Earlier this month, I had been making a serious attempt to take inventory of many personal issues and examine my life, as to be sure it is worth living as Socrates would say. However, a sad incident took my and the nation’s attention, and I’ve found myself discussing and debating gun-related topics. No matter how right or wrong I am in this political arena, my impact on the solution at large will be quite minimal; thus, I have decided to focus again upon things by which I can personally be more effective.
Interestingly, I find this a great relief for many of my dogmatic debates too. Whether it is gun-control, the election results, or the fiscal cliff, if I worry less about what all the others do and focus more on taking care of myself, my character and my behavior – then the less those external factors ruin me. Not to say that I’m immune or that I’m even ignorant of their goings-on, but I am harmed to a lesser degree when harm does come.
I had a conversation with my daughter yesterday, and it was not well-handled on my side. The irony is I was explaining how it is never acceptable to be rude or mean – and further that one should consider his or her own failures to a given situation first before looking to blame the other side. As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach and instruct my daughter. However, when I deliver the message of courtesy in a ill-mannered way, then my example trumps my words.
This and other incidents of late have my thoughts returning to my own character, integrity and behavior. I’m not a criminal; I’m not a gossip; I’m not a lot of “bad things.” However, I can’t be satisfied with “not being” but rather must strive to improve myself. For all the things that “I’m not,” I still have unjustified anger, dark thoughts and secret grumblings – many of which boil down to flaws in my own character.
So, today, I am starting anew. And I do this by reminiscing to a previous post where I gave thanks for the “Serenity Prayer.” Applying the lesser known second part of that prayer is where I think much of the secret to happiness and character-renovation lies. Also, it is a great application for “letting go” of those external troubles I mentioned above.
I will remind myself today (and the days ahead) to live one day at a time and to enjoy each moment. It is important that I understand that accepting hardships is the pathway to peace. Moreover, I must learn to take this world and all its problems for what it is rather than what I would want it to be. Most of all, I must trust God that all things will be put right, even if only personally, if I but let go of my own way and submit to His will.
Feel free to join me in this endeavor.