livinglifefully.com

September 16
  
A loving person lives in a loving
world.  A hostile person lives
in a hostile world.  Everyone you
meet is your mirror.

Ken Keyes, Jr.

  

Today's Meditation:

This is one of the most common concepts that you'll find in self-help literature, and I think that it's a very important one.  But I also think that often it's taken too far, as will most concepts when you add words like "always" or "everyone."  We all meet so many people in our lives that it just makes no sense to say that "everyone you meet is your mirror."  We will meet people who are racists, who are angry at the world, who are angry at themselves, who are socially inept, who are rude and obnoxious, whether we are all those things or not.

I'm sure that there were loving people in the theater in Colorado when the gunman opened fire, just as there have been loving people in the wars of the world and in places where disease has spread.  There were loving people in the middle of the Holocaust.  And we do read literature from people like Viktor Frankl who did not lose his ability to love and see hope even in the concentration camps, but for that period of time, he certainly did not live in a "loving world."

It's important that we view life pragmatically--though we strive to build a loving world around us, the rest of the world does intrude on what we try to build.  Though we strive to choose our friends carefully, we still must get jobs and work with people whom we may not wish to have as friends.  And yes, our attitude does go a long way towards making any situation much more bearable, or even pleasant, but there are times when our attitude simply doesn't change anything around us.

Be loving, and create a loving world, but remember that a non-loving world may intrude upon your love.  Be caring, and build a caring world; be compassionate and be encouraging.  We do have the ability to create our own worlds in the best ways we know how--but everyone else is creating their worlds, and we need to know how to deal with it when their worlds--which may or may not be similar to ours--intrude on ours.

Questions to consider:

Is it really possible for "everyone" in the world to be a mirror of who we are and how we approach the world?

What are some of the problems that could arise if we do believe that everyone is a mirror of ourselves?

How might you go about preparing for the intrusion of someone else's world on your own?  Should such a thing make you change the ways that you do things or see the world now?

For further thought:

The world is a looking-glass, and gives back
to everyone the reflection of our own faces.
Frown at it, and it in turn will look sourly
on you; laugh at it and with it, and it is
a jolly, kind companion.

William Makepeace Thackeray

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