Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quality of Life

Because I am one of those “right-brain-dominant” people who process life’s input in a conceptual way … I have learned (from many, many combined years and experiences) to back away from things … allow my funky brain to process the elements of what has been observed … permit my mind to form a perceptual image that comes together in a coherent form … and only then … respond. Here is an example.

I was raised in an environment regulated by a set of standards that demanded perpetual self-deprecation and denial of worth. This system is based (to some twisted degree) in the fundamentalist, religious teachings that would have us see ourselves not as loved and wondrously created individuals … but as innately flawed and unworthy. That was the climate of my earlier life … no more! There is, in that still-thriving-world, a prevailing demand for dismissal of recognition and declination of compliment. And all in the name of “humility.” I now offer what I have learned … to the contrary.

My memory of that sphere of stifling dictates was recently stirred by a dear friend’s response to my public mentioning of his act of loving expression. His comment (after reading my acknowledgement of his thoughtfulness) was,
“the personal recognition was not necessary, but appreciated nonetheless.” Kinda leaves you chilled, doesn’t it? I was left with a feeling that has taken me a while of contemplation and consideration to sort through (in my INFP, right-brain sort of way.) Here is what I have concluded from that thought process.

Contrary to his statement, my expression of my heart’s sentiment is, most assuredly, necessary. Absolutely necessary and elementally required … for the sustenance of the quality of life that I am committed to being individually responsible for. For, My Dear Reader, I am not satisfied with the idea of living some cadaverous form of life, maintained at the rudimentary level that would be reflected in that image of one who is bound to existence by the barest of “life support” mechanisms. Indeed not! Each breath of my life is invested in knowing the highest “quality of life” that can be realized in whatever circumstance presented. And I have committed myself to the same for all whose lives I am given an opportunity to affect. I intend the highest possible quality of life for us all.

I know that I can enhance the most barren of surroundings with a kind word. The most stark of settings can be transformed with a smile. A song lightens the darkest of moments and the beauty of even the most childish of artistic efforts serves to elevate any setting. And, I ask you, are any of these “necessary?” Of course they are! They are necessary to a finer quality of life lived in that moment. They are the necessary response to any moment’s option for betterment or diminishment. Necessity is the presiding rule when considering whether or not to enhance any situation with our offering of our better self … if we want to make our world an ever better one.

So when you offer that kindness … demonstrate that loving sentiment (in whatever form you are comfortable with in that moment) … say that generous word … or give that gift that is the expression of your heart’s desire … I will acknowledge your spirit of willingness to make my world better … with a simple “Thank you.” And I will thank Life for your contribution to my life’s betterment. I will be happily grateful for your enrichment of my present-moment world. And I will lift the spirits and hopes of others with my telling of your willingness to contribute to our world’s beauty and enjoy-ability. This is a worthy “lens” through which to view our time together … and I am committed to polishing and offering that lens for your viewing … as frequently and in as many ways as possible.

So I ask that you … STOP … before responding to the word or behavior of another. And … consider … if what you are about to say or do is going to validate, or cast a veil of doubt, over their offering. Are you at the brink of dashing their expression with a cold splash of self-deprecation borne of less-than-uplifting habits learned in your past? Please allow me to urge you to make the choice to, instead, encourage, support, and contribute your part to that person’s willingness to improve your world … with a loving … “Thanks.” Then lean back … and bask in a world made better … in whatever small way.


Anonymous said...

my dear jm--it is as if u dwell in my inner being & know EXACTLY what 2 say & when i need 2 hear{read}it-ha!--as a dear friend of mine says, "U MAKE MY HEART SMILE"!--i love u jm

John-Michael said...

I told the friend, who sparked this thought, that since he and I had discussed the matter before ... I knew that the impression on my spirit to write it meant that Life intended it for someone who is ready to consider it. You have validated that certainty ... and reassured my spirit (not to mention gladdened my heart!) I thank you for your willingness to speak out ... now my heart smiles (again!) [:)] please know that you have a place in my heart ... and I love You, as well, John-Michael

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