Friday, October 10, 2008

A World Made Better



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 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.

16 comments:

aims said...

Hear! Hear!

Thank you.

willow said...

Very, very necessary!!

You are so right. It is a twisted system that damages far too many people.

Suldog said...

John-Michael, I almost always find something inestimably valuable when I stop by here. This is no exception, of course.

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Thank you John-Michael!

I have always believed that God is present in those very moments that one chooses to give of one's self to others through their actions and words. Nothing is more spiritual than a special moment shared between two people - even strangers.

I was once on an elevator in a medical clinic building. When I stepped on, it was just I and a middle-aged woman. She was crying. I thought of looking away to respect her privacy. But for some reason, I met her eyes with my own and asked her if she was having a bad moment. She quickly said yes, that she had just been diagnosed with cancer moments earlier. I reached out and held her until the elevator stopped. She reciprocated by leaning on me with all of herself. We got off and walked our separate ways. She mouthed "thank you". Since that time, I believe even more strongly in the spirituality that exists in these moments.

You are a wonderful example of living a life in this way.

Hugs Lisa L.

Anonymous said...

John-Michael you just made my life a better place. A kind word, a touch, a hug are always received better then a harsh word or sarcasm even when not openingly accepted. Thank you

lime said...

i was gently instructed a long time ago, that refusing to receive a gift graciously denied the giver the pleasure of giving and exercising, that, his own gift of giving. thank you for another reminder

John-Michael said...

You are quite welcome, Darling Aims. [gentle smile]

Lovingly ...

John-Michael said...

Well said, Willow, My Dear. "Twisted" was a fun dance of far before your day ... but never has been a satisfactory set of either Mind or Spirit.

namaste ...

John-Michael said...

You just made me feel really good (yet again), Dear SulDog Friend. You (I hope you know) are a constant source of Blessing to my Being. I love you Sir. (dazza fack!)

John-Michael said...

Oh my Dearest Lisa, thank you so very much for sharing the Gift of this moment with Me ... with ALL of us. I know that the Blessing that is yours in your choosing to allow your Self to be vulnerable and available, will be a life-long treasure.

Loving You ...

John-Michael said...

My Dear Anonymous Friend, I too am made better by your opening of your Self to our shared moment. I thank you for giving of your Self in this way.

namaste ...

John-Michael said...

A "mutuality of giving" is a lovely mode of living, worthy of reminder and renewal. Thank you, My Darling Lime, for your Presence here ... as a treasured part of my Being.

Love Ya ...

Anonymous said...

Nothing else to say, but Thank You...keep reminding us of what's really important in life...

John-Michael said...

I can honestly tell you, My Dear Anonymous Friend, that I merely pass along the tiny bits that Life reminds me of. You do encourage and please me with your welcoming of my little offerings. I thank you for that.

namaste ...

keeper of the chocolates said...

i am so grateful that i can come here, to your blog, and be reminded that there is something very special and very real in the connection that we all share...

it is beautiful....is it not?

San said...

I'm with you, John-Michael. There are too precious few people who are willing to offer support and compliments. When one is lucky enough to receive such, it is only gracious to accept with delight!

And if you want to appear modest, a simple "SHUCKS" will suffice. :-0

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