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What you put into it

There is a statement that says, “You only get out of something what you put into it.” It’s so true, isn’t it? Many of us have attempted a halfhearted effort at something or other and have been let down by the results. Too often we blame others or circumstances for poor outcomes and then attempt to deflect attention from our lack of follow-through. Just try to bring about anything, which requires energy, without follow-through. One of the highest laws in the physics world, the law of inertia, states, “An object at rest ‘tends to want to stay at rest’, and an object in motion ‘tends to want to stay in motion’ UNLESS acted on by an outside force.” It is this, “UNLESS acted on by an outside force”, I would like to address to you today. I realize I am attempting to take an apparent mechanical concept and apply it to our complicated lives. But whatever system you allow this to address, this concept has value it can share with you: be it emotional considerations, physical fitness, social interaction, politics, money management, personal achievement and the like. So here we go! We must be the outside force, and in regard to this, everything will just stay in place unless we do something. Even if there was an inoculation for COVID-19 already in place, it would be of no benefit to us if we didn’t engage or act upon that knowledge. For the injection to affect our lives we would actively have to go and get it. Now is a valuable time to enter a sense of compassionate community and reestablish healthy family interactions. When someone does anything involving the concerns of another, it’s always important to inform or consult the other person instead of just springing it on them, especially if it has the potential to affect their lives dramatically. Our opinion about what’s good for another can be diminishing if it’s not properly informed by an understanding heart. Two-way communication is an act of sober self-awareness and is relationally affirming. It develops trust, specific empathy to a person, and general empathy toward others in the practice, and it is not ego-driven and controlling. Asking questions and really listening is our only way to understand real needs. Considering the truth in our efforts toward them is extending dignity to others. It sounds funny, but now is the time when technology is very good, you’ve probably heard it but let’s reach out substantively even online, you know video face-to-face, not just superficial texting if you can. Let’s put a little personal sacrifice in the effort to reach out to those we say we love, and to the neighbour over the fence. This is probably an appropriate manner in which to do things. Communication works, because honest connection works. It can get those involved on a mutual page and reduce assumptions and surprises. This is actual community, and it comes with the honest effort of learning to appreciate differences built into individuality. It comes with adjusting the manner in which we express ourselves and realizing others’ significance. In a basic sense, it means adjusting your sense of smell, by educating your palette through change, and you can’t do that just online, it’s too clinical, too easy. Send out a personal smile. For example, we can ask how they’re faring, and if they have a need and we are going to get groceries, let’s take a turn at picking up theirs. Even though we have to observe social distancing, let’s not grow weary in doing well. We have an opportunity here, to return to friendship and inform online addicts how to truly “friend someone.” So let’s use the good ideas and prepare on many levels, even while during this time of COVID-19 there is a temptation to pride. How will we look with a mask or using gloves? Are we giving in to fear by social distancing, yet, like speeding limits, the recommendations are given as a function of social caring for others and consequently ourselves. Let’s maintain healthy personal development and use our free will to choose what is good governing toward our lives and others.

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