6 Sep 2006

Chose Your Path

Submitted by Stephen Winters

I think of the past few posts that I have written here. The thought came to me that, among other things, is that I’ve been a little bit gripey about some things. It doesn’t take much effort to gripe about something, especially about someone else. But the griping about others is really an exercise of (inappropriate) pride. We all have challenges to face, and it is more beneficial to everyone to think about solutions, rather than gripes.

The other thought that came with this is that I have choices to make. Do I want to to become a more encouraging, thoughtful, helpful person, or do I want to become a gripey discouraging person. I’ve heard it said that we each have two sides fighting within us. These two sides have been called numerous things, such as: immature or mature, selfish or genorous, sinful or righteous, good or bad. We could go on to give these two sides numerous names, but for this example, I’m going to call them selfish or generous. I’ve also heard it said that whatver side we feed, is the side that grows. If we choose to think more of our own needs and to discount the needs of others, then we become a selfish person. However, if we choose to think more of the needs of others, and actively do what we can to help them, then we become more of a thoughtful generous person.

These two sides are not just one time choices that we make. At any point of our life we can choose to switch sides, to become more selfish, or to become more generous and thoughtful. But these choices are not static; each side is either growing or dieing. The more we choose to use one side or the other, the more we grow in that characteristic. For example, if we continue to be self absorbed, to think only of ourselves, then we grow more and more selfish. This path leads to unhappiness and misery both for ourselve and for others. However, if we choose to think of helping with the needs of others, then we become more and more selfless and helpful. This path leads to others becoming more connected to us and responding to us in a more kindly way. The more we try to meet the needs of others, the more likely they are to respond in kind. However, here is the tricky part. If we are treating others "nice" in order to get them to like us more, that can backfire. Our motives are wrong and will bear bad fruit. We will continue to become more and more like the path we choose.

Which will you choose; today, tomorrow, the day after, and on and on…..

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