Our Better Selves

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Life is a series of choices. Every day we wake up, we have new decisions to make. Let’s face it, every moment there are choices to consider. And the scary thing is, they can either make or break us. And it’s not about if we will make a bad one, but when, and how many!

There are those who have more leeway than others, for choices can be limited by financial restraints, sickness or other factors. But freedom to choose our attitudes remains.

Often it isn’t what we choose regarding a situation as much as it is the preceding perspective we own before we reach it. ¬†Reasonable and positive self-talk, restraint, and empathy are healthy guidelines regarding relationships, for example. It is much easier to hold one’s tongue than to try to remove an entire foot from your mouth.

Realizing humankind has many comparable issues to deal with, each making pressing daily decisions, is helpful in keeping our attitudes balanced. If we know we’re in a similar boat, it can help us in making those attitude adjustments.

However, it’s not always so easy. Recently, I met a young woman who was facing a difficult situation at her school, having all kinds of petty relationship challenges she had to deal with on a daily basis. By the sounds of things, the group of peers she was coping with were more concerned about one upsmanship, and power than any kind of problem resolution. Under those circumstances, perhaps the best way to handle it is just to be as pleasant as possible and ignore them, moving on. We can’t change people. But, as I said, it isn’t always that simple.

Carry this to a larger arena and we have a few of the root reasons for crime, corruption, lawlessness and more.

Let’s turn back to our original premise. Choices. Looking at this larger arena, politicians make them, and more often than we’d like, make the wrong ones. The prisons, ‘poor houses’ and police stations are dealing with the down side of bad decisions. No one is exempt.

But realistically, we need not go far to see the results of poor decision making. We need simply look the mirror.

So let’s start there. Let’s start by choosing to become our better selves. By asking for help, by God’s grace, embracing empathy and purity of heart, forgiving ourselves and others for the inevitable poor choices we all make. Then perhaps with each small candle lit, individual by individual, we can engage in the bigger picture and see some solutions to the ever widening circle of problems overcoming our world today.

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