better people through a life of simplicity and hand reaching for heavenprayer. Not all of us can just get up and go live in a monastery in the U.P.; however, all of us can take some time to pray each day.  Perhaps if we focused out prayer not on things or needs and upon asking for God to make us better people our worlds would become better places. Maybe if instead of asking for God to give you this or that, you could ask him to help you make better decisions in your life and do the right things. I’ve occasionally prayed when I bought a lotto ticket not that God let me win, but that if I should win that God help me do the right things with the money. So far, I guess I haven’t change enough to be given that responsibility.

So, today, before you start out on another day at work or just in your life; ask God for His help at becoming a better person and then trust in Him when he provides you with the helperopportunities to actually be a better person as your day goes on. Don’t hesitate in front of the man on the sidewalk who is obviously down on his luck; stop and ask how you can help. And, if you reach in your pocket and give him the money that you had set aside for your latte or perhaps your lunch; keep in mind that you may be providing him with the means to buy the only meal that he may get today. You were a better person and the world is better for it.

Do your part today to make the world a better place by being a better you.


The devil made me do it…

December 9, 2015

That little phrase that is oft used in our society came to mind when I saw this quote from the Jack’s Winning Words Blog so time ago –

“Don’t allow yourself to be overcome by evil.   Take the offensive.  Overcome evil with good.”  (The Bible)

Sometimes we are overcome by evil or we do things that are evil and we look around for a scapegoat. If we find no one else to blame we may say – “The devil made me do it.”

How convenient and how illogical is that. You see; if you profess to believe in the Devil, that sort of means that you also buy into the other stuff that comes with the Devil – God, Jesus, salvation, etc. You really can’t just selectively say that you believe some of the stuff that is contained in religious beliefs. So that also means that you buy-in to the notion of God giving mankind free will – the ability to make choices on their own. So, if God gave us free will; where do you see anything in the Bible that says that He gave the Devil reign over that free will? It’s not there.

devilSo, the fact is that the Devil may have tempted you; the Devil may have enticed you; and the Devil may have somehow made it easier for you; but the Devil didn’t make you do it. You did it of your own free will. Rather than say that the Devil made you do it; admit it – “Oh crap, I did that and I’m sorry.” Then take the advice in today’s quote from the Bible and take the offensive to make sure that you do not allow yourself to be overcome or tempted by evil (The Devil). Do not choose to join the Dark Side. Take the offensive. Use the Force of your faith to overcome the temptations and allure of the wrong things. There is strength to be found in doing the right things.  There is only surrender and helplessness to be found in doing the wrong things. After all, who has ever feared being caught doing the right things?

The Devil may not be real for you, but evil exists in many forms and none of them lead to positive results that you will feel good about tomorrow. Evil is always a choice, never a foregone conclusion. Not only should you choose wisely, but there are real rewards in taking the proactive step of overcoming evil with the good that your actions show to the world. Do not allow yourself to be a disinterested by-stander to evil either.

Watching something wrong happening, especially to someone else, and dong nothing is as wrong as being a part of the act itself. If you see bullying, jump in and do something to stop it and to protect the personbully.png being bullied. If you witness domestic violence speak up and try to get help for eh person being abused. If you see someone being wronged because of a disability or other factor that should not be used to judge, speak up and try to help. Maybe the devil didn’t make you do those things; but maybe he’s the one holding you back from doing the right thing. The Devil didn’t make you do it; maybe he just made it attractive for you to do nothing. Take control and take your free will life back from the influence of the Devil. Do the right things!

Have a great and free-will week. Here’s hoping that you ignore the Devil and do the right things to overcome evil with good.

Do good; feel good…

August 13, 2014

“When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That’s my religion.”  (A. Lincoln), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I think you could do a lot worse than have as your religion what Abe Lincoln was talking about. At least his littleLincoln statement seems to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong and the ability to discern which is which in his daily life. Much has been written about all of the good that Lincoln did, but there was probably a little bad in his life, too; as is the case with all of us.

How about you? Do you feel good when you’ve done something good, even if there is no one to acknowledge the act or heap praise upon you? Just as important; do you feel bad when you know you’ve done something bad? In a newspaper article today, about a trial just concluded for a man who killed a small child, the judge exceeded the sentencing guidelines and sent the man to prison for a longer time because she said that he showed no remorse for his actions. When you’ve done bad, do you feel and show remorse?

rewardSome people have a hard time accepting praise for the good that they do. For them, their actions just reflect that they did what needed to be done, not something extraordinary. They avoid the fuss and praise of those seeking to thank them, almost in embarrassment. These are people for whom just the self-satisfaction of having done something good is enough reward. Others may require a little pat of encouragement and reward on the back in order to reinforce their feelings of satisfaction. Are you content with your own feelings of accomplishment when you’ve done good?

Many of those who are more prone to doing bad seem to have developed the ability to blame their misdeeds on others or on circumstance. Do the looters in St. Louis really believe that they deserved what they stole becauseremorseful of the earlier incident with the police or because of some long-standing set of circumstances that they felt held
them down? I doubt it. They just saw an opportunity to steal under the cover of a civil protest and they took that opportunity. Do they feel bad about it? I doubt that, too. They have no religion. When you do something bad, don’t try to find a way to blame others or your circumstances, just acknowledge that you made a mistake, accept responsibility and the consequences and move on in life. If you are fortunate there will be a way available to you to make things right

So, take Lincoln’s words to heart in your daily life. When you do good; feel good about it. When you do bad, acknowledge it, feel bad about it and then try to make things right or at least to avoid doing the same bad again. I suspect, if you even took time to think about the choices in front of you, that doing the right thing (the good thing) is an easy call. It’s also a time saver. You don’t have to waste your time feeling bad, being remorseful and trying to make things right again, if you do the right thing in the first place.

Have a great day and do the right things!