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Goats eagerly respond to rolled oats. Humans are inclined toward results they perceive as desirable and reachable, and they cooperate with enthusiasm to achieve them. Abundance depends on getting on a common track. Causes have effects. Associating available resources with desired outcomes promotes solutions. It matters how and where we ask the questions. Demonstration is ongoing and more constructive than admonition. Influencing is speaking to people’s motivations. Successful leaders are appealing. Am I winning you over?
When my perspective falters, poetry inspires and strengthens me. In this article, a David Whyte poem provides the ideal metaphor for the glory that rises with the day. We reflect on the inner core of Jane Addams and Dr. King, who radiate from the genuine foundation within. We become aware of what we think and say as evidence of what we are and the power within us. Instead of complaining, we creators are fully occupied with positive perspective that becomes our world. We direct our energy, with our attention, from what is wrong to what is right.
Work and exercise build muscle. Is that the only reward? Might the exercise also be doing useful work? Quitting exercise causes atrophy. Fortunately, being unable to work does not mean doing nothing at all. We can substitute activities. Increased happiness of others is not a result of our happiness; it is the cause. Beauty and happiness attach to health—especially mental health. Therefore, let us increase happiness by giving it away. Today’s stories show failure and success of the process.
Am I going to Hell? Some people think I am. Are they brainwashed? Relying stubbornly on political dirty tricks is a different kind of brainwashing. Journalists relax a little now that objective facts are admissible. Whether Hell exists is less urgent than whether my neighbor loves me. I influence the latter condition. Unhappy people are often pessimistic because they are upsetting themselves with the attitudes they practice. The world is not generally under my control. My worldview is. I will not bring unhappiness on myself.
Happiness is not something that is forced upon us. We achieve it by expanding into our opportunities and improving our circumstances. The improving we do, not the attention we are given, is the foundation of our happiness.
The strength we radiate will attract, not compel, the better social order we seek. Our examples must persuade others that we are happy. Persuasion is only one aspect. The bigger principle is that we improve everything worthwhile by being nice.
New arrivals will find here what they found in their previous neighborhoods—unless they expect to finding better. The worlds we find depend on what we seek. Dr. King would have us find the promised land by creating it from within. I never met him in person, but he is my friend.
We have the opportunity, not a burden, to find the good. The mountaintop provides positive perspective. When I hear this hero speak, my heart beats quicker and my eyes tear up. Enjoy today’s tribute.
Continuing Tuesday’s discussion, we look at constructive tolerant action. Pacifism is anything but passive; happiness is sharing. Love reaps peace in a better society. Putting others ahead of self is the blessing I aim to bring to my country’s people. Parents who control their children make themselves unhappy. Apply that to government!
Until my persuasion prevails, it is my duty to live peacefully in a country that does not live up to my standards. It is not my place to overthrow the government of the country when it offends me. Let’s get along peacefully with each other.
The country’s pain is not a person. It is anger. The pain will endure as long as the anger. Attempting to get even and to override others is scripted discord. Triumph over the other expresses selfishness, not completeness. Every resetting of course provides some degree of fresh start. It was so beautifully expressed in George H. W. Bush’s emphasis on the “kinder, gentler America.” With a dramatic personnel change underway, we have the perfect moment to institute that more divine order. Our joy lies in being the new America where we sincerely care about the least of these (our neighbors).