whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all
part of one another, and all involved in one another.
energy brings compassion into the real world. With
compassion, we see benevolently our own human condition and the condition
of our fellow beings. We drop prejudice. We withhold
individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. We have it within our means
to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.
extend the circle of our compassion to all living things, we will not ourselves find peace.
Are Not Who We Think We Are
Ed and Deb Shapiro
you have heard this story about a frog and a scorpion:
a frog was sitting happily by the side of the river when a
scorpion came along.
Mr. Frog," said the scorpion, "I need to get to the
other side of the river to be with my family. Will you
please carry me across?"
Mr. Scorpion, if I do that, then you will sting me!"
replied the frog, somewhat aghast at the request.
I won't," said the scorpion.
you promise?" asked a rather doubtful frog.
really promise--I will not sting you," said the scorpion.
you really, really promise?" asked a still-dubious frog.
I really promise," replied the scorpion, very
the frog said reluctantly. "Hop on."
scorpion climbed on top of the frog's back and they set
off. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the
horror, the frog, unable to continue swimming and
with both of them about to drown, finally managed to
gasp, "Please, Mr. Scorpion, just tell me one
thing before we both go under. Just tell me
why, when you promised you would not, why, oh why
did you sting me?"
it is my nature," replied the scorpion.
no intention of being derogatory to scorpions, this
story shows how the nature of the scorpion appears
unchangeable and fixed. It has no choice
regarding its behavior because it is a scorpion;
that is simply the way it is.
most of us think we are just the same. We
think we cannot change, that we are the way we are
and that's that--this is who I am and I cannot
change and I won't change! But where a
scorpion is not necessarily able to act any
differently, we can. We do have choices.
We do not have to be the way we think we are; we can
actually be and act differently. In the
nineteenth century, philosopher William James said,
"The great revolution in our generation is the
discovery that human beings, by changing the inner
attitudes of their minds, can change the outer
aspects of their lives."
we do so long for change, to be different, to be
healthier or happier than we are--the grass always
seems to be so much greener elsewhere. Or we
want to change the world so that women are not
abused and there is less violence and poverty. . . .
can appear relatively simple to make changes in the
world, while making changes in our own lives can
seem far more overwhelming. It takes courage
to move from a familiar and known place to one that
is different or without reference points, as it
means stepping outside of our usual comfort zone.
what is it that stops us from changing? What
keeps us locked in ourselves, stuck in
small-mindedness, thinking our view is the only view
that matters? Invariably, it is the ego, the
most talked-about yet least understood of our human
features. The ego gives us a strong sense of
ourselves; it is the "me" part. This
is neither good nor bad, except when
self-centeredness dominates our thoughts, feelings,
and perceptions of life. A positive sense of
self gives us confidence and purpose, but a more
negative and selfish aspect of the ego makes us
unconcerned with other people's feelings; it thrives
on the idea of me-first and impels us to cry out,
"What about me? What about my
week: Dancing with the Ego and Embracing
is now enjoying a
renewed surge of popularity,
penetrating the public consciousness
as never before. What might that
mean for us all? Be the Change
examines the transformations wrought
by this ancient practice through the wisdom of
extraordinary luminaries, interwoven with text
winning authors Ed and Deb Shapiro.
The words of these spiritual leaders
from all disciplines and walks of life
will surprise, enlighten, and inspire readers
to begin their own meditation practice—and
perhaps create the foundation for a new and
more hopeful age.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
New Kind of Resolution
You are not just the size of your bank account,
the neighborhood you live in, or the type of work
that you do. You
are, just like everyone else, an almost
inconceivably complicated mix of abilities and
A new kind of New Year’s resolution is
becoming increasingly popular.
Instead of dwelling on something they think
is wrong with them and resolving to improve, a lot
of people are taking a different approach.
They are resolving to accept themselves.
To acknowledge that, faults and all, they are
complete people, good people.
Kathleen, a member of a group that spreads the
acceptance philosophy, explains that she used to
feel like she was in a trap she could not get out
would try to correct herself and change herself, and
the failure to change was actually worse than the
original problem itself.
She felt like a “maniac” because of the
pressures to change and the weight of failure.
Now Kathleen counsels accepting yourself, which does not mean ignoring
your faults or never trying to improve.
What it does mean is “believing in your own
value first, last, and always.”
From The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy
People by David Niven.
upon a time there was a king who ruled a small
kingdom. It wasn't great, and it wasn't really known for any of its resources or
people. But the king did have a diamond, a great perfect diamond that had been in his
family for generations. He kept it on display for all to see and
appreciate. People came from all over the country to admire it and gaze at it.
one day a soldier came to the king with the news that,
although no one had touched the diamond, for it was guarded day and night, the
diamond was cracked. The king ran to see, and sure enough there was a crack right
through the middle of the diamond.
he summoned all of the jewelers of the land and had them
at the diamond. One after another they examined the
diamond and gave the
bad news to the king: the diamond was useless; it was
The king was crushed, so were the people. Somehow they
had lost everything.
out of nowhere came an old man who claimed to be a
jeweler. He asked
to see the diamond. After examining it, he looked up
and confidently told
the king, "I can fix it. In fact, I can make it
better than it was before."
The king was shocked and a bit leery. The old man
said, "Give me the jewel,
and in a week I'll bring it back fixed." Now the
king was not about to let the
stone out of his sight, even if it was ruined, so he gave
the old man a room,
all the tools and food and drink he needed, and he
waited. It was a long week.
the end of the week the old man appeared with the stone in
his hand and
gave it to the king. The king couldn't believe his
eyes. It was magnificent.
The old man had fixed it, and he had made it better than it
was before! He
had used the crack that ran through the middle of the stone
as a stem and
carved an intricate, full-blown rose, leaves, and thorns
into the diamond.
It was exquisite.
king was overjoyed and offered the old man half his
had taken something beautiful and perfect and improved upon
it! But the
old man refused in front of everyone, saying, "I didn't
do that at all.
What I did was take something flawed and cracked at its
turn it into something beautiful."
Making a Lasting Impression
One of the earliest memories I have of my father is
from one of the family vacations we took
together. I was about seven years old at the
time, and we were driving somewhere in the southern
United States. My brother and I were in the
back of the car, with my mom and dad in the
front. It was mid-afternoon on a hot summer
day when my dad saw an ice cream truck and pulled
As my father got out of the car, he saw a group of
five young boys sitting on the curb near the
truck. Four of the five boys were eating ice
cream. I watched as my dad went over to the
boy without the ice cream and said to him,
"Would you like some ice cream? I'll buy one
for you." The boy politely told my father
that he didn't want any. Sure, it was a nice gesture
on the part of my dad. But it wasn't a big
deal, right? Well. . . actually, it was.
My father's act of kindness toward a complete
stranger was imprinted on my mind that day.
And I believe that my own conduct has been
significantly shaped by that event. My dad made a
lasting impression on me in another way as
well. You see, social or economic status meant
very little to my father.
He didn't gravitate to those with fancy
titles. He seemed just as interested in
speaking to waiters and the people who swept the
floors. He respected everyone and looked down
on nobody. And again, my dad's conduct helped
to influence the way that I deal with people to this
Here are a few things to consider if you want to
make a lasting impression and be a positive
influence on others:
1. Recognize the paradox. We don't usually
make a lasting impression when we're trying to do
so. Rather, it happens when we're just living
our lives and doing what may seem like ordinary,
everyday things. Sure, there are some who make
an enduring impact through great achievement or by
being a celebrity. But lasting impressions are
not reserved for famous people like Oprah Winfrey or
They're available to you and me - every day, every
moment. As I look back, I can't remember a
time when my dad sat down with me and said,
"Here's how you should treat
people." I simply observed how he lived
his life. So, too, people are watching your
life, whether you realize it or not. This is
true in all the life roles you play - be it parent,
child, employee, business owner, etc.
2. Live each moment consciously. While we
can't plan those encounters or situations that will
create lasting impressions, we can be more aware of
our behavior and the potential influence it may
have. Too often, we live our lives on
"automatic pilot," that is, we do things
out of habit without realizing the effect our
actions might have on others. In many of these
instances, our behavior does not match what we
declare to be our values. For instance, you
may think that you are "open-minded" and
then catch yourself being intolerant of someone with
Starting today, right now, realize that every
interaction you have is precious. As author
Dan Millman often says, "there are no ordinary
moments." With this in mind, you can
consciously choose, for example, to be honest, kind
and to give your best efforts at all times.
So, the next time you're about to do something, ask
yourself: What action would I take right now
if I knew my behavior would have a lasting effect on
someone? This isn't about being perfect.
There will always be times when we behave in ways
that we're not proud of. Yet, as you realize
the impact of your day-to-day conduct, you'll find
yourself making different choices.
3. Appreciate the ripple effect. It's hard to
fathom the consequences of the lasting impressions
we make. When my father asked that young boy
whether he wanted some ice cream, he was affecting
me--as well as everyone who would eventually come
into contact with me--forever! Isn't that
Yet, it's not an exaggeration. My dad's act
helped to shape my character, which in turn affects
the way that I have dealt with people in the 40
years since that event. Furthermore, the
people who I have met may have been affected and
have passed along those values to others they have
met. It's an endless cycle. Thus, there
are no small acts in this world. One simple
act can truly change the course of humanity.
In the end, you're going to make many lasting
impressions, whether you want to or not. It's up to
you whether the messages you send are positive or
negative. As you go through your day today,
give a little extra consideration to how you speak
and how you act. You just may be making an
impression that will endure for generations.
Keller. Jeff is the President of Attitude is
Everything, Inc. For more than 15 years, Jeff
has delivered presentations on attitude and
motivation to businesses, groups and trade
associations throughout the United States and
abroad. Jeff is also the author of the highly
acclaimed book, Attitude is Everything. For
more information, go to http://www.attitudeiseverything.com
Gail Pursell Elliott
at whatever hour you come,
you will find light, help, and human kindness."
above quote is reported to have been on a sign above
Dr. Schweitzer’s medical clinic. What a simple,
welcoming phrase that speaks volumes in its intent.
about that phrase for a moment and imagine what it
would be like if you saw that sign above any place
of business, at the entrance to any office, at the
entryway of any home, in the vestibule of any church
that you happened to visit.
that phrase was on the welcome sign of your
community. Suppose it was over the door of your
this was included in the mission statement of your
company, the philosophy of your customer service
department, the expectation of how employees were to
interact with one another.
phrase speaks of light and we might envision a
physical light that is always burning. There is
another light of course that burns within each of
us. Dr. Schweitzer referred to that internal light
as being fueled with our values and beliefs. Writer
Ayn Rand is quoted as saying, "Do not let your
fire go out." I speak of personal dignity and
self respect extended in dignity and respect to
others as being a "beacon of light."
places of business and other public locations offer
signs that offer bilingual or multilingual services.
People who are bilingual frequently dream in both
languages. They have been internalized and come
is a universal language that can be spoken by
everyone. That language is kindness. Suppose in
addition to the bilingual or multilingual
announcement, there was also a sign that read,
"Kindness Spoken Here." For some kindness
is a native language. For others it is a second
language. Regardless, any of us can become fluent in
this language at any age.
dictionary defines kindness as the state or quality
of being kind. In other words, kindness is not only
an action, it is a state of being. The following are
some definitions or qualities of that state of
deep seated characteristic shown habitually by
Of a good or benevolent nature or disposition.
Having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence.
Indulgent, considerate, or helpful
A sympathetic attitude toward others
can be internalized and come easily when, with
practice, it becomes part of our state of being.
is something that we must own and extend to
ourselves, before we are able to extend it to
others. When we do this, we do not determine whether
someone deserves our kindness anymore than we
determine whether someone deserves to be spoken to
in their own language. It is simply something we do
because it has become our nature to be kind.
so many other qualities of being, it takes insight,
awareness, paying attention, and not taking things
personally. Focusing outward with our values, rather
than being caught up in the tempest of situations,
keeping our personal power intact.
Gail Pursell Elliott All rights reserved.
"The Dignity and Respect Lady"
Innovations "Training With a Can-Do
PO Box 552, Roland, IA 50236; 515-388-9600
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friend's son was in the first grade of school, and his
the class, "What is the color of apples?"
Most of the children
answered red. A few said green. Kevin, my
friend's son, raised
his hand and said white. The teacher tried to explain
that apples could
be red, green, or sometimes golden, but never white.
quite insistent and finally said, "Look inside."
without mindfulness keeps us on the surface
of things, and we often miss other levels of reality.
| please take very good care of yourself
this week. . . .